Elena is going to nail me to the wall unless I reveal the details of #2 in my previous post "Oh! Oh! I have more!"
JUST DO IT
And what I want to 'do' is take a 3-week vacation on my own sometime in 2008. I've been thinking about it for some time and I think I just need to DO IT. Writing my plans here sort of makes me accountable to those of you reading it. I figure, if I write it here, then I'm going to have to do it or come up with a bloody good explanation as to why I did not. So, you've been given your mission... don't let me flake!
My goal is to go away on an adventure tour of sorts to either China or India. I want to go alone not because I don't love traveling with my hubbie or my Mum and Dad, but because I know that I will mingle and make friends more readily if I am alone. Plus, I want to put myself completely outside of my comfort zone and having someone familiar with me would soften the experience.
Why now? What's the rush? Well, in the next year or two we'll probably start thinking about having kids. Before I make the biggest of all commitments, I want to get some stuff out of my system. Hubbie, of course, doubts that 'out of the system' will be the result at all and I somewhat agree that the more I travel the more I want to travel, but still.... the point is that the opportunity to drop everything for 3-4 weeks and take-off alone probably will not present itself easily once I have kids.
Here are the tours I'm thinking about:
Normally, you say "tour" to me and I scowl. The idea of being zipped from place-to-place and dished up complex histories and cultures in fast-food fashion with a group of 50 baby-boomers, all complaining about how the host country doesn't do things the same way as back home, is the antithesis of a pleasurable vacation to me.
However, GAP Adventures is a unique tour operator that runs small-group tours. Their goal is to provide "authentic adventures in the real world". So, they focus on immersing their travelers in the culture, the history, the sensory activities of the country of choice. No fancy hotels, only decent ones with a local flavor, local restaurants, visits to local villages as well as tourist attractions, and a local guide to give you the insider perspective. I get the sense from researching them, that the kind of people on these tours are going to be the kind of people who jump at the chance to parasail off a cliff or eat fried ants... or something. You get the picture; these will be people that will push me outside of my comfort zone rather than letting me puss-out. I WANT peer pressure to force me to do things I might not ordinarily do. Again, part of the reason why I'd like to go alone.
So, there... that is my plan. The big thing will be, eventually when I'm ready, talking to my boss and explaining that I'd like to take my annual vacation in one foul swoop (and then some). Honestly, I don't think it will be a problem but right now i want to get through this year's adventures - Belize, Stockholm and perhaps St. Lucia.
If only I had 333 years of life left, I might just be able to get through the 1000 Places to See Before You Die.