If I had unlimited financial resources and time I would probably spend most of them travelling the world. Until this happens I am bound to spend more time doing my second favourite activity connected with travelling – travel planning. And since my husband has already agreed to a week away from work in November (following some carefully employed persuasion from my side), my planning is in high gear right now.
Next to the basic conditions (one week in November with limited resources) I have determined some additional guidelines to streamline the process:
- Someplace warmer and sunnier than here. That’s the whole purpose of travel in November: to escape the most dreadful month if only just for a couple of days and to enjoy some much-needed sunshine and warmth instead. Yet again, it should not be too hot or too humid. Around 25 degrees would be just perfect.
- Flight time & time difference should not exceed 5 hours. Don’t misunderstand me, I love to travel somewhere far away and I don’t mind the jet lag but not with so little time on our hands. Driving is fine too, but again, I don’t want to spend more than half a day sitting in the car, unless it’s a road trip and driving is the main purpose of it. But given the condition under point 1 that’s highly unlikely this time.
- Good food is essential. Drinks work too. I’ve never chosen a travel destination where tasting different kinds of food would not be an important part of the whole experience. If the food is nothing to write home about it can be compensated by great drinks. That’s why Belgium with its numerous beers would be shortlisted if it wasn’t for the weather which in November may be even worse there than back home. Some other time then.
- Reasonable sanitary standards. If the place is famous for excellent food or drinks (see previous point) I want to be able to taste everything without fearing of catching some form of traveler diarrhea or another travel-related illness. Because the last thing I want to do on a seven-day-trip is waste the precious time on toilet (any more than absolutely necessary to answer the regular calls of nature, that is).
- A place that can be discovered in four days. I have enough stress in my day-to-day life. So I don’t want to cram two weeks’ worth of sightseeing into seven days of holiday, travelling there and back included. Apropos sightseeing – I believe that following the crowds ticking off all the must see and do things is an activity that should be left to tour groups. Instead I prefer to have a cup of coffee people-watching at some street side café or to browse around a local market. Unplanned activities are the essence of each great trip.
- Opportunities for stand up paddling are an added value. Yes, I’ve discovered a new activity which I’m totally enthusiastic about. And no, I can’t get my husband on board (quite literally). So if manage to find a place that meets all the criteria above AND offers some great spots for stand up paddling that’s where we’re going. If not, that’s fine too, I’m perfectly willing to make some compromises…
So we’ll see where this process takes me this time. I don’t doubt for a moment it will be a lengthy and thorough one but that’s the whole joy of it, right? I will report on the progress and the end result in due time.