Saturday, January 21, 2012

Selecting a Travel Destination

I'd still like to offer some words of advice for selecting a travel destination.  Por lo menos, I'll tell you how I select my next trips.  Some of you travel way more than I do and don't need this.  For anyone who's interested, happy reading!

There are different kinds of trips.  A vacation can be an excursion to the theater followed by gourmet food and sightseeing, a glimpse into a less modern culture, a community service trip, an encounter with living in a country that has a national religion, a relaxing day at the beach, or many other things.  Deciding where to go isn't about which of these trips is better or worse; it's about what you're in the mood for.

Think of selecting your vacation destination like ordering dinner.
Do you want comfort food like macaroni and cheese?
Then maybe you should chose a domestic trip, or something relaxing, like a day at the beach.

Do you want lean proteins with minimal carbohydrates?
Add a biking tour to your trip, go hiking, or go scuba diving.  Do something active.

Are you looking for a  finely cooked steak or fish marinated in something delicious?
Try London or another polished, elegant city.

Are you the one that orders escargot, calamari, and anything else that makes people squeamish?
If so, maybe you would enjoy a trip to a culture very different from the one in which you grew up.

Do you clean your entire plate just because someone on the other side of the world is starving?
Maybe volunteering abroad is your thing.

Why order dinner when you can shop 'till you drop?
Go somewhere with a good exchange rate.

I choose the tasting platter.  
   A little bit of this, and a little bit of that...

An important point to consider is that you won't always want to go on the same type of trip.  The draw of going on vacation is seeing a different place.  Going on nearly the exact same vacation you were on two years ago may not help you grow.  I've enjoyed all these types of trips, and like I said, I prefer to sample from each plate.  It just depends if you're in the mood to chill at the beach, build a house, see famous art, mix cement, climb the Arc de Triomphe, try exotic food, canoe through caves, see super-fabulous architecture, climb an active volcano, or do some serious shoe shopping.

Two quick bits of advice:

1.  Don't be afraid to try something really, really different and shock yourself.

2.  All places are not the same, and you can't just substitute one for another.  For example, if you absolutely have your heart set on going to London, then you should go to London even if elsewhere is cheaper.

Checking out different lifestyles and traditions is often exhilarating, thought-provoking, and fun.  The more you experience, the more you'll know.  Besides, let's be real - Who doesn't want to go eat gelato in Italy?

*Both photos in this post are from*

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