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Where I would love to go in 2013 – my travel wish list (Part II)

Just before Christmas last year, I wrote a little letter to Santa Claus. What did I wish for? Obviously, something travel-related. I asked Santa to take me to 5 places in 2013 – some were brand new destinations, others were childhood memories.

I am madly in love with the Maldives

I am madly in love with the Maldives

As I am about to cross one of these 5 places from the list – the Maldives being one of them – I thought it was time to update this list.

When I wrote the post, I had absolutely no plans to go to any of these places – and to be honest, the last 6 months have been somewhat different to what I planned! And just between us, I totally loved them!

Lyon, France was a lovely surprise

Lyon, France was a lovely surprise

Unexpectedly, I went on a little European tour, which took me to Paris, Verbier, Geneva, Zürich, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin and the lovely Lyon. And what incredible weekends I had at each destination. One of the things that makes Europe so special is its diversity – from scenery, to languages and obviously food.

To say that I had a great winter would be an understatement, but now it is time to think about warmer climates!

So without further ado, here are some places that are on my hit-list (but that don’t necessarily mean I have any plans to go!).


–          Mallorca, Balearic Islands in Spain

The St. Regis in Mallorca

The St. Regis in Mallorca

This is actually a confirmed trip, and a place I am incredibly happy to go back to. I have visited (and fell madly in love with Mallorca) during my teens and twenties, but have not returned to the island in the last 10 years or so. Having visited by boat on the last 3 or 4 trips (i.e. sleeping in one), staying inland will be different! Things have changed for the better and great new hotels are ready to welcome discerning travellers. On this trip, I will be staying at the St. Regis Mallorca and the Castillo Son Vida, which look lovely. [PS. It happened! Read about my Mallorca trip right here!]

This will be obviously a good chance to practice my Spanish, which is getting rusty!


–          Wine tasting in California, and going back to LA in the USA

I love Californian wine

I love Californian wine

Every year, Mr. O and I head back to California, which is one of our favourite places in the world. With Palm Desert being a firm favourite, we always try to start and end our trip in different places every year. So, we are thinking about flying to San Francisco and heading to the Napa Valley for 3 or 4 days, and end the trip in the Los Angeles area, a place I haven’t been to for over 3 years. Beverly Hills, check. Santa Monica, check. I can’t wait!


–          Giving Mexico another chance

Back to Mexico?

Back to Mexico?

I have been to Mexico twice before, and must confess I didn’t love it. At all. But places change, as do people and over the past year or so I have been reading a lot about this country. And also fell in love with Mexican food, which I got to try in San Diego and Texas (very different types, I know). So it could be a good idea to head to this part of the world. I would like to give the Pacific coast a try, but very welcome to suggestions. Where have you been and loved? [PS. Also happened, I shall be writing about it soon!]


–          A girls weekend somewhere in Europe

Is Valencia in Spain, an option? Photo by

Is Valencia in Spain, an option? Photo by

I like going away for short girlie getaways – and by short I mean 2-3 days, direct flights and quite specific destinations: great weather, nice surroundings, great shopping and food, and a fab hotel. I started thinking about this and asked for your suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. Three places stood out: Valencia in Spain, Seville (also in Spain, but a no-go as Mr. O won’t let me go alone), Marrakesh in Morocco, Florence in Italy and Monaco. What do you think of these places? And can you come up with better ideas? From all of them, Valencia seems particularly intriguing.. I love paella! [PS. We ended up not going to Valencia, but had an incredible weekend at Finca Cortesin, near Marbella]


So basically, I need your help! Where in Europe should I go? And should I seriously consider Mexico?


Mrs. O

View Comments (40)


  1. Christian

    May 31, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Napa is so high on my list of places to visit! I’m hoping next spring. Fingers crossed!
    Christian recently posted..Vintage America: The Grand Tetons | June 1997My Profile

  2. Heather S

    May 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I’m not so sure I’d call 8 spots a ‘little’ tour. Sounds like a pretty big and awesome tour to me!
    Heather S recently posted..Calgary Slam Poetry: Judge and be JudgedMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      May 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

      It was over 3 months, on weekends 😉 but lovely indeed!

  3. L. Woudstra

    May 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Valencia is a lovely city! I would definitely visit it.
    I’m going to visit Valencia this summer, too;)
    Can I also name one of my favorite cities on this earth? As a world traveler you should have seen Istanbul once in your life. Maybe that’s an idea too for a weekend trip?

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      May 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Leon, love love love Istanbul!

  4. Pamela

    May 3, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Forget Mexico, not my favourite country. Come to the Caribbean and experience slow life.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      May 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I need to go back to the Caribbean indeed!

  5. Hogga

    May 1, 2013 at 2:15 am

    i loved mexico!

  6. Leah

    April 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Not a bad list at all. I see a few holes I could help you fill.
    Leah recently posted..Ways to Earn Free Travel through Credit CardsMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Ha ha! I’m sure you can!

  7. Anita Mac

    April 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Wow – they are all amazing destinations! Being so close to Mallorca…I can’t believe it has been so long since your last trip! I go once a year if I can and love it! It is always a spring trip for me – I would love to go in the fall. What a great list of places.

    As for Mexico – I know exactly where you need to go! The Fairmont Mayakoba – I can guarantee it to be Mrs O approved. Was there last year with a few discerning guests (Kate Hudson, Leo DiCaprio to name a few!). They had a section blocked off for a private party….but hey, if it is good enough for them!

