Posted by barbara on January 02, 2010
2009 is over. 2010 has begun. It's time for me to start dreaming about those places in the world I have yet to see but want to visit. We will probably take one big trip this summer, and we've narrowed down our choices to: India, Israel, or South Africa. All three have great appeal. India has a mysterious call all its own, Israel offers the Holy Lands, South Africa beckons from a continent on which we've I've never set foot.
In truth, it will come down partially to cost as we plan which adventure to choose. (Despite what some people say, the recession isn't over. At least not for us.) In fact, we might end up doing that whole "staycation" thing by the time its summer, but I'm not thinking along those lines yet. It's a new year! I'm an optimist! I want to anticipate something new, exciting, and fun!
Any thoughts on a) which of MY three YOU'D choose or b) super cool plans of your own? Where will your dreams lead you this year as you explore your world, live your life of travel?
Reply by phileasfogg on January 02, 2010
I'd love to go to South Africa - Africa is a continent I've never been to, either, and friends who've visited SA say it's gorgeous. Israel is wonderful (especially places like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area), though I suppose plenty has changed since I visited in 1998. India? Well, I guess I'd be biased!
For me, there are too many unknown factors at this stage to make travel plans. It'll probably be within India, though - perhaps a trip through the hill areas of Bengal - Darjeeling etc. Or the north-eastern states. Or another trip to stunning Ladakh. Or Kerala, finally.
So little time, so much to see!
Reply by MilwVon on January 03, 2010
With our 2010 already pretty much planned out, I'm really back to my "bucket list" of travel dreams.
For 2010, our big adventure will be 17 days in Alaska by RV. We should be able to see and do much of what Alaska is known for, especially in the summer.
The bucket list of places to go and experience first hand include Kenya, Ireland and Italy/Greece. I'm making some headway for a personal trip (without hubby) for Kenya in Aug/Sept 2011, but still would like to have something adventurous to do with him. Maybe that will have to wait for 2012.
I must say that at the age of 52, I feel a bit of a biological clock ticking (picture Marisa Tomei but not ticking for a baby). My parents both died pretty young (45 and 57) so I feel that while I have good health and a decent job with stable income, I should do all that I/we can afford while I'm still able to from a physical and health perspective.
Heck I could be like my MIL and still traveling into my 70's but I don't know that I want to assume anything in today's world.
Reply by koshkha on January 03, 2010
Barbara, I've been to all three of the places on your list. Do you have any constraints on when you can go because some are really 'off limits' at certain times of year unless you like travelling in sauna-like conditions? Also, I'm not sure where you're travelling FROM - that would have an impact on the cost issues.
For us this year, the big trip will be somewhere in India again. My sister and her partner want us to 'introduce' them so that's going to be an interesting challenge. Other than that, I've got my eye on Libya or maybe Lebanon/Syria (they've been on the list for a long time but have a habit of starting wars whenever we think of going). Failing that, our friend in Colorado threatens to maybe, just maybe, get married.
Reply by barbara on January 05, 2010
Alaska. India. Lebanon. COLORADO? (Actually, I love Colorado. It's always a great place to go. Plus, everyone enjoys a wedding!) :) Everyone's plans sound awesome. (And I agree. While we have to be prudent about how we approach anything that costs money, life is about living. Grab each minute. See as much as you can see.)
As for me, my travel this year is restricted to the summer. I'll be flying from the east coast, US. Now I know the summers in the American South might be called mild when compared to Africa, but I've been known to go running in triple digit temps in a sweatshirt. So, nope. The heat doesn't normally bother me. But does this information impact which destination should be my choice?
Reply by koshkha on January 05, 2010
Israel in mid summer would be pretty intense - but if you like the heat, no problems. For India in mid summer you'd get great deals on hotels because nobody would choose to go that time of year - although you could try Sikkim or Ladakh and have a great time up in the mountains.
South Africa would just be cold. And possibly wet too.
If it were my money and my holiday I'd go to the Himalaya - but then I'd always go to India. (Note to self - hurry up and write that Darjeeling Trip up)
I love being the "nobody" who would go somewhere in a season, so thanks very much for the direction. With the recession still in full swing, the phrase "great deals" gets bolded in the "Pros" column for any travel destination in 2010. In some ways, that's the biggest factor.
We went to Ladakh in June/July and travelled in and out through Delhi. Delhi's a stupidly expensive city for hotels (due to the weird local system that bases taxes on the rack rate and not the rate paid). We got the best hotel in the city (IMHO) for Â£120 a night and another great one for about Â£70.
But if you want budget hotels, drop me a message and I can certainly help you out with suggestions.
Cheapest way to the Mountains from Delhi would be train to Kalka then toy train to Shimla and then bounce around from there. If you have more money, a flight to Ladakh is quite pricey but once you get there it's spectacular or cheaper to get a flight to Bagdogra then a taxi to Darjeeling and from there you can head up to Sikkim.
On our last trip to India (Hyderabad - Hampi - Bangalore - Mysore) we paid between Â£8 and Â£25 per night for accom, spent two nights on trains and spent less than Â£10 a day on food most days (for the two of us). So if you want a bargain, India's a great choice - but outside the mountains it will be like a sauna.
However, there are members on Igougo who live in India and can certainly tell you if I'm exagerating.
Reply by phileasfogg on January 06, 2010
"So if you want a bargain, India's a great choice - but outside the mountains it will be like a sauna."
Unless you go between about December to February; most of India is fairly pleasant then... though the mountains can be freezing! (And places like Ladakh or Lahaul and Spiti can be sometimes inaccessible).
Reply by barbara on January 06, 2010
You guys are awesome. Thanks for the tips. So, phileasfogg, I guess you think "sauna" is the appropriate adjective for India in the summer? I've lived in Texas where they have to use concrete so the asphalt roads don't melt, and my home state is a very humid place, what with a swamp and all. How hot are we talking? At the moment, after going for a run in a biting wind, a little sun sounds inviting. :)
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