Saturday, April 1, 2017

Travel philosophies (and other quirky philosophies)

I'm working on an article about bucket lists, and most of the people I've interviewed for it have traveled. A LOT.

The other day, I was able to look through a lady's photo album of her journey to 19 cities in Spain.  That was fun.  What was intended as a 20-minute interview became an hour-long perusal of her photos and a discussion of all-things Basque region. I would have stayed longer, but I had to pick up middle schoolers from school.

I am the type of person who generally does not want to go back to a place I've been (unless it has been 20+ years and I no longer remember much of what I saw or I'm traveling there with someone I didn't travel with initially or there is a major site there that I failed to see the first time I visited.)

For example, I would totally go back to England and Ireland because I first went in 1993.  I have forgotten a great deal, and I would go with D instead of a group of college classmates.  This time, instead of following in the tracks of Thomas Hardy and James Joyce, I would follow in the tracks of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen.

And I would return to Charleston, SC because we didn't visit Fort Sumter when we went, and I would like to see that.

The world is vast, and I would find it a little stifling to go back year after year after year to the same places, especially beaches.  I love going to the beach, but I don't want to return to the same slice of beach every summer for 20 years.

I keep hoping that I will visit a place and feel a tremendous pull to return there.  It would certainly be easier for planning purposes, and it would make D happy (he would love to not have to figure out new places all the time).

My breakfast philosophy is a lot like my travel philosophy.  I do not want to eat the same thing for breakfast every day.  Sometimes it is an English muffin with peanut butter.  Some days I have warm Grape Nuts with blueberries and pecans.  Sometimes it is a waffle with peanut butter on top.  D eats the same breakfast every day for a decade.  It takes him 10 full years to get sick of the same breakfast.

On the occasions when I do return to a place I've been, I have to switch things up in some way. Stay in a different condo.  See different things I've haven't seen.

We did go to Gulf Shores twice--once in 2005 when N was 18 months, and once in 2009 when I was pregnant with M.  We stayed in different condos at different ends of the beach and visited different places (when it came to restaurants, though, we did do Lambert's and Lulu's both times).

In college, I did go to NYC 3 times over the course of a 9-month period.  Once in the fall with a guy I was dating to visit his sister in Soho.  Once in the spring for an economics conference with a professor and classmates.  The final time was on a graduation trip with my mom where we saw a couple Broadway shows.  Although I went back to the same general place, I stayed in different hotels, went with different people and didn't see the same things over again.

And we did take the family 3 times to Disney World---when N was 3, when G was 3, and when M was 5.  It will be a cold day in Hades before I go back (although in Dante's hell that wouldn't actually be too long).  On every visit, it was imperative that we not redo every single thing we did the first go round.  Except the People Mover.  My kids thought that was the best ride ever.  Weirdos.

My travel philosophy, "Thou shall not go to the same place repeatedly in most cases" has extended itself to concerts.  I used to see the same performers over and over and eventually determined that the first show was always, always the best.  The shows that followed always left me feeling let down.  So I stopped going.  I'm a "one and done" person when it comes to shows.

Even if I fell into a great vat of money, I cannot ever see myself owning a home in another location and returning there again and again.  Even if it were France.  That is too much responsibility and takes away the aura of "vacation."  Ownership is a lot of work and expense, and I am not interested in either.  When I go away, I want to get away.

One time D asked me if I would ever want to own a boat, and I have basically been laughing on the inside ever since he asked some years ago.  Owning a boat is like owning another vehicle, and I hate owning vehicles.  They break and depreciate and require housing and insurance.  If my city had a light rail system I would be ever so happy.

Another philosophy of mine is to not post pictures of myself while on vacation.  If I am traveling, you will not know about it until I am safely ensconced back on my couch.  (I dislike it when other people tag me in photos during an outside-of-my-home event.  I do not want the world to know what I'm doing as I'm doing it.  Tag me all you want after it is over.)

This is both a privacy and a safety issue.  It doesn't bother me if other people post pictures of themselves while traveling, but I don't do it myself.

Kinda like wearing khakis or doing duck-face sexy photos.  If other people engage in such things, I don't care.  But you will not see me engaging in such things.

This year we are going to a new-to-us beach, Hilton Head.  We loved Michigan last year, and we loved that it didn't take 12 hours to drive there, but the water was really freaking cold.  Our main priority when planning this year's trip was "under 10 hours" and "a beach we haven't seen."

My tentative plan for next year was to go out to Utah with the kids and see Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, but then G asked to visit Atlantis in the Bahamas.  He had seen a commercial or something.  I did look it up, and it is RIDONCULOUSLY expensive to stay there.  Like $15,000 for the 5 of us.

But his interest did inspire me to think of the possibility of doing a 3- or 4-day cruise and visiting Atlantis as a day excursion.  This will take some planning and saving, but I hope that we'll be able to do it in 2018.  It feels luxurious, the idea of doing a cruise, but I really want to encourage G's interest in finding new places.  

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