Travel map

Where To, Mack?

One of the most difficult things for me insofar as travel planning is concerned is trying to figure out where I want to go next. Typically, the target for my next destination would be somewhere I’ve not yet been or at least a place where I haven’t been since I was a kid, so the experience would be new, as travel as an adult would most certainly be a departure from a visit to a locale as a part of a family vacation as a child. That being said, there are so incredibly many factors to consider when selecting a vacation spot that pinpointing where I want to go probably consumes too much of my attention and contemplation for my own good.

Usually, one of the first factors I consider is with whom I will be traveling. My co-travelers’ input would generally be something to consider; although, some previous and potential travel mates actually have little preference in destination, as they are just happy to tag along for the ride on whatever trip I have coming up, both because any destination I select would be new to them and/or because they’re happy that all they would have to do is pay their share and show up on departure day. Another important consideration would be the time of year I want to and am able to travel. My travels to date have been limited to being within the Northern Hemisphere. However, there are a few potential spots I’ve had on the short list for upcoming trips that lie within the lower portion of the globe, and it’s easy to forget to consider the fact that the Equator is the divisor for the seasons. In addition, travel to many destinations is greatly affected by the time of year as most places have a range of seasonality and don’t average constant 80 degree temperatures and consistent weather throughout the year the way Hawaii tends to remain beautiful and moderate regardless of the time of year.

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is on the short list of my long list of places I want to go….

Sometimes, it’s kind of like asking, “What comes first – the chicken or the egg?” Do I decide on where to go and then the type of activities in which I’d like to engage, or do I think about what I’d like to do and only then take a look at which destinations would make said activity possible? For example, one possible way to plan would be to say that I want to go to Prague and Budapest (which I do), and then figure out the best things to do and see when I’m in town; another way to plan would be to say I want to see spectacular architecture I’ve never seen and then consider the possible places that would offer the most interesting types of buildings to visit for the first time. Or, would I choose my destination or destinations and then plan the best logistical plan to make that trip enjoyable, or would I decide I want to see a few new places on the trip by car, and then take a look at which places would make sense for this method of intermediary logistics. There are so very many ways to skin the proverbial cat, that the “right” angle is not always easy to settle upon.

I currently find myself in this quandary. I have absolutely no idea where I’d like to go on my next vacation. There are so many places I want to go that my initial deliberations have been based upon the fact that I will have approximately 10 days to dedicate to the trip, thus ruling out Australia, New Zealand and Asia as potential destinations, as I would want to have 2 weeks of vacation time at minimum to allot to a destination which requires such an incredible amount of travel time just for arrival. Next, I’ve been talking to potential co-travelers to vet out who might be available to travel in the fall when I’m targeting my next trip. The travel mates may, however, be determined by the destination, should I end up getting my heart set on a place where potential co-travelers may not want to go.

I have set my mind on the fact that, as much as I do enjoy cruising, I don’t want my next vacation to be shipboard, since I would prefer this go-around to allow more time to explore a city or cities in depth than the typical cruise would allow. Beyond that, I currently find myself at an impasse, so I’m about to embark upon my usual nerd research and investigation mode to gather ideas and information upon which to base my first important decision – where do I want to go next?

Maybe I do spend all together too much time thinking about traveling. Then again, I can’t think of too many things that are more pleasant to occupy my thoughts than traveling this wonderful (yet disturbing) world in which we live along with the many possibilities that are part and parcel. With so many options, I may just have to go with the scientific “eenie-meenie-miney-moe” method.

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