2022 in the rearview 🎊

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! I hope you’ve enjoyed your holidays so far as we head into the last few days of 2022. Are you looking back and taking stock of the year? Here at Hidden Gem Travel, I’ve been doing just that. It was an incredible year in terms of being busy planning incredible trips for clients. Also, it was a valuable year for my own travels which enhance the experiences of my clients.

Read on for the scoop (and see some of my favorite photos) about my travel year in review which I hope will inspire you for 2023 and beyond!

Northern Italy

After a very busy winter, I was more than ready for my first trip abroad for the year! Northern Italy was absolutely incredible – the weather was ideal (cool temps with sunny days) and the places I visited are on almost everyone’s Italian bucket list.

Milan, Lake Como, Tuscany, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Venice, Venetian Islands – the deep dive into these iconic places was amazing. I toured by land and river which was a unique combination with many special experiences.

Italy is at the top of the ‘most requested’ list for 2023, so if you’re thinking you’d like to go, book your vacation consultation with me now!

💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here.


Not only did I visit a good handful of the Greek Islands and Athens, but my clients did too. In early June, I toured Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Delos, Crete, Corfu, and Olympia.

While there, I met with my partners in Greece who make magic happen for my clients, and this meeting was very fruitful in deepening our excellent working relationship so that my clients are well taken care of when there.

In 2023, I will be returning to Greece to update my knowledge on more islands and mainland gems.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: Where do you want to travel next year? The time to plan is now for 2023, and some clients are booking for 2024. The travel rebound is still strong, and the best availability and rates are grabbed well in advance.

Croatia & Montenegro

After Greece, I sailed up the Adriatic coast and loved exploring Montenegro, and in Croatia, Dubrovnik, Split, Krka National Park, and Rovinj.

I cruised on Silversea’s luxury ship, the Silver Spirit, which made it partially a vacation due to the delicious food and impeccable service. Luxury ocean cruising is an ideal way to see many destinations in one trip in style and ease. I appreciate unpacking once 🙂


Every time I visit Florence, I fall in love with it even more. It was hot and crowded this summer but still well worth visiting. I ADORED my boutique hotel and room with views of the Duomo from a private rooftop terrace. I recommend Florence and further south in Italy for next September, preferably later in the month, for fewer crowds and lower temperatures.

Have you seen the HBO show ‘White Lotus’ season 2? It takes place in Sicily making this gorgeous Italian island hot for 2023. The plot is dark but the Sicilian backdrop couldn’t be more stunning.

The photo above was taken after climbing the Duomo. It was quite a workout and not for anyone who is claustrophobic. Well worth the views for me.

Las Vegas & Los Angeles

In the fall, I attended two important travel conferences while doing a bit of touring in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The main value of these trips was connecting in person with my preferred travel partners from all over the globe and learning about new partners and experiences that deliver for my clients.

Tanzania (& Qatar)

Tanzania was life-changing, truly. Seeing the great migration, going on safari, vising a local school bearing supplies and snacks for the children, and meeting the incredible people who make it all happen was unforgettable.

If a safari is on your travel bucket list, let’s talk about the range of options and what the experience is truly like (not relying on glossy websites and images).

Flying Qatar Airways and connecting both ways through Doha right before the World Cup was quite an experience!

Austria & Germany

I ended 2022 in two of my favorite European countries – Austria and Germany. The theme of the trip (and the Danube River cruise) was Christmas Markets, and the trip led almost right up to Christmas. It was magical and full of holiday spirit. I highly recommend this experience and if you’re interested; schedule a call now to get the best availability and rates for December 2023.

I fell in love with Vienna, Austria for many reasons and am excited to return next March! If you love European culture and history, Vienna needs to be on your list of places to experience.

2022 Bottom line – I feel extraordinarily lucky to have a successful travel business and thank you for being a client and/or part of the Hidden Gem Travel community. I’m excited about what 2023 holds and using my expertise and connections to make YOUR travel dreams a reality.

Make your own Wanderlist for 2023! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you.

Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023 and schedule a chat here.

Follow my Facebook and Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration.

Wishing you and your family continued good health,


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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