Friday, May 22, 2009

Travel

Right now we are planning to take advantage of the lagging economy and take a few months off to travel. It may be 2 months, it may be 3 - depending of course on the flexibility of Stefan's job, but it will definitely be exciting.

We're thoroughly looking forward to the prospect of all of this, however it's also slightly daunting because it seems as though we won't have much planning time if we end up going this Fall. That is part of the reason that I am trying to spend time researching and learning about unique and beautiful places that I wouldn't want to miss along the way.

Since Stefan has Star Alliance Senator status from Lufthansa, we are going with their Air Pass or Around the World Fare, unless we travel around Europe or the US.

We've both written out a list of dream places and now we simply need to figure out the best plan of action.

Here is some of our thinking:

North America 50 States / Canada -

  • If we travel to the US we can visit a lot of friends and family as well as hopefully make it to a wedding in Chicago. 
  • We always wanted to drive across the US or visit all 50 states and possibly some parts of Canada.
  • It would be very affordable given the exchange rate. 
  • I can show Stefan some of my favorite places that he's never been to. 
Places we'd like to visit:
Anchorage, Alaska
Bryce Canyon, Utah
White Sands, New Mexico
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
San Antonio, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Savannah, Georgia
Ben + Jerry's Factory, Vermont

Europe + The Mediterranean -
  • There are a few countries in Western Europe that we still haven't been to, as well as most of Eastern Europe. 
  • We live here, so we should make the most of it and really see everything we can. 
  • We have our car, inexpensive flights, and the trains.
  • Time permitting we'd also go to Morocco and Israel. 
Places we'd like to visit:
Turkey - Istanbul + Pamukkale
Croatia - especially Plitvicka Jezera + Dubrovnik
Malta
Sardinia
Italy - Matera + Burano
N. Ireland - Giant's Causeway
Greece - Athens + Santorini and the islands
The Baltic States
Morocco - Chefchaouen, Essaouira, + Marrakesh

Asia+ Oceania -
  • Stefan has traveled to a few countries, however I've only visited The Maldives. 
  • Completely different culture.
  • The Euro is strong compared to the various currencies.
  • The only con is that I would like more time to prepare for a trip to Asia since I am less familiar with it. 
Places we'd like to visit:
Taj Mahal
Nepal / Bhutan
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Seoul + the DeMilitarized Zone
Hong Kong
Tokyo
Thailand
Cambodia - Siem Reap
Singapore
Shanghai
Australia
New Zealand
Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, + Polynesia

Obviously a trip around the world would include a variety of these places and we are always open for suggestions of your favorite places. 

I put a poll on the right and I'm interested to hear your opinions, which you can enter under 'other'.

8 comments:

JoernandAllison said...

I honestly can't vote- all the options are incredible, and will provide you two with a lifetime of special memories! The going around the world idea, of course, would be the most varied. Driving around the US is something wonderful to do before you have kids. Asia, of course, would provide a huge cultural difference. And traveling around Europe would give you a lot more experiences closeby.
I'm sorry I'm no help. Just want you to know that I can't wait to hear about your decision and watch your plans unfold!

Life Abroad said...

Wow, I got so excited reading your travel post. It's always so much fun planning your next adventure, isn't it?! I definitely vote for going somewhere you've never been before. You have the whole summer to plan a trip, so I would go for Asia and the South Pacific!

Good luck with your planning!

Emily said...

allison...
That's part of my struggle too! I guess we'll just have to see how much time we get and go from there.

Life Abroad...
It is super exciting to consider the possibilities - the best part is making them happen. I absolutely love planning trips, because it gives me something to work towards.

Asia is definitely a strong contender. It kind of depends how soon we find out how much time we'll have and then working around all of the visas we'd need.

Cait said...

Hey, so it's no just me planning a round the world trip! In some ways I'm lucky as I'm hoping to go for 6 months to a year. But my list of places not to miss is getting bigger. Well I reckon it's a once in a lifetime thing for me.
Do keep me up to date, so I can get ideas from you!
Cheers
CAit

Emily Marie said...

How exciting! Savannah is definitely one of my favorite cities. I hope to bring husband down there the next time we make it to the US (I'm from Atlanta).

Emily said...

Cait...
That will help immensely. I already have a few sites I have to send you with helpful info. 6 months to a year sound like a dream - you're going to be filling up that new blog in no time.

Emily Marie...
I've been to Atlanta and Charleston, but everyone tells me how wonderful Savannah is. I'm sure your husband will enjoy it as well. It's always fun to share such beautiful places... too bad our cities in Ohio aren't quite so unique.

Reannon said...

I woulnd't go to Singapore...It was a giant city on a small tropical island and there were no beaches. The only touristy things to do involved a trip to the zoo, an aquarium and an old hotel where the cocktails cost 18 dollars US. Not worth going to if you only have three months.

Also, you should def go to India but only if you have a lot of time to spend there...There's just so much to see.

Although you could go to India via Delhi, see the Taj Mahal (which is near by) and then go to Nepal. Nepal is a small country and totally beautiful. The people are a lot friendlier and less likely to try to rip you off. Kathmandu is interesting. And Pokhara (a city in the mountains on this giant lake) is really pretty. You can go trekking in the mountains...and even trek all the way to the base of Mt. Everest.

Moreover, it's really cheap. Nepal is one of my favorite countries...but it's really poor and dirty as well. Not sure if that's your thing.

Stay at least a week in Tokyo...it'll take that long just to learn how to get around on the massively confusing subway system.

You could take a ferry to Shanghai from there (only 200 bucks US) and then take a train to Hong Kong (65 dollars). Hong Kong is super easy to get around and there's a lot to do...you can easily spend five days there. It's not too expensive.

I'm so jealous you're doing a round the world trip...I've always wanted to do that. But I'd want to go to less places and spend more time in each place...and take a whole year if I could. But that's just me. I find it stressful to rush around...

Emily said...

Reannon...
Thanks so much for such a detailed response! I will definitely take your tips to heart.

I would love to go to India! My husband isn't as keen, but it seems like a perfect place to stop between here and everywhere East. I know he'd like to go to Nepal and I'd like to go to Bhutan. That's the trouble - I think once we do start traveling we'll be discovering so much along the way and need to shift plans.

Great tips for Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong - I'm already getting more excited.

The around the world thing would be wonderful, but I totally agree that it would be better to do it for a year (or more!) Unfortunately I don't think Stefan's job would be so accommodating. See - I'm envious you can pick up and go whenever! I guess it's finding a happy middle ground, which thus far I truly can't complain.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your next adventure!