2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere


The thing I’m MOST EXCITED for this year is obviously getting married to Tim! The night before our wedding, we’ll be throwing a “calenda” around the historic center of Oaxaca, which is a lively parade marking happy occasions. The calendas are lead by ‘monos de calenda,’ 10-ft tall papier-mâché puppet replicas of the bride and groom and the whole wedding party  joins behind them, drinking and dancing with the brightly-colored Oaxaquena traditional dancers. Every now again you’ll see pyrotechnics thrown into the mix. TBD if there will be fireworks. But then again, Leo season calls for fireworks.

WHERE: Oaxaca, Mexico
WHEN: August 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Oaxaca Mexico Calenda

An entire calenda rolling through town. Photo by Nikhol Esteras Photography.


I am lucky to have friends/friendships near and far, a sentiment reflective in my group of eight bridesmaids from different chapters of my life and living in various corners of the world. From Guam, Boston, Vietnam, and California, we’ll all be coming together in Mexico for a “Final Fiesta” bachelorette extravaganza! It’ll be a daily dose of vitamin sea, dinner parties, and laughing about our colorful lives together. By the end of the bonding session, hopefully we’ll be ready to tackle the demands of a two-day wedding. Bring it on!

WHERE: Tulum, Mexico
WHEN: August 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Tulum Mexico

Bride vibes in Tulum. Photo by Dame Traveler.


Heading back to Asia in May to visit my younger brother and sister (and her boyfriend) who are both based abroad at the moment. I am going to take the backseat to planning and let my siblings show off everything they love about their surrogate homes. While I’ve been to Taipei and Manila before, I’ve never had locals to guide me around so I’m ready for a deeper dive and to see these places through their eyes.

WHERE: Taipei, Taiwan and Manila, Philippines
WHEN: May 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere taipei taiwan

Looking out onto the Taipei skyline.


Mexico is considered one of the great gastronomic hotspots with its complex regional cuisines and world-class restaurants. Mexico City is home to TWO of the world’s Top 50 restaurants, Pujol (no. 13) and Quintonil (no. 11). I first learned of Pujol through a Chef’s Table episode but both restaurants are closely connected to one another. Chef Jorge Vallejo, who owns Quintonil, used to work at Pujol under Chef Enrique Olvera. Each restaurant features contemporary twists on traditional recipes, elevating the classics. Enrique Olvera’s “Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo” is his signature dish, featuring only two ladlefuls of mole sauce. Quintonil is lauded for their extremely low carbon footprint; most of the ingredients featured on their menu are from a garden only 30-meters away.

WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico
WHEN: August 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Pujol Mexico City

The fresh bounty of Pujol. Photo by Arceli Paz © Travel + Leisure.


In all the solo traveling I’ve done, never have I been truly alone. Before the wedding, I want to recenter and reflect on my years of singledom. Just me, myself, and I. Especially in a year where I need all the zen I can get, being fully relaxed and alone with my thoughts is the best gift I could give myself. If anyone has ideas on destinations that are very restorative and healing, or are good for low-stress activities, I am taking recommendations!

WHEN: Pre-wedding

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere solo trip

Taking sun-soaked vacations is what I do best.

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere


Instead of traveling farther, I want to familiarize myself more with my new home. Living in California has afforded me the opportunity to see places I’ve only heard about in movies: Santa Cruz, Monterey, La Jolla, Sonoma Valley. I want to maximize a long weekend and drive out with Tim to Lake Tahoe late fall to reconnect with the great outdoors. And maybe do some of this low-key fancy “forest bathing” that everyone in Japan is raving about.

WHERE: Lake Tahoe, California
WHEN: September 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Lake Tahoe California

The pristine waters of Lake Tahoe. Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash.


The final stop of our California Highway 1 road trip was San Diego but we barely scratched the surface of the laid-back beach city. The vibes there were so good and pure that I’m dedicating a trip solely to exploring San Diego with one of my favorite girlfriends, Mary. Mary is one of those people who radiates universal goodness. Right now, I’m fantasizing about all the leisurely walks we’ll be taking around Balboa Park and along the bluffs of La Jolla Cove.

