Monday, December 28, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

There is a saying that says planning for next year's vacation should begin as soon as you get home from this year's. There is another saying that says be thankful for the one just ended because there may not be another for quite some time. For the moment let us allow at the end of this year, in the holiday season that only good things will come in the New Year and that there will be time and resources for at least one good vacation.
I have my favorite corners of the world, including New Zealand, Hong Kong and much of western Europe but there are new frontiers to cross as well. I've lamented for years never having gone to Turkey, Italy, Russia, South Africa, even Portugal. The Iguassu Falls of Brazil and Argentina are very high on the list of things to see as well as the remote corner of the Philippines known as Taclaban City, the site of MacArthur's return to the nation during the Second World War. I don't need to climb the thing but I wouldn't mind waking up and seeing Mt. Everest outside my window, either.

More than merely the destination, however, I'm debating the style of vacation as well. One recent conversation told of a traveler just returned from six weeks in Africa which was preceded by several weeks of immunization against three types of Hepatitis, Malaria, Yellow and Sleeping Fever! After all of that, however, he's ready to go back next year to witness the wildebeest migration across the plains between Tanzania and Kenya, something I've dreamed of doing since "Born Free" was in wide release.

I'm not inclined at this stage in my life to consider an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean along the lines of Club Med. They seem a bit too one-dimensional, honestly, and not necessarily a true reflection of the host countries they are located in. At the same time, however, I've been seriously studying the multiple options available on cruise lines around the world.

No, I am not contradicting myself in saying I'm interested in a cruise. I still am looking for an open-sea voyage, preferably along the lines of a transatlantic sailing and I've found one that very nearly fits the bill: a 12-day sailing in early November, next year, from Barcelona to Galveston by way of the Azores and the Bahamas. It nearly retraces the steps of Columbus, sails thru Gibraltar and then practically drops me at my door step in Dallas when it's all over! There's still another that has truly caught my eye as well, a 12-day sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore through the South China Sea, the coast of Vietnam and Thailand. Oh man!

So many things to do in so many styles but only so much time (off) and money to go around. Next year I will have nearly six weeks of vacation next year after the carry-over of unused leave from this year so time is not an issue. As with all things, cost will be the deciding factor on what choice I make.

What to do? I'll let you know! Heck, I haven't bought a television in 20 years, either and those new LEDs are looking gooood!

Gotta go!

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