    Should you need a tour guide for your Mexico visit…you be sure to let me know!
    Anita Mac recently posted..Monday Morning Series: Sunset over the Adriatic, CroatiaMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      I may totally take you up on that, Anita! Thanks!

  8. @luxehotelier

    April 24, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Beverly Hills, LA – definitely hope to see you! Mexico – I am biased of course but I love D.F. Amazing city but probably a bit much for a solo trip. I agree with @3Onthego, Tulum is beautiful and on trend right now for yoga and wellness retreats. Have you considered Punta Mita on the Pacific Coast? Quick flight from LAX.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:29 am

      Some good ideas there indeed! I am thinking Los Cabos for the Mexico trip, if at all. But how about Europe!

  9. 3onthego

    April 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    You should check out Tulum! My favorite place in Mexico. It’s very “barefoot chic” and the food is fantastic.

    Also while you’re in the Balearics, I’ve always wanted to visit Formentera. I made it as far as Mallorca last year, but ran out of time to get to any of the other islands.
    3onthego recently posted..Off The Grid: Chamico’s Lobster ShackMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Formentera is a must! Have great memories from lunch there – and oh so beautiful!

  10. Becky Padmore

    April 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Great wish list and as you know we share your love of California! I still miss it! We’re travelling around South of France in June so we’ll be checking out Monaco and let you know!
    Becky Padmore recently posted..10 of the most beautiful places to visit in BulgariaMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

      Haven’t been to the South of France for at least 8 years. But there are some new places in Mougins and St Tropez (off rock star season obviously). A tough one! Let me know!

  11. Suzanne (Travelbunny)

    April 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Have you thought about Bologna, Italy? Packed with shoe shops, fantastic food, loads to see and do and gelato, gelato, gelato!!
    Suzanne (Travelbunny) recently posted..Win Argan Oil Products!My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

      I wonder if I can fly direct from LHR? Also one of the girlies is in GVA.. needs perfect coordination!

  12. Lisa Corcoran

    April 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I like your list Ana! Mallorca is a favourite of mine, so many places to stay, eat and shop.

    It’s a long time since I visited California and I definitely want to see the Napa Valley, that was on my list this year but then it lost out to Scandinavia. In terms of Mexico I’d like to visit the Baja Peninsula and stay at the Capella Pedregal, looks fabulous. As for which European city to visit, I would have to vote for Florence which captured my heart the first time I set foot in it.

    Hope you make it to all on your hit-list.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:18 am

      Thank you Lisa! Florence is certainly a contender.. but no beach!

  13. Jeremy Branham

    April 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I am heading to Napa this year as well. However, this is right down the road from where I live. However, it will be quite a different experience than what most people have in Napa.

    As for Europe, I love Sevilla. One of my favorite cities in Spain. It can be brutally hot in summer but it’s lovely in Fall. I know you can’t go by yourself but if you can find others to go with you, definitely go!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Chicago travel guide for budget travelersMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 24, 2013 at 6:19 am

      I am not allowed to go to Seville (as Mr. O and my friend’s husband want to go too and would never forgive us!). Would love to hear thoughts re Napa. I am thinking more Sonoma..

  14. Sarah

    April 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Mrs. O, if you’re ready to head to California, try the Santa Ynez Valley instead of Napa. Stay at the Fess Parker Inn and visit the Los Olivos Cafe. You will not regret it! We took a group there last September and they all fell in love with the region.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      I have been Sarah and loved it! But really wanted to go to Caen and Cakebread – not the standard Napa wineries!

  15. the lazy travelers

    April 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    somewhere in europe you say?! liiiiike vienna in june with us? do it do it!
    the lazy travelers recently posted..#LTGoWithOh bucket list item 2My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Now, I am seeing this soooooooooooo much clearly now!

  16. Rachel Kowalczyk

    April 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Mexico (explore Oaxacan regions if only for the food, mezcal, wildlife-spotting, tapestry of indigenous cultures, mole sampling sessions, mezcal…)

    And then of course I hope you’ll travel down the Pacific coast to Isla Palenque in Panama at some point this year for a luxe escape to our new ecoresort…

    Wherever you go this year, have a fabulous time!
    Rachel Kowalczyk recently posted..Making the News: Our Soft Opening Gets Some Great PressMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Who knows, who knows!

  17. Traveling Ted

    April 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

    All of these places sound great. Morocco is a very intriguing destination.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..A peaceful easy feeling with Toyota and StagecoachMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Not sure if safe enough just for us girls!

  18. Adnan Kekhia

    April 23, 2013 at 8:04 am

    i have been reading a lot of stories and reviews about Mexico recently. so i think it would be interesting to go and pay it a visit to explore a bit.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

      I may take you up on that. I think the destination has smarted up a bit…

  19. Charli l Wanderlusters

    April 23, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Definitely consider Mexico. The Cenotes have been on my radar for a while! Perhaps Salzburg would be an idea for your European escape? The cuisine, historic architecture and dramatic surrounding landscape are worth a visit.
    Charli l Wanderlusters recently posted..Wanderlust Guide: House SittingMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Salzburg, how interesting!!

  20. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    April 23, 2013 at 6:57 am

    wine tasting in California.. yayyyyyyyyy!
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..How We Stay: Hostels, Hotels and ApartmentsMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

      I know :)

  21. Christy

    April 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I say either Mexico or wine tasting in California should be next! I grew up in Northern California and I have yet to take a wine tasting trip in Napa. There are just too many places I want to visit! :)
    Christy recently posted..Being in a Relationship Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Travel SoloMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Mexico could be interesting – but California is an annual must!

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