May 29, 2018
How Far Do You Have To Travel For a Great Experience?
At this moment the question seems a little ironic. Betty and I flew 6,000 miles to return home two night ago from a 13 days Viking Rhine River cruise that took us from Amsterdam to Switzerland with extra days in a few cities. So, my answer would seem to be: quite a long way. Since we literally have been home less than 48 hours, pictures and our feelings about the experience are still a week or so in the future.
But, for purposes of this post let's consider the bigger question. Are the benefits of travel a function of distance, or time, or attitude, or opportunity? Are they determined by cost or experiences?
One of the suggestions for future posts was about staycations, or pretty much the opposite of what I just finished. A post from a few weeks ago talked about retiring in another country. If that idea attracts you at all, one of the first "rules" is to spend time there first, starting with a few chunks of vacation time.
A vacation can be as simple as a long weekend somewhere within an easy drive. Camping in a local park, either old school in a tent or an RV may be what you envision.
Maybe you have a fixed image: some place so different from your home that you are forced to adapt a bit. That could be a long train trip, a cruise, a road trip to see cousins hundreds or thousands of miles away, a ski holiday in the Rockies, or jetting away to Hawaii or The coast of Maine.
A staycation means spending time at home, but with at least a few differences to make it memorable. That might mean no shopping or cooking; every meal is at a restaurant. You may decide to go on an electronic fast: unplug the TV, put the phone on mute, and stay away from the computer.
Or, it could be just the opposite: all your favorite movies, back-to-back, with buckets of popcorn. Binge-watching until your eyes glaze over. Grab a stack of books and only stop reading to go out to a meal.
A staycation may be when you tackle that large project that has been on your to-do list forever. Knock down a few walls, put in new carpeting, order new kitchen appliances. Or, do nothing at all.
Personally, my most memorable vacations tend to be longer: 2 month RV trips, Hawaii, a week with the family at a beach rental in San Diego, and the just completed European visit. I enjoy quicker getaways to places in Arizona, like Prescott or Flagstaff, or a long weekend in Orange County. But, the most memorable seem to involve more effort and time.
How about you? Which vacations you have taken stick out most in your memories? Have you ever tried a staycation to explore where you live like a tourist? If you could save only set set of photos from a trip, which one would it be?