A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 22nd 2014
Last year was a particularly rich year for travel for me. Early in the year, we travelled to northern Norway, where we were fortunate enough to see the Aurora Borealis while in Tromso. As part of the same holiday, we visited Oslo and Prague, drove down the 'Romantic Road' in Germany, and then spent a few days in Switzerland before flying home. It was a wonderful holiday.
Cold but beautiful - Tromso, Norway
Later in the year, we travelled to Sabah, Borneo, spending 10 days there, and a few days in Kuala Lumpur, before returning home.
A rather daunting sight - about to start our climb of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo
I had my first 'big' overseas trip just over 10 years ago, which was to Tibet and Nepal. With hindsight, it was the wrong trip for an inexperienced traveller. The culture shock, the sense of 'deprivation' I felt in terms of food availability and the standard of accommodation (particularly in Tibet), to say nothing of the effects of altitude, left me feeling overwhelmed and rather miserable.
Strangely, perhaps, that experience further ignited my desire for travel. Two years later, I was adventuring again, this time travelling from Beijing to St Petersburg (via Mongolia and Siberian Russia) by train, which was an amazing experience.
Since then, a lot of other travel has followed. But somehow, the travel list seems to get longer, not shorter. I have a saying, 'such a big world, such a short life'. Because it seems like there are still so many places I'd like to see, but, of course, there is only a limited number of years we have to see them, and a limited budget. And a partner with a slightly different travel list to take into consideration (though fortunately there's lots of common ground).
So here's the question - is it Argentina or Antarctica? Is it Iceland or Ireland? (These are all places on my list!)
How do YOU decide where to travel next? Are your decisions driven by dollars, safety considerations, the sights you want to see, the experiences you hope to have, how you can squeeze in that extra week's leave from work? Over to you.....
Budget probably is number one - the number of adults and kids who are travelling will often determine destination. Time availability of course as well. But after that I think that it's probably determined by the number of years you've wanted to travel to various destinations. Of course special interests/sports/hobbies/social will also drive many trips. And for different ages health issues can determine destinations as well. Getting the mix right might mean a longer trip and trying to meld a variety of these together. And sometimes there can only be one opportunity to travel to different events. I was in Berlin just after the Berlin Wall came down not by chance but by design as we were going to be in Europe at that time anyway just seemed like a good idea and it was. :) Travel.... how wonderful...
I'd love to go to Ireland, especially in their summer, and drive right around the "Island", as well as venturing inland. Imagine this, a country where you're never more than a few 100 kilometres from the ocean, and always close to a river or a stream.
In the same breath, I'd love boating along the lochs of Scotland, starting north, and working my way down...
As the saying goes, time is money...I gues I don't have the "time" right now...
Paul and I are planning a train trip from Seattle to Calgary with many stops on the way. It should be beautiful and restful to take a train ride as opposed to flying somewhere. Will be fun to see other destinations.