Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On finding time and places to go.

Unlike many of the travel bloggers I have now started to read, I have to fit my trips into the vacation time given to me by my employer.  I have coworkers who roll over unused time year to year and complain they can never take off or use it all.  Not me!  Can't even imagine that.  I use every last day and wish for more.  I am fortunate though that I have a good job with a decent amount of vacation time (for an American) and it pays me well so I can afford to do all these things I do.  But it’s still a challenge sometimes fitting everything in.  I'm not really complaining though, it’s an awfully good problem to have.  And figuring it all out is half the fun.

2013’s trip planning is working out really well so far.  My big winter trip to Burma is going to span not only a couple of company holidays (always something I try to leverage) but will also take place in both 2013 and 2014 since I leave on Christmas Day and will be gone through the first week of the New Year.  The past couple of years I’ve needed to save quite a few vacation days for what’s become my annual two week winter trip to Asia. But now, only needing a few days from 2013’s allotment for this big trip I am suddenly flush with time off this year!

So far I’ve taken 3 days off for a short ski trip to Utah with some friends and will take off this Friday for a long weekend in Miami.  I’m taking a spontaneous writing, cooking, sightseeing trip to Umbria for a week in May and then later this summer my daughter and I will be headed to Croatia for a week.  But amazingly, even with all these plans I still have a few days off to spare!

And never letting the time off go to waste, I am trying to come up with a trip tagging on the last few unaccounted for vacation days to the 4th of July holiday, which could amount to yet another week traveling somewhere!  Another incentive to go somewhere then is that my daughter will be spending a good part of the summer away at camp, so I really want to make the most of the time and flexibility I will have with her gone.

But where to go?!

There are a number of places high on my bucket list, but July isn’t the right time for many of them.  I’m also leaning toward a simple but exotic spot where I don’t feel compelled to sightsee every minute.  I'll be doing plenty of that on my other trips.  I’m imagining an unfamiliar place where I can relax, maybe read or write, eat some good food, but also achieve that feeling I get somewhere different and far from home.

I have quite a few frequent flyer miles on the airline I usually fly for business travel and in trying to find some direction and focus for this trip, I thought maybe I should just use those miles and go wherever they could take me.  Being able to get there for free is as good a reason as any to go somewhere!  So I logged onto the airline’s website and typed in PHL as my home airport and just started picking random destinations they service.  And while I have a fairly large number of miles, I suppose with either a summer or holiday premium, I was short by 10,000 or 20,000 miles for a few destinations and others were just completely sold out.  It’s kind of crazy that I can't redeem all those miles for a trip basically anywhere in the world, but I guess that's the way it is.  So looks like if I want to go somewhere I am paying for it with cold hard cash.

So now I am back to where I started.  Where to go, where to go?

Thought maybe an exotic spa somewhere?  I loved the look of Amangiri in the Utah desert.  And a stay at an Aman Resorts hotel is on my bucket list, so a trip there would kill two birds with one stone.  I liked that idea a lot.  Until I saw the price tag.  I am not a cheap traveler by any means but their rates are just shocking. SHOCKING. Sadly, I think that's out.

Maybe Iceland?  Could get there pretty easily and it definitely looks gorgeous.  But maybe I'd get more caught up than I really intend to in seeing everything and traversing all over the country?  Also, the food.  I am generally looking for a fabulous food destination and I'm not sure Iceland has such a great reputation.

Mexico?  Has possibilities I suppose.  But where?  I would need to be off the beaten path.  The touristy crowds and all-inclusive resorts in Mexico are just not my style at all.  But tacos and margaritas definitely fit the bill foodwise.

It’s harder than you’d think, just trying to pick any destination on the planet and go.  But a really good problem to have.  So? Where should I go?

No comments:

Post a Comment