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  • Writer's pictureDonna Zabel

Early Setbacks In 2022 Did Not Stop a Wonderful Year of Travel

Congratulations, we did it. In 2022, we traveled. There were early setbacks with closed borders. There were growing pains as travelers overwhelmed understaffed airports and service personnel. But we made 2022 our year to finally hit the road.

We moved our travel plans from wishful thinking to reality. For me that meant getting to lesser-known areas of Italy, beginning with Piedmont, a hilly northern region dotted with small family compounds producing robust wines and artisanal cheeses. The lovely centra city Alba was the perfect place to enjoy one of my favorite Italian pastimes, an early evening aperitif served with tasty little bites in a lively café. The friendly camaraderie took the chill off the cool March day.

Puglia, Italy

Then it was on to Italy’s boot, Puglia. The warmer southern area was an interesting contrast to the north, with its milder cheeses, softer wines, and wide-open piazzas. Once a poor and neglected part of Italy, it is now bustling with travelers, thanks to the opening scene in the last James Bond movie. Like other places, the rapid return of tourists has caught some of the restaurants and hotels low on staff.


Athens was more proof that travel is back. My busy waitress said she’d never seen a June with this many people. Cafes were crowded with smiling, happy people celebrating return to a city on most everyone’s bucket list. As much as I too love Athens, my destination was Cyprus. The quieter, more relaxed atmosphere, combined with stunning beaches, friendly people, scenic historic places, and food (oh the food!) has Cyprus at the top of my “need to return” list.

Charles Bridge - Prague

For many of us, the year’s travel included a river cruise. River cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry for good reasons. We leisurely sail along the historic waterways of Europe, disembarking to walk into another wonderful European town or hike to a nearby castle, or sample the local offerings. That is, if your ship sailed. My fall Danube River cruise from stunning Budapest to historic Nuremberg benefited from early fall rain. Unfortunately, during the summer, some rivers were too shallow for the ships to complete voyages, reminding us that Mother Nature still controls the show.

Despite some early hurdles, 2022 was the year we started traveling again. The occasional obstacles did not stop us—we learned from them. Now we are prepared. Now it is time to plan for 2023.

King Tut - Egypt

So where are YOU going in 2023? If it is to Europe, consider joining me on a special cruise along Europe’s spectacular Dalmatian coastline. Is it to Egypt for the too long delayed opening of the amazing new museum, displaying the treasures of King Tut? (That is on my bucket list.) Is it time to bundle up and head to Iceland for the world’s most spectacular natural show, the Northern Lights? Or is it time to experience one of the perennial favorites—Italy or Ireland? Wherever you want to go, it is time to start planning. We will make those 2023 travel dreams real.

For more information about planning your travel adventures, contact DreamMaker Destinations: or call 330-689-1920.



Donna Zabel, owner of DreamMaker Destinations, has been helping travelers turn their travel dreams into travel reality for over 20 years. Having explored all seven continents and about 135 countries, she enjoys sharing her travel tales and encourages everyone to find their own story to tell.

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