Thursday, May 31, 2012

Travel planning

So what with it being a month and all since I last blogged...and what with me now having to endure some mocking from the peanut gallery, I guess it's time to do an update.

Basically the last few weeks have been consumed with two things...I'll talk about one this evening and the other over the weekend. The first thing has been trip planning.

I quite like trip planning. It's something I rarely got the chance to do before moving to Nunavut. The resources just weren't there. Now, a combination of having the resources and essentially spending money on nothing other than trips once you get past the usual necessities (Yes, I consider buying my graphic novels a necessity. Because if I don't buy them, I go crazy. Which makes things unpleasant for all concerned) we're able to do more travelling. And through a nice confluence of events, we're able to do more travelling than usual over the next six months.

I like trip planning. Perhaps the simple thing would be to go to a travel agent and get them to do all the work. But I like scouring websites looking for the best deals. I like reading travel journalism and books and finding cool things to do. I'm the type of person who is planning several years in advance for what the next trips are going to be.

As I said, a bit of luck this year, as we're able to go to Copenhagen for a few days, then hopping on a cruise ship where we're going to putter around the Baltic sea for 11 days, going to places like Oslo and Saint Petersburg (we'll have been to the one in Florida and Russia in the same year, which is kind of cool, now that I think about it). After the cruise we're stopping in Scotland to visit an old friend. And to buy a nice bottle of Scotch. Because if I'm in Scotland, I'm buying a nice bottle of Scotch. I'm currently thinking of an 18 year old bottle of Macallan, but other suggestions are welcome.

That alone would be a pretty good trip for the year, but as I said, we're getting lucky. For example, Air Greenland is starting flights into Iqaluit twice a week for this summer. Which might not seem like a big deal. After all, Greenland isn't that far away from Iqaluit. Except there hasn't been a direct flight between here and Nuuk, the capital, in 10 years. So if you wanted to get from here to there, you either had to hire a charter (let's say it's not cheap) or fly there via Copenhagen. It could take you two days or more to get to a place that is, realistically, a two hour flight away.

So there's a direct flight. This may be a one time thing if sales aren't great. So rather than take a chance, on Labour Day weekend we're going to pop over to Nuuk. Not entirely sure what we're going to do - I suspect there may be a tour of the fiords - as I've been focusing most of the last month on getting the Europe trip planned. I've also been told by people who have been there that, you know, there are limits on how much there is to do, especially with that much time. But we're going to Greenland.

I also have bragging rights. None of my university friends have ever been there. I get to be the first. This makes me happy in deeply petty ways, but I'm all right with that.

With some luck I might get to New York in October for the New York Comic Con. But I've thought that in 2010 and 2011 and it's always managed to fall through, so I'm not jinxing myself over that one yet. And it looks like we'll back back in Newfoundland for Christmas. Which I'm happy about, don't get me wrong, but steps will have to be taken to prevent us from losing our sanity and being completely exhausted at the end of it. Because that's what usually happens.

As for the future...I think we're about 90 per cent sure we're going back to California next summer. I'd like to go to Thailand the year after, but Cathy has serious dietary concerns (their tendency to cook a lot of their food in peanut oil which would kind of kill Cathy a lot). I think a trip to the Galapagos/Machu Picchu is in the mix as well. We've never been to South America. That seems like a good way to go about doing things. And then there are other trips that rattle around in my brain...the Canary Islands, Morocco, Egypt, Belize...

I'm always a touch reluctant to write about these plans. A couple of years ago I got chastised for talking about how much we buy/spend and it makes it sound like that's all we're focussed on. And it's not. But one of the big benefits of living where we do is that it offers us the opportunity to be able to do something we both love...which is travelling. None of this would be possible if we still lived in Newfoundland. I recall when we went to the Dominican in 2004 that the choice was literally we could go there, or we could make an RRSP payment, but not both. So we decided to hell with it, we can eat cat food for a few weeks when we're 90, but we wanted that trip.

So I hope no one is offended with what seems like bragging, but is honestly just excitement that we get to go and do a bunch of cool stuff over the next six months, but even more after that. I'm going to Talinn, Estonia this summer. I wouldn't have found that on a map when I was 16. Now I get to visit there. That's pretty awesome, any way you look at it...

Last Five
1. Mockingbird - Ryan Adams
2. Give me one reason - Tracy Chapman
3. Should I stay or should I go (live) - The Clash*
4. A little rain (live) - Tom Waits
5. Last of the American girls - Green Day