Five Adventures That Top My List For 2013

As the calendar marches towards another new year, I found myself dreaming about destinations for 2013.  Now that America is moving “forward,” I thought so should I, especially with travel. And yes, that does include leaving the country.

Here are five destinations and experiences that top my list for 2013. Of course all is subject to change, but these places have been on my list for some time and I think 2013 is the year.

Puebla, Mexico

the Zocalo in Puebla, Mexico

Source: Pola Henderson of

Mexico always makes my list. And I know I’ll return south of the border next year, but I wanted to explore a new place especially after my two recent adventures, attending ATMEX in Veracruz and the train trip through the Copper Canyon. So, where to next?

Puebla. Yes, Puebla.

Even though I called Mexico City home for nearly 18 months, I never visited the neighboring state or it’s capital city. Strange I know and even stranger as New York City is also nicknamed “little Puebla” (in some circles). So, as I search for new destinations, Puebla seems to top of the list, especially when I am hungry for some Mexican Cuisine.

Northern lights

the Northern Lights Aurora Borealis in Tromso, Norway _Tromso_

Source: Paul Reiffer Photography

The destination is not as important as the show. I am not sure where the best place to see the northern lights is, but I understand it means traveling north in the winter. So yes, it will be cold, real cold. But, I plan to warm myself by viewing this incredible spectacle.

Although I don’t know what causes the northern lights, I do know with the sunspots at a high this winter (in the northern hemisphere) some of the best viewing opportunities are expected. Now is the time to realize this dream.

the northern lights from iceland in 2012

source: Jiyeon Juno Kim who just completed her dream of seeing the northern lights this week.

More South America – (Bolivia and Guyana)

On my career break, I traveled to South America and spent nearly three months on the continent. But at the time, I decided to stay in one place and “live.” To travel like a local. I selected Buenos Aires and have NO regrets.

the salt flats of Bolivia

source: provided by Liliana Velasquez

But, I’ve always wanted to return to the continent. And I’d like to explore another part of the continent.  My thoughts are to visit Bolivia, the center and perhaps the heart of the continent and (or) the unknown country of Guyana and especially travel to Kaieteur falls. Both countries always intrigued me. They  seem relatively unknown and untraveled – perfect destinations for someone who plans to Stay Adventurous.


Definitely an adventurous destination and one I know, but after spending one week in Namibia I know there is so much more to see and experience. And with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) conference schedule to be hosted in Namibia for October 2013 I decided 2013 is the year to return.  Actually, my goal is to speak at the conference, but I’d also like to spend an afternoon in Spitzkoppe or taking a nature walk in the Namib Desert.

A hike on Sand Dune 45 in Sossusvlei Namibia

I think I could hike the sand dunes again...

 An Island Paradise – Hawaii or more Caribbean

I visited my first Caribbean island in over a decade earlier this year and what did I learn? I learned I miss the relaxation of the islands. The chance to sip a cocktail at sunset and essentially do nothing is actually something I want to do.

sunset on eagle beach in Aruba

a Caribbean sunset

Ok, well maybe some of the adventures available in Hawaii are a a great option too. But if I can’t make it that far west, well another island in the Caribbean for a few days sounds like a win to me too.  After all the Stay Luxurious side of me needs to come out a little too.

parasail in hawaii

source: photo provided by Emjay Carlos; a Hawaiian Adventure

Where do you want to go?

stay adventurous, Craig

Photography Source:  Puebla is by Pola Henderson of; the first Norther Lights is by Paul Reiffer at , the second Northern Lights photo is from Jiyeon Juno Kim of; the Bolivia photo was provided by native Bolivian Liliana Velasquez; and the final photo of Hawaii is from my friend from the islands Emjay Carlos of Emjay’s Travels

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  • Family Travel Source

    We’ve always wanted to go to Iceland to see the northern lights, and we REALLY want to get up the nerve to stay in an ice hotel but so far we aren’t that brave…

    • craig zabransky

      All I can say, if you really want it… do it. You’ll never be sorry for the things you tried… and it will be an adventure for the whole family… no doubt.
      And as you gather for the holidays this year, take note of what you talk about… i bet it is the adventurous… the trips to places like Iceland. See you there.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Jetting Around

    Puebla is fantastic (how interesting about the NYC nickname), I’m sure you’ll have a great time! Northern Lights are on my list too…

    • craig zabransky

      Everyone I meet from Mexico in NYC is from Puebla… it is truly unreal. Stay adventurous, Craig

  • The World of Deej

    Great list…I hope 2013 is the year I make it back across the pond. It’s been 4 years since I set foot in Europe, and I’m Jonesing to return. Literally…

    • craig zabransky

      Sure, Europe is a great destination… I’ve been so fortunate for all the visits, but of course I too want to return.. some place will probably top my list for 2014
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Maggie Mistal

    Eclectic list Craig – the world is such an amazing place. Wasn’t it hard to choose just five? Love your goal of speaking at the AATA conference. Think Big!

  • Ana Silva O’Reilly

    What an interesting list – seriously! Been to none.. so could I come with you?

    • craig zabransky

      Sure, let’s see how brunch goes first 😉 … actually I thought I might head to Canada for the northern lights, but maybe I’ll make it Iceland, (the second photo is from there) That might be a perfect “tweet-up” Stay adventurous, Craig

  • Chairman

    Nice Z! Where did you go in the Carribean? I’d like to bring the fam down for Feb break…got recommendations that are family friendly? Abby’s nuts about dolphins right now and I need some reef snorkeling!

    • craig zabransky

      It was a cruise through (with partial passage through the Panama Canal), the photo is from Aruba, a place known for its snorkeling… “bring your scuba to a Aruba”

      But, you can also consider the Riviera Maya in Mexico, I know great spots there for both snorkel and dolphins and also the (Upper) Florida Keys – it has a great Dolphin place and also one of the best reefs in the world. email me (address in the About me)

      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Lazy Travelers

    we like this list! that picture of namibia is unreal.

  • Raul

    WOW, good list. I would love to go to Namibia and Botswana really soon. Maybe this conference is a good excuse?? Also, have you been to Patagonia? The Chilean side is adventurous indeed!

    • craig zabransky

      I haven’t been… Never really left BsAs when I “lived” there for 2 months… but it is definitely a place I want to see… And yes, the conference is a great excuse, but that is if one even needs one… stay adventurous, Craif

  • simon falvo

    I’m ready to follow you everywhere except… Puebla :-)

    • craig zabransky

      not puebla? por que?

      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Dotti Cunningham

    So far my list includes Sedona (well, that’s in December), Myanmar, Laos, Machu Picchu, puerto Rico….and I’ve only just begun…

    • craig zabransky

      That’s quite a list… I’d like to add a few of those to my 2014 list. stay adventurous, Craig

  • Maryann

    Great destinations. Different and interesting. Hope you travel to all of them. Would love to read your articles about them.

    • craig zabransky

      I heard that when you tell write down goals, they are 3x more likely to happen, when you share them it goes to 10x more likely… So, I like my chances.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Francesca

    Puebla is totally on my list, too! And the Northern Lights… and Namibia… Don’t know that I’ll get to any of these places in 2013, but hopefully not too much longer after that.

    • craig zabransky

      Definitely hope you get there too. stay adventurous, Craig

  • Traveling Ted

    I was in Puebla in June, and I loved it. The food was amazing. I will be in Guyana in two weeks from today. So excited. Those five destinations look like a great mini bucket list.

    • craig zabransky

      Guyana in two weeks, I can’t wait to hear about it. I don;t really know anyone who has been there, but I will in a few weeks.. have fun. stay adventurous, Craig

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