Wanderlusting: My Dream Travel Destinations 2017

When the sunshine seems so far away from us it’s the perfect time to start planning those trips and mind-mapping your ultimate destinations. I love everything about traveling (from the pre-trip prep and airport shopping experience, to sitting on the plane with a guidebook organising what you’re going to do in the coming days,) and I’ve definitely got the bug right now; my list of places to visit just keeps on getting longer, not helped by the number of travel blogs I keep discovering and salivating over. There’s so much more to the world than the Costa Del Sol and New York City, and I want a part of it. I’m fortunate enough to have the time, finances and flexibility to travel much more in my thirties than I ever have before, so I’m making a concerted effort to see the world and discover as many amazing places as I can get through – starting with these five that I’m just itching to fly off to. 


I’ve always wanted to visit the beautiful African lands (maybe I’ve watched The Lion King too many times) and discover my inner jungle princess, but since discovering Giraffe Manor that passion has trebled. This incredible 1930’s style manor house hotel is set within a vast Nairobi landscape and oozes vintage appeal; not only are the surroundings utterly stunning, but you can actually feed the giraffes while you eat your breakfast as they pop their heads through the window for a morning snack. How amazing is that? It costs a small fortune, but I’m determined to get here at some point in the not too distant future.


My fascination with this historic town dates back to studying it at school and seeing the incredible figures in their frozen positions; I’ve watched documentary after documentary on the days leading up to the event that’s forever etched in history and can’t quite get my head around what it must have been like. My mum visited Pompeii a couple of years ago and was hypnotised by its story, so after seeing her pictures I’ve been itching to go myself. Italy is such a beautiful country, but there’s something special about this location that I simply must tick off my list. 


I was lucky enough to stay in St Tropez for a night a couple of years ago on a press trip (the yaughts are insane!) but 24 hours just wasn’t enough to take it all in. Although the main attraction is the harbor, there are so many little back streets and cafes to discover that make this more than an overnight destination. I’d love to charter a boat for a few days and sail around the coast (wishful thinking,) but in the meantime a hotel in the area and a seat on the edge of the port with a nice glass of rose wine will suffice. 


The home of all things Hygge, Copenhagen has a relaxed and cosy appeal like no other city. Full of design and style inspiration, it’s Instagram heaven for anyone that can appreciate the clean lines and muted colour palette – while the watery backdrop allows you to breathe in and appreciate the surroundings. Steeped in history as much as art and modern culture, this is a city I know will be super expensive but absolutely worth it. I can’t wait to find an Airbnb to ensure I get the local experience too!


When we had our Florida holiday about 18 months ago we were planning to drive down to Miami and spend a day on the beach – but time got away from us and we realised we needed some down time after the intensity of the parks. (Miami is about a four hour drive from central Florida, so that’s a long way to go for a day trip.) Since then I’ve wondered about organising a visit back to take in the pastel architecture and incredible beaches, and right now it seems like a better idea than ever. I’ve heard such great things about this part of the world, and its association with Dexter just makes it even more of a destination. (Just me?!)

Where would you love to visit in 2017? Are you dreaming of any of my ultimate destinations too?

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  1. Leanne Marshall
    February 8, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Morning Hayley!! OMG I have been to the Giraffe Centre which is attached to giraffe Manor, Its it literally amazing. We have only just got back from a 10 night safari and It was my dream holiday!! could not recommend it enough! if you are going to book to go to Africa give me a call/email and I could point you in the right direction because I found it quite overwhelming when I booked ours! Here is my first blog post on Kenya http://www.lemblog.co.uk/2017/02/falling-love-kenya.htmlLeanne xxx

  2. Sophie B
    February 8, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Copenhagen is beautiful- it's actually surprisingly easy to do it on a budget (I went when I was still a student!). There's something for everyone there and it's absolutely gorgeous. I really want to go back! Don't bother with the little mermaid though- very underwhelming and crowded lol Xx Sophie

  3. Prettiful Blog
    February 8, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    South Africa has some awesome safari lodges too. Some where the elephants join you at breakfast! http://prettifulblog.com/

  4. Steph Hartley
    February 8, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    I went to Pompeii on a school trip as a kid and it was incredible! I'm itching to go back there in the next few years to explore it as an adult. It's definitely a bucket list kinda place. Whilst you're there, make sure you see Herculaneum too!Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

  5. The Sunday Girl
    February 8, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Cuba and Miami – I've I go to one, I've got to go to the other…well at least that is my logic ha x

  6. Florence and Contsance
    February 8, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Pompeii is on my bucket list! Along with California, Arizona, the pink sand beach in the Bahamas, Amsterdam and the Maldives…

  7. Vivian Yuen
    February 9, 2017 / 1:50 am

    Miami and LA are my dream destinations!Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE~

  8. Kirsty Major
    February 9, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    I'd love to visit the giraffes too. If you make it to Pompeii and have time, Herculaneum is worth a visit as well.

  9. Pam Scalfi
    February 9, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    I'm going to Sardinia Italy, and I REALLY want to explore more of France. It's so close to us yet we always overlook it!Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  10. Becky ⋮ accooohtrements.wordpress.com
    February 23, 2017 / 11:56 am

    Not too shabby a list! I've been to Pompei and Copenhagen and blogged about both if you're interested?- Pompei mini guide- Quick tips for CopenhagenSpoiler alert: Pompei is better than you can imagine…

  11. peachesandbear
    February 25, 2017 / 11:51 am

    I too am determined to visit Giraffe Manor! It looks like a once in a lifetime experience!This year I'm visiting Western Canada for a roadtrip this Summer and then South France and North Italy for my first solo tripTamsyn ElizabethPeaches and Bear

  12. Tracey - Naughty Forty Diaries
    February 26, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Hi Hayley,A great list and I've been to 3 of them. Pompeii is amazing, as is St Tropez [ which I recently wrote about myself] and Miami . Out of this world! I'd love to go back to Miami as I was only 20 at the time and couldn't get into the nightclubs / bars. They may not be as strict as they were back then… but the bouncers spoilt my fun! Il probably be too old now ! The giraffe place sounds fab, Leanne from lemblog recently went and her pics were amazing xx

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