WHERE: San Diego, California
WHEN: March 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere La Jolla San Diego

La Jolla, San Diego. Photo by unknown. This photo does not belong to me.


One of the more demanding, ambitious bucket list items is to visit all the new seven wonders of the world. I’ve seen three so far and hoping to cross off two more locations by the end of the year. I’m aiming to watch the sunrise at Chichen Itza while I’m in Mexico in August and I’ve also set my sights on a Middle East sojourn this year through the likes of Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. A city carved entirely from stone remained a legend for millenia before it was rediscovered in 1812. It is believed that only 15% of the entire ancient capital have been unearthed; a network of tunnels spanning miles and miles still lay waiting to be uncovered beneath the sand.

WHERE: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico and Petra, Jordan
WHEN: August and December 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Petra Jordan

The stunning Petra. Photo by Chloe Barry-Hang.


After my trip to Myanmar, I am on a new mission to capture more atmospheric environments through my lens. I’ve been fascinated with the city of Beirut for a while now and this desire to travel there has only gotten stronger in the midst of an American political regime that has vilified the Middle East. The pictures I’ve seen of Beirut resonate with my favorite lyrics of all time, from Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”

WHERE: Beirut, Lebanon
WHEN: December 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Beirut Lebanon

Raouche Rocks at sunset. Photo by Ramy Kabalan on Unsplash.


To mark the end of my twenties, one of my biggest goals is to make a pilgrimage to Israel and attend the celebrated Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. I read that bookings for this church service are secured a year in advance (brb, doing that now)! Many of you don’t know this but as as devout Christian whose favorite holiday is Christmas, being in Israel during this time of year would be a huge spiritual milestone for me. On a less sacred note, I can’t wait to eat shakshuka every day.

WHERE: Jerusalem, Israel
WHEN: December 2019

2019 Travel Resolutions The Next Somewhere Jerusalem Israel

Jerusalem in the daytime. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

bridesmaid dresses

👉 Who’s got new year resolutions they want to share? Any anti-resolution people out there? Let me know in the comments section!

Filipina-American Millette Stambaugh is a thirty-something former expat who has traded her nomadic ways for Philadelphia living. Corporate worker by day, content creator by night, Millette specializes in visual storytelling and joyful journeys and wants to help others find their "next somewheres." Follow her escapades on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok @thenextsomewhere.


  • Megan E Indoe

    January 12, 2019

    I LOVE how you went back and checked off all the things you did in the year plus new resolutions! You’re always so creative too, as always I love the design! Can’t wait to see all the wedding updates this year!

  • January 13, 2019

    Can I just say I am MEGA impressed with your graphics skills?!! Seriously good stuff. Great post, and congrats on your marriage 🙂

  • January 13, 2019

    Wow, your travel goals are so awesome! I have had some situations and because of them, the new year came and I have not even thought about what I want to do or accomplish. I guess I need to change that. I would love to hit the 50 countries mark. I am very close. What prompted you to have a calenda for your wedding? When I visited Oaxaca I witnessed one but didn’t even know they are a thing. I have learned that from you.

  • Kris

    January 13, 2019

    That’s a great list! I hope you get to do #5. It’s so rewarding to explore solo. It sounds like an especially great thing to do pre-wedding.

  • January 13, 2019

    I love your resolutions for 2019! Getting married in Mexico, visiting your siblings in Asia, touring world heritage sites in the Middle East — it sounds like 2019 will be a big and exciting year for you. I can’t wait to follow along!

  • January 13, 2019

    This is an awesome post. I get asked SOOOOO ANY TIMES when am I off travelling again, and I always reel off a list of things that I want to see in the near future. I love how you’ve documented this and then checked off what you managed in the previous year 🙂 Awesome idea and loved reading it!

  • January 13, 2019

    Beautiful blog! I just moved to a new state so exploring close to home is on my list for this year as well. Also I’m dying to go to San Diego!

  • July 1, 2019

    A great way to view and amaze the story of memories
    Very wonderful pictures and I love Petra


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