Happy new year to all our family, friends, fans and followers out there! I hope you had a great time, wherever in the world you celebrated. I know many people like to take advantage of the various public holidays that crop up at this time of year to go partying in some far flung destination but I must confess, when it comes to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I prefer to head for the more homely charms of my native city of London. This year I was lucky enough to be invited to a party at a friend’s flat whose windows overlook the London Eye, which meant all gathered could admire the traditional fireworks without even getting our toes cold. Plus we had easy access to a toilet and fridge full of Babycham, and one of those convert-your-ordinary-table-into-a-table-tennis-table kits to keep us happy.

Anyway, now the hangover has faded, and my friend seems to have forgotten about that broken radiator which I can’t afford to replace, it’s time to think about 2012 and which great destinations we’re going to explore. If you normally do this by spinning the globe and pointing (damn, middle of Pacific Ocean… again!) then why not try a more practical approach and take some inspiration from our team of Urban Travel Bloggers… starting with Sasha Arms.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Bulgaria for the first time this year. I’ve heard the country is becoming a real contender in terms of food, wine, skiing and spas – and I intend to give each of them a go to see if the rumours are true. Sofia is also putting itself firmly in the running for being the Capital of Culture in 2019 and I can’t wait to see how the city is transforming itself in preparation.”

Richord Tulloch meanwhile plans to head stateside, for good reason: “For the first time in over a decade I’ll be visiting New York. I’m looking forward to doing some alternative UTB reporting and seeing some shows, most notably a play I wrote myself. The Book of Everything, New Victory Theatre, 42nd St, New York, opening April 19th. Catch it if you can!” Naturally we wouldn’t let him leave Australia without some more adventures, and keep your eyes peeled for a two wheel tour of Melbourne coming to UTB soon.

Photojournalist Anna Spysz is a girl on a mission. “My big travel plan for 2012 is stepping foot on the South American continent by my 30th birthday in October, as one of my life goals is to visit all of the continents except Antarctica by age 30, and that’s the last one left on the list. Luckily one of my good friends just bought a house in rural Ecuador, so it must be a sign!” She also tells me she is contemplating a 10 day trip in a cargo ship across the Atlantic… so good luck Anna!

Pola Henderson, despite being recently introduced to the charms of London’s Crystal Palace by the UTB Editor, is planning her next trip closer to her native Chicago. “For me the destination is Guadalajara, Mexico. If not for its historic buildings, then definitely for ‘tortas ahogadas’ – sandwiches drowned in spicy sauce, a local specialty.” You can follow Pola on Twitter or her own blog, Jetting Around.

As for me, top of the hitlist for 2012 has to be Kiev. Not only is the Ukrainian Capital set to play a major role in the Euro 2012 Football tournament, but with its parks and river beaches is a great place to crack open a can of kvas and enjoy the summer sunshine. From there it’s not too far to get to the Kazantip dance music festival in Crimea.

Got a better idea? Please share it with us! Meanwhile wherever you’re travelling in 2012 you might want to check out City Guides before you go. We’ve got a collection of 25 or so of these insider guides, with the latest being to Havana, Cuba (another great option for 2012 if you want to see it before it changes completely!).

So it sounds like the UTB team will be having plenty of fun this year… and you’ll be able to read about (most of) it right here! Hope you’ll stay tuned in 2012.

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