Deciding where you want to go is a personal decision. What sounds like a trip of a lifetime to some may sound like pure misery to others. Everyone has their own style, interests, budget and physical capabilities. That’s why what works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone, and I think that’s where a lot of people make the first mistake in travel planning – presuming that what looks like a wonderful dream on someone’s social media or in a brochure is exactly what they want to do.
Dave and I are inspired to explore new places in all sorts of ways, and inspiration can come when you least expect it. Case in point: Dave read a book several years ago called “From France to France.” He was so captivated by the first-person account of Rich Wilson, an American sailor who completed the Vendee’ Globe one-man around the world sailing race that he contacted Rich, ended up meeting him for dinner while coincidentally being in Rich’s hometown for a business trip, and after dinner that night called me at home and said “I want us to go to this race in 2016.” About 18 months later, we enjoyed a marvelous journey to parts of France neither of us had ever visited, mixed in some old favorites, were moved to tears on the beaches of Normandy, enjoyed some incredible meals in places we never knew existed, and saw the most amazing start to a sporting event either of us have ever seen before or since (and that is saying something, if you know either one of us.)
Other times we’ve read magazine articles, seen movies that captured our imagination or sparked our curiosity, heard about a location from colleagues or friends, or learned about a location while binge-watching Netflix (Somebody Feed Phil and Chef’s Table on Netflix, and almost anywhere Andrew Zimmern visits in his Travel Channel series “Bizarre Foods” are particular favorites of ours.) The possibilities are endless, so keep an open mind!
A different approach would be to decide what kind of trip you want to take, and decide on a location based on that. Are you hoping to bliss out on a beach, with your every need attended to? Choose your destination, pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, and go! If you like a little more structure, but still aren’t convinced you have it in you to plan things yourself, just start looking at resort, cruise ship or tour operator websites. There is no shortage of companies who have plenty of pre-arranged itineraries and all you need to do is pick the one you want and give them your credit card number.
Do you have a more adventurous spirit? Have you always wanted to learn more about a historical event, or attend a music festival somewhere? Is there a particular art or craft exhibit, or favorite play or musical act that’s touring? Maybe rather than waiting til it comes to your city, take a look at the event website and see where else you could experience it, and plan a fun trip around that. (We can explore the pros and cons of tours vs itineraries vs “winging it” in another post.)
Near or far, there are amazing places, people and experiences just waiting to be explored by you!