Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Travel plans

Obviously the last 12 months have featured just a ridiculous amount of travel...for both Cathy and I, but more so for me. Barring unforeseen weirdness, that pace isn't going to continue for much longer. When I was in Sri Lanka a few of my friends asked what was next in my travels. Keep in mind that most of these people have travelled a lot more than I have and even they were a little shocked by how much going I've been doing. Having said that, there are plans and schemes afoot.

The next two trips are pretty much locked in. The first will be a week in Florida, which we've done each year for the last four years. In the past Florida has been as much about the shopping as the relaxing, but I think this year it's just going to be about the sloth. Which is fine.

The summer trip is in a couple of stages. Stage 1 is the annual sealift resupply (perhaps a jaunt down to the States to hit some of the Outlet stores. We've never done that before). Stage 2 is going to Kingston for Dups/Jenna II. If I can make it to Sri Lanka for the wedding, I can surely manage to get to Kingston. Stage III is heading to California for a few weeks. We'll mostly be in the San Francisco area, with a few jaunts down the Pacific Coast highway, Napa and probably to Yosemite so Cathy can see giant trees. I was hoping to get to San Diego for the comic con, but tickets sold out in something like 30 seconds. I never stood a chance.

After that, things get vague. There probably won't be another trip for me then for a year. The last few years I've managed to get out in October, but I don't think so this year. Nor do I think we'll be going anywhere for Christmas this year. Part of it is just trying to save some money. We have to top up the reserves for the next big round of travelling.

However, tentative plans would look something like this:
2014 - Central Europe: Germany, Austria (I really want to see the Alps), Czech Republic with perhaps a jaunt up to Scotland and tour the west coast with some friends.
2015 - Machu Picchu, Peru along with the Galapagos.
2016 - Spain, Portugal, Morocco and the Canary Islands

All subject to change, of course. The Scandinavian cruise didn't come up on the radar until fairly late into our summer planning. As for other trips, well, Cathy and I still have a couple on our bucket lists. We've been lucky to be able to cross off Italy and Australia, however I would say Egypt is still high up there for Cathy and Thailand is still up there for me.

There are problems with both of those, although perhaps not as impossible as I first thought. The security situation in Egypt is worrying. However, one of the people I was bopping around Sri Lanka with has made multiple trips to the country in the last month. And considering she's a young woman and was travelling by herself, well, maybe it's not ridiculously bad, if you just avoid certain parts of the country and avoid being stupid and careless.

The problem with Thailand is mostly the food. Cathy's allergic to seafood and peanuts. Which is a problem as most of the food there is doused with one, if not both. However, I've done some digging into the subject and people with severe allergies can travel there with some basic precautions such as sticking mostly to western food and having strongly worded cards printed in the local language explaining her allergies to hand to waiters at restaurants.

If that's not enough, there's still more. We'd both like to see some of the Greek islands. We'd love to get to New Zealand at some point. Cathy would like to see Sri Lanka. I'd like to see Ireland and Iceland. And there's Australia, Italy and Costa Rica...countries we've visited, but loved and would love to spend more time exploring. Oh, and a Panama Canal cruise, while we're dreaming.

And if I'm still dreaming, it'd be nice to share some of these adventures with friends. One of the very nice things about Sri Lanka was doing the trip with friends. There are pros and cons to this kind of travel, but it's the first time I've done it in ages and I really enjoyed it. I'd travel with any of my Sri Lanka companions again in a second.

On Facebook I have the TripAdvisor app which says I've visited 18 countries and been to something like 120 cities in the world. It's more than I could have dreamed of doing when I was 18 years old and about the only place I'd ever been in my life was Ontario and Florida. But when I look at the map, all I see are vast white spaces...places I haven't been to yet and want to see. Plus, I feel like I'm still learning how to travel. One of the reasons why we're going back to California this summer, aside from seeing some friends, is that we felt like we didn't do it right last time. We'd like another shot of doing it right.

How do you "do" a country right? No idea. Part of the fun, I guess. Figuring these things out. I'm looking forward to continuing my travel education for many more years...

Last Five
1. The path of thorns - Sarah McLachlan*
2. Runnin' with the devil - Van Halen
3. I'm yours - Joel Plaskett Emergency
4. The infinite pet - Spoon
5. What I'm looking for - Brendan Benson

1 comment:

John, Perth AU said...

Yosemite has lots of great things to see, but no giant trees. You're thinking of Sequoia National Park a few hundred miles south. Both are in the Sierra Nevada mountain area far from the coast.

There are also the redwoods, taller than sequoias, thinner but plenty big. They're coastal, as they require fog to keep them alive. You find them north of San Francisco, close to the Oregon border.

I did the full California coast drive back in 1984. Wonderful, but I'll bet it's more crowded these days.

Believe it or not, Death Valley is lots of fun. You should consider that as well.