Gardens, Tokyo
Gardens, Tokyo ©patriciagarciagomez

Dreaming up your next trip is almost as fun as traveling itself.

It is where you cast your desires forward, follow a thread of curiosity, and sometimes project outwardly an inward version of yourself that may otherwise go ignored — how you want to feel, whose footsteps you want to walk in, a view to experience, something you want to taste/hear/smell, a place that calls to you, a moment of beauty, a jump into an unknown space (maybe even without WiFi!).

For me, being displaced is where I most successfully live in the now. I like being surrounded by the totally unfamiliar, and I like it when all the conversations I overhear are in a language I don’t understand. It’s not noise; it’s energy.

Travel is love. In the words of Pico Iyer “It whirls you around, turns you upside down and stands everything you took for granted on its head.”

A Shimmer of Possibility

So, with that in mind, I am indulging my imagination with five places I would like to travel this year. They might all happen. None of them might happen. But for now, they are a bookmark in my aspirations, a shimmer of possibility.

Hiking on Moel Famau, Wales ©patriciagarciagomez

High Atop Wales (UK)

There is a creative gathering in Wales that is calling me with this mission: “The idea is a simple one. That people who do things can inspire the rest of us to go and do amazing things too.” An added bonus to attending this gathering is the light in Wales in spring. It has a fairytale tint to it, especially as seen from the top of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.

We first climbed Mount Snowdon a few years ago. Though it has serious elevation —3,560 feet — there are many ways to get to the top. We chose the easier (and longer) way — an exuberant procession of friends and family — to get to the summit. Our goal wasn’t to plant a flag, but to have hot tea and cheese sandwiches and watch giant prehistoric-looking birds (or maybe dragons) swoop by. I also discovered my inner pub self in Wales. I never have liked bars very much, but sitting by the fire in a pub after a rigorous hike with your dog, and other best friends, is something entirely different. Say yes.

Young prayers, Kyoto, Japan ©patriciagarciagomez

The Sounds of Japan

A dear friend of mine has moved back to her home country of Japan after 13 years in New York. She’s stepping into a new role there — leading sound meditations in some of the most beautiful spaces in Japan.

I’m a big fan of sound, both in terms of evoking a sense of place (literally) and as an entry point to tapping into emotions that lie deep beneath the surface. Over dinner we dreamed up a trip we would both like to take: listen our way through Japan’s temples and forests. We also want to linger in a few onsen bath houses or ganban-yoku (bedrock sauna, where you lie down on a large, heated stone). Say yes again.

Meson de Malleville, Valladolid, Mexico

A Perfumer’s House in Mexico

I just found this photo of Meson de Malleville and, well, I would like to go. Sometimes it’s that simple. Build an entire trip around one thing, like a beautiful hotel room.

I grew up on the border of Mexico and Texas, and my family heritage is Mexican. Maybe this is why Mexico ignites feelings of warmth, home, and something inherently magical. In this case, we add a bit of exquisite design temptation and the activation of the senses.

This room is part of a 16th-century home created by perfumer Nicolas Malleville: “Indulge in the luxurious four-post bed and fall asleep with sweet scents of tobacco leaves, orange blossoms and lime trees drifting throughout the air.” If this room also calls to you, maybe you will get there before I do.

Elegant gestures of Rajastan, India ©patriciagarciagomez

The Seduction of India

On my first visit to India two years ago, I met a musician and artist who is now a dear friend. It was an auspicious meeting, and one that led to an art collaboration in Greece this past summer. I would like to see Mumbai through his eyes, and the voices of the Dhrupad (the oldest classical music style of India) musicians who are part of his inner circle. He loves his food, so I know my tastebuds will go on their own journey.

Family at Bahai Temple, Delhi, India ©patriciagarciagomez

Open Call…

Some of my best trips came together spontaneously and ended up better than anything I could have ever planned. I am leaving an opening for creating an on-the-spot adventure. At the top of the list would be something conjured up with my soul-sister, J. Our friendship was born on a trip to India. After enough days going unshowered, with little sleep, away from all creature comforts, we learned to surrender to the moment at hand, and to our friendship.

Inspire us. Where do you want to go next year…and why? We want to hear what’s at the top of your list, whether it’s a spark of an idea or an itinerary you’ve been crafting for a long time.

Here’s how: Tell us in your Instagram Stories where you want to go and tag @weareageist and #ageisttravel2019. We’ll do the rest.