Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. I finally feel like I’m moving forwards, and I don’t think I’ll look back.

Because of that, this next month is going to be busyyyyy! To give you an idea, here’s my next 30 days in airport codes: SYR-ORD-LHR-DUB-LIS-BCN-BLQ-BCN-TXL-DUS-LAX. (I’m writing to you while on the little dash that is an 8-hour flight between ORD-HRW.)

Though that was tiring just to type out, I am so pumped. I feel exhilarated that there’s nothing I have to “get back to” — and by the fact I’ll be earning money while doing what I love the most. I do have to get better (much better) at working while traveling, but that is one skill I don’t think I’ll mind practicing and perfecting.

I also will have to work on budgeting: I haven’t been to Europe for six years, so I have the feeling I’m going to be in for some sticker shock (and seriously missing Nicaragua’s $1 cervezas!).

This is what I looked like the last time I was in Europe…
This is what I looked like the last time I was in Europe…

In January, I talked about how to make 2013 YOUR travel year. October is fast approaching, which means it is crunch time! You have exactly one-quarter of 2013 left to make it how you pictured it.

Have you done what you wanted to this year? Can you take one step today that will bring you closer to your goals? If you’re stuck, let’s talk; I’m happy to help.

If it’s just not in the cards this year, don’t give up. Plans change, and life gets in the way. That’s okay. But now is the time to start planning for 2014, so that you won’t run out of time again. Here’s a travel action plan to get you started.

And don’t worry; I’m not all talk. I plan on finishing 2013 out with a bang (and lots of champagne, of course). Here’s how:

London, UK

This is the city that I’m currently en route to — for one reason, and one reason only. No, not to catch a glimpse of Pippa (thought that’d be pretty hilar). I’m going to visit one of my besties, Claire. We traveled together in Jordan last year, and I haven’t really seen her since. It’s definitely time for a reunion.

Swimming in the Dead Sea with Claire
Swimming in the Dead Sea with Claire

I enjoy London, but have never really fallen in love with it. (Maybe it’s the cost!) That’s good, though, because I’ve been there enough times that I don’t feel like I need to do the tourist rigamarole. My plans are to giggle with Claire, hole up in a trendy cafe to work (and pretend I’m writing the next Harry Potter), and absorb all of the the silly accents.


Next week will be my first time in Ireland and my first time at a travel blogging conference. I’ll be in Dublin to attend TBEX, a bi-annual travel blogging conference held in different parts of the world. None of the dates have ever worked out before, and I couldn’t be happier that my first one is going to be in Ireland. What a mystical place!

While in Dublin, I have some cool TBEX-sponsored tours planned, and am staying at Abigail’s Hostel right in the popular Temple Bar area. I hear there *might* be some Irish whiskey available… which I *might* sample.

As for the conference, I really have no idea what to expect. I imagine it’ll be like Comic-Con with more Instagrams, woven bracelets, WordPress accounts, and girls. Lots more girls. (BTW, I have never been to Comic Con; I’m merely familiar with its existence thanks to Seth Cohen of the O.C.)

Seth Cohen & Ryan Atwood
I am definitely Team Ryan, but Seth is great, too.

During the day, there are blogging-related workshops and opportunities to meet with potential advertisers and sponsors. I don’t have any expectations from it; I’m just looking forward to geeking out with other travel bloggers, and hopefully meeting some online friends and making some new ones!

After Travelnerdstock ’13, I’m headed on a week-long road trip around the Emerald Isle. Woohoo! I’ve gotten a car from and am so looking forward to exploring the countryside at my own pace. And being that the driving is on the other side of the road, I imagine this pace will lead me something like 20 miles outside of Dublin… in 7 days. If things go better than expected, and I make it out of the parking lot, I’ll definitely be stopping in Glendalough, Dingle, and the Cliffs of Moher.

Two experiences I must have or my trip will be ruined: an adorbs B&B owner calling me “lass” or “dear,” and a herd of sheep blocking the road like in the movies. Seriously, I’m not coming back ’til those things occur. Make it happen, Ireland.

Lisbon, Portugal

Upon my return to Dublin, I’ll fly solo to Lisbon. I plan on renting an apartment (anybody have any suggestions?) and just enjoying some good ol’ Suz personal time. I’ve never been to Portugal before, but I’ve heard wonderful things about its weather, affordability, food, and wander-able streets. Sounds perfect.

Rimini, Italy

I was planning on spending more time in Portugal, but then Italy called. And I love Italy. The food, the sun, the language, the wine, the food, the art, the food. Did I mention the food?

Travel Blogger Destination Italy (TBDI) is another travel blogging conference that’s occurring in October. I hadn’t heard about it until one of the organizers contacted me last week. It didn’t take her long to convince me to buy a flight. (When I was living in Switzerland, I once went to Italy for dinner.) I haven’t been to Italy since 2007 and am eager to return.

Anna cooking up paella!
Anna cooking up paella!

Barcelona, Spain

While volunteering in Nicaragua over the winter, I lived with some lovely European girls. (From France, Spain, and Germany.) The Spanish one, Anna, lives in Barcelona. I knew I couldn’t come all the way to Europe without visiting her.

I’ll spend a few days in this magnificent city (and hopefully remember a little more than last time!) trying to clear my mind of the cobwebs that now surround my Spanish. I think that our French roomie, Emilie, is also going to be able to make it. I’m looking forward to a little La Esperanza reunion!

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a wicked cool city, and I wish I had more time here. But unfortunately I only have a day. What’s the point of going then? Travel hacking, baby! I used my American Airlines miles for this trip, and Berlin offered great flights to LAX for less miles than Madrid. So I bought a cheap one-way on budget airline EasyJet, and I’ll essentially be flying here to fly back to the States.

Ventura, CA
Ventura, CA

Ventura, California

And from LAX, it’s off to Ventura, CA, which will be my home base for the winter. I’ll be trying to build up my online business… and enjoying sun, the ocean, and fresh produce! (Such a treat after Alaska.) November will be pretty quiet other than some reunions with friends and a trip back to the east coast for Thanksgiving.

But, after Christmas, I’m returning to one of my all-time favorite countries for New Year’s. Can you guess which one it is? (Hint: I’ll be getting knee-deep in some powder!)

Soooo… YAY. If you’re going to be at any of these events, or in any of these cities, give a holler! I’d love to hear your tips or arrange a meet-up. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to get my latest updates. Being that this is the first time I’ve traveled with a smartphone (yes, really), it’s my goal to post at least one photo a day.

Your turn! What are your travel plans through the end of 2013? How are you going to finish it out strong?