Going Places

If you’re anything like me, the last week of December was about making lists. Goals. Gratitude lists. Habits to break. And trips to take.

You know, manifesting shit.

My travel wish list was shaped in part by a moving story that Daphne Beal wrote about having a brain tumor removed. One sentence really stuck with me: She told her surgeon, “I have people to love, children to raise, books to write, and I really want to swim the Croatian islands next summer.”

Even though I no longer have an office job, I rarely take trips that aren’t for a client or a story. Daphne’s article reminded me that life is ridiculously short. (Or rather, life is ridiculous. And short.) And what have I been stockpiling all those United miles for if not to fly business to Tokyo on ANA? Jeez! Workation-ing is a habit I need to break.

That said, I did sneak in one bucket-list meal at the end of December: A luxurious tasting menu at Single Thread Farms in Healdsburg, CA, a restaurant and inn that just received its third Michelin star. (Another use-it-or-lose-it moment: I discovered that I could use my Chase Sapphire Rewards points for the meal-ticketing platform Tock.) The next morning, after an exquisite Japanese breakfast and an interview with the chef, I jotted down my 2019 travel list:

* Japan in spring. (Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka to see why chef Gaggan Anand is closing his Bangkok restaurants to open here in a couple of years.)

* Paris + a trip to D’Une Ile hotel in Normandy with my son. (During our lunch interview, Alice Waters — a former Montessori teacher — reminded me that children’s memory banks are filled for life by trips they take between the ages of 6 and 10.)

* Marshall, CA, for my annual cooking weekend at my favorite rental house.

* Camping in the Northeast. I’m looking at campsites here.

Please let me know where I should eat/sleep/be sure to stop — and tell me what other destinations I should add to the list. I’m putting together extensive travel guides for xtine for the year ahead.

Travel + work: Maybe I’ll choose another habit to break first.

Happy/new year,