Hey guys! So as you may have read, I'm moving to Africa! (I still can't write that without exclamation points, by the way.)

In 2017 I'm going to travel much more than I have in the past few years. And I couldn't be more excited. Naturally, I am dying to explore Africa, so want to see (at the very least) Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Africa.

But after I wrap up my job in August I may travel a bit longer. I especially want to travel to places that are hard to access when you're living in the US, like Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.


This month I'll be wrapping up things in Colorado, i.e. quitting my job, packing, and skiing as much as possible.

(By the way, yesterday was my last day at my job and it feels so weird. I can do whatever I want, all day?!)


In early February, I'm driving back to Michigan with my brother. After spending time with family in Michigan, I fly to Uganda on Valentine's Day! I will start my job as a project manager for a food delivery company shortly after arriving.


In March, I want to stay close to home and explore my new backyard. I especially want to go white-water rafting on a Class V rapids in Jinja, Uganda. Here's hoping I'm not eaten by a crocodile or hippo or something.

But I may also head to nearby Rwanda to embark on a gorilla trek. One of my readers suggested I go in March or April as gorilla treks are half-off. (Thank you, Chris!)


I want to head to Cape Town before it gets cold, so I figured April would be a good time. While in Cape Town, I want to see Robben Island, catch a cable car up Table Mountain, and go cage-diving with sharks.

I am also debating going to Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. The only caveat is that it costs $550 per person, per NIGHT. But I mean a giraffe hotel? How could I not?!


In May I want to go on an overland trip with G Adventures in Southern Africa! The trip lasts eight days and covers Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, and Victoria Falls. I'm hoping some of my friends from the states and France will join me as well.

Normally I'm not a tour person, but in Africa I think it could be a wise choice.


In June I fly back to the states to attend one of my best friend's weddings in Montana. (That will be quite the culture shock – semi-rural Africa to cowboy country. What.)

Then I'll spend ten days at my cottage in Michigan, which is basically my favorite place on earth.


I don't have much lined up for July. But I turn 27 in July so I'd love to celebrate in Zanzibar. Why not?


In August I will be wrapping up my job contract so my family may come to visit me. I want to take them to Kenya and Tanzania for safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater.

Other potential trips? Trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro with one of my best friends, or scuba-diving in Mozambique. Or both. I'm not ruling anything out quite yet.


In September I'm hoping to FINALLY see Australia and New Zealand. I want to visit Edna in New Zealand and also head to Australia. In Australia I want to see Sydney, Melbourne, and possibly more, depending on how broke I am and how much solo travel I can stomach.


In October I'm hoping to travel to Japan with my best friend. We've been dreaming about going to Japan together since high school, so this trip would be an adolescent dream come true.

In Japan I want to visit Studio Ghibli, visit my French au pair family, and eat as much as humanly possible.

November and December

It's hard to predict where I will be at the end of 2017. But I will most likely be heading back to the states to look for a job. We'll see.

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Needless to say, I'm extremely excited for the year ahead. Thank you guys for following along! And if you have any recommendations for any of these places, please let me know in the comments!

I'd love to know – what are your travel plans for 2017?

All images courtesy of Unsplash.

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein