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Where Would Your “Trip of a Lifetime” Go?

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I understand, full well, that a post of this nature belongs on a travel site, such as Fodor’s, but I have become so impressed with the folks here at BC, I thought I would float this balloon and see if anyone cares to comment. The editors’ can feel free to toss it in the waste basket if they choose.

I am hoping to take that one “trip of a lifetime” this fall. I spent two weeks in London a couple years back and enjoyed it thoroughly. That was a trip of a lifetime. I am looking for the trip. I have considered many places. First, I thought of doing the “Lord of the Rings-thing” and New Zealand. I think the scenery (I’m big into scenery) would be stunning. Then, I considered A week in Australia and a week in N.Z. I guess the only misgivings I have is the hugeness of the terrain and getting about to see it all – or the best parts of it – in so short a time.

My thoughts also drifted to south African (not necessarily the country but the region). Big game safari, photo ops, and the like. However, with the world’s relatively negative outlook on Americans right now, I have reservations. China – Hong Kong, Beijing, and maybe a pop-over to Japan would be interesting as well.

I have also given, as part of my inclusive list, the Italy-Greece combo. It would be great to see these ancient civilizations and all the treasures they hold. I have “done” Mexico, the Carribean, and “the beach/cruise thing” to death long ago. I really haven’t thought seriously about South America.

I have come to trust and enjoy the well-traveled, culturally-diverse and intelligent folks at BC so I thought I would ask here first. If you could spend two weeks in any part of the world (other than the comfort of your own sofa; I know that has its own attraction), where would you spend it? The “why” would also be appreciated but I am just looking for opinions here from people I know to be knowledgeable. I am not a widely-traveled sort and London was my first trans-oceanic vacation. I will be traveling solo, am in fair physical condition, and am over 50.

Again, I apologize for cluttering up BC with this personal drivel, but I wanted to see if anyone could give me some ideas for a October-ish (kids back in school, parents not traveling, etc.) sojourn outside the country. Thank you, in advance for, any help.

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  • Nancy

    I think this is the toughest question I’ve seen on BC so far. Prioritize… prioritize… I’d have to say Alaska, because natural scenery that stunning is disappearing fast, plus I’ve always loved the cultures, wildlife, and botany there. Yeah, definitely Alaska.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    I have also given, as part of my inclusive list, the Italy-Greece combo.

    This is what came to mind first. But something completely different, like an African safari or a trip to China would also be great.

    Very tough to pick THE one!

  • http://www.docofdiets.com dietdoc

    bhw writes: Very tough to pick THE one!

    Reply: Thank you, Nancy and bhw.

    Yep, that’s the hard part I don’t get a vacation (pretty much self-imposed) every year and I want this year to be the one. It’s going to take some considerable thought and input from as many souces as I can get. I appreciate yours!

    Cheers,

    Ron

  • SFC SKI

    Why only two weeks? If it’s not a yearly thing, take some real time off. I’d have to agree with a Mediterranean trip, it is one of the most relaxing and beautiful places on the earth. You could go to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Good rate of exchange, low cost of liveing, good sightseeing along the Dalmatian coast. If that doesn’t sound good, I’d recommend Crete.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    A friend of mine just spent a month in Australia and New Zealand. She loved it, but she did have a month there.

    She’s also been to Egypt, on an African Safari, to India, etc., etc. Bitch loves to travel.

  • Nancy

    Part of the shame of increasing ‘globalization’ is the increasing homogeneity of architecture, food, fashion, and culture as well. It crushed me to discover that Lithuania is full of people in jeans & t-shirts, drinking coke & eating hamburgers, and living in high-rises and cities full of cars. I can appreciate that no one wants to live in the middle ages in thatched huts when better technology is available, but at least I wish they’d keep their native foods and some elements of the native dress, and not glom on to Mickey Ds. It was just like going to anyplace in the US. What was the point of going?

  • SFC SKI

    Maybe you should have gone to a Lithuanian restaurant.
    Just because there is a McDonald’s in a country doesn’t make it the equivalent of some town in the U.S.

  • http://www.docofdiets.com dietdoc

    SFC Ski writes: Why only two weeks? If it’s not a yearly thing, take some real time off.

    Reply: Ski, I am in solo practice and more than two weeks is a logistical nightmare. Two weeks, unfortunately, is about all I can break away. Thanks for the comments, also!

    Cheers,

    Ron

  • Nancy

    So, where are you inclining towards? I’m interested, and probably others are, too.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Oh man, a buddy just got back from a whirlwind tour of Italy, and that sounded wonderful — though I’d prefere to spend longer and see fewer places.

    Driving around the UK for a couple of weeks sounds like a dream to me, actually.

  • Duane

    It’s my own personal bias, but I would not choose any 3rd world country as THE vacation. So much time is spent trying to stay healthy, trying not to get ripped off, trying to find ice, fending off panhandlers, well, yeah … I’m a travel wimp. That leaves either civilization or wilderness.

    If you like civilization, it’s hard to beat Paris. And southern France (say, Les Beaux) is one of the most beautiful places in the world. But, in my opinion, Tokyo is the most interesting city in the world. Check it out. There’s a whole different advanced kind of culture over there. It is possible to stay in or near Tokyo for a reasonable cost, in the event that you’re not set to do a money-is-no-object vacation. Language is not a big problem, but it helps to study a phrase book. Make a side trip to Kyoto. Wonderful.

    If you’re more into the wilderness thing, there is no wilder wilderness than the Antarctic. I have not been there yet, but have always wanted to go. You can take a boat from Tierra del Fuego, or, if you’re already in NZ, go from there! From what friends tell me, you really get a sense of the awesomeness of nature. No souvenir stores, either. You would have to go with a group, unless you’re prepared to charter private transportation and supplies. So it depends on how you feel about traveling with a group of strangers. I figure anyone that bothers to go down to a place where there are no resort hotels is OK in my book.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Right now, Bali is where I’d go for a dream vacation, if my budget allowed such a thing. From everything I’ve heard, visiting this little island is one of the closest things to paradise found on Earth.

    At the moment I can’t think of any place I’ve always wanted to go. In fact, Bali has been on my mind for only about two and a half years or so now. But now that I know more about it, I definitely would like to visit.

  • SFC SKI

    There are also many places within the US that are fantastic, too. For me , Cape Cod is heavenly, but better in September after the tourists are gone.

  • http://www.docofdiets.com dietdoc

    Thank you all for taking the time from your busy day to comment and make suggestions.

    SFC Ski and Nancy: I agree that I should not overlook U.S. sites (like Nancy’s Alaska and Ski’s Cape Cod), but I want to make a “far away.”

    Nancy: I am leaning toward the Australia/NZ thing but China/Japan is pushing hard. I think I can make the Mediterranean thing (after all, half of the Greek culture is in London museums, anyway!) some other year. So, in summeray, it’s down to Koala bears vs. Panda bears. (grin)

    Again, thanks for commenting and, as I always, I knew I could count on BC to come through with some extremely interesting and useful feedback. There really is no place like this on the Internet. What a collection of bright, informed and – best of all – passionately opinionated people.

    Thanks you all and,

    Cheers,
    Ron