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What factors determine where you'll go next? 🤔

So, I'm thinking about my upcoming trip to Barcelona for a cruise in the Mediterranean. I've always intended to go to Barcelona in a combined trip with the Basque region, and this is not that trip, so I will push it back on the "Places I Must Go" list. In 2016, I was having troubles with hip pain, so I went to Peru and specifically, Machu Picchu, figuring I'd never have a better opportunity.

With all of the wonderful places there are to explore, both in Europe and beyond, I'm curious to know what factors folks on this site use to set their priorities of what comes next? I feel like I need a more organized approach to ensure I get to the places I've always dreamed of going.

Posted by
7848 posts

There are two main inspirations for me.
1) a travel plan involving family or friends
2) a great travel bargain to an interesting place

Last summer I found a great bargain on a two week Norway cruise. I went.

This fall I am on a trip to Germany with my son and daughter-in-law.

Lately travel bargains have the lead in choosing locations with trips to Japan and Turkey on the drawing board.

Posted by
1207 posts

Nearby for me, but for Austria, Germany, Südtirol and Switzerland I like to search webcams. I have the time to enjoy these areas. Farther afield is basically what interests me. Family too in Asia and Australia. I've never been on a cruise. Don't think that is my kind of thing. Slowing down too with age. I like the lesser traveled road.

Posted by
13253 posts

Well, my choices have been driven lately by tour itineraries.

I did a tour in May with Seymour Travels covering Northern England. I LOVED Mark's tour with smaller groups, small town locations, lots of outdoors time and very interesting sights that are not always on the radar of travelers from the US. During that trip he suggested I would love his Orkney and Shetland tour as Orkney has the most Neolithic sites in the UK. Yes, he was selling a tour but yes, by this time he knew me and knew what I would like. TBH, Orkney and Shetland had never been on my list of places to see. I thought about it and after I got back home, signed up for his tour to the area in August. I'll have to say I think this was the best vacation I've ever had.

Now I'm sucked into the vortex and have 3 tours lined up with his company - Loire, Brittany and Normandy in October 2024, East Anglia in April 2025 and SW France including some time in or close to the Pyrenees (itinerary is not 100% set yet but will include time in the area of the Freedom Trails used by Basque shepherds to guide downed Allied airmen, Jews and others escaping Nazi persecution out of occupied areas during WWII) in Fall 2025. His company model perfectly fits how I enjoy traveling.

I am perfectly capable as an independent traveler. I did 3 weeks in Amsterdam, Paris and London on my own last spring before the Northern England tour. I just love the information I get on a tour and yes, I learn better when I've got someone standing in front of me talking and waving his/her arms pointing to things, lolol!!

At this point in my life I figure I probably have 4 or 5 years left for harder solo travel. I don't really have anything on a bucket or wish list. If I did, I'd write them down and start researching. I love France and UK and at this time don't feel the need to go back to Italy, Germany, Austria or anything east or south east of there. I have a friend who is currently on Rick's Basque tour and her pictures are wonderful so that's a consideration although it is also pretty hot and that will not work for me!

Have fun figuring out your priorities!

Posted by
2081 posts

Currently I'm trying to balance travelling to new places with revisiting places I've been to in a previous life but that I (a) Did too fast when I wasn't the trip planner, and (b) That I want to experience with my husband. Last year was mostly revisits, this year is all new places, next year will be mostly new places. I think the new places are winning to be honest.

Posted by
5168 posts

I’m sort of like Mary in that I am balancing wanting to see new places with revisiting old places that I loved. Especially as I grow older, the comfort of going back to places I fondly remember is prevailing more and more. But I don’t think there’s any real rhyme or reason for it.

Last year, I was in Germany and was touring Burg Eltz castle when I met a woman from Scotland. We talked for a while, and I remembered that I had never visited Scotland and had always wanted to, so I determined then and there that I would travel to Scotland in 2023, which I did. Being in the UK made me remember how much I loved England and that I had been wanting to go back there for a long time. So I planned a five week trip there for next spring. And then I planned another trip to London in 2025 with my two grandkids.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see other places. One of these days I would like to make it to Hungary. And Scandinavia is another area on my wish list. As I said, picking and choosing is so random for me that I really don’t pay it much mind. I am heading to Egypt and Jordan in early 2025, but this will be my very first tour so that was a stretch for me. But I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt so I thought, why not?

I will say that I get a lot of my inspiration from books. I’ll read a novel that takes place in a certain country and it sounds so interesting that I will want to go there. That has happened to me on more than one occasion.

But mostly like I said, random. 😊

Posted by
13253 posts

"I will say that I get a lot of my inspiration from books. I’ll read a novel that takes place in a certain country and it sounds so interesting that I will want to go there. That is happen for me on more than one occasion."

Hahaha...TRUTH! Except that I want to BE in the novel usually...not the murder ones though!

Posted by
3802 posts

Our last two European adventures were inspired by TV and books. For her it was Scotland thanks to Outlander and for me it was England thanks to The Last Kingdom. Most recently was Washington DC which was inspired by a seat sale (trying to motivate myself to write a Trip Report).

We're still reasonably young (59) and fit, but we know that won't last forever so we're trying to make a list based on what might be harder to accomplish as we age. Should we do Lisbon now because it's hilly, the Dordogne in France while I'm still up to the challenge of driving in strange places? One thing I've learned though is that I can find something intriguing wherever I go and that makes decisions easier.

Posted by
2630 posts

There are so many things that have guided me in trip planning:

Taking French in high school filled me with a desire to see France, especially Paris.

A lot of my trips come from my fascination with history. For example, my love of British history led me to England and my obsession with WW ii history led me to Normandy.

My Irish ancestry drew me to Ireland.

Some trips come from seeing movies and TV shows. Lord of the Rings inspired me to visit New Zealand and the TV series Shetland filled me with a longing to see the Shetland Islands.

Sometimes I just yearn for seeing something different such as Africa and Australia.

My love of mountains and hiking has taken me to Switzerland and the Dolomites.

Sometimes a great airfare will spark a trip.

As I approach 70, I’m starting to focus on a few places I desperately want to return to and places I haven’t been but am dying to see. I now favor places where I feel the most comfort and joy — small towns, charming villages and beautiful scenery. I am less motivated by blockbuster sites.

Pam, that is a great vortex you have been sucked into! LOL! Perhaps the Pyrenees will be the place that gets me on one of Mark’s tours. That sounds fascinating.

Posted by
284 posts

My trips often connect to life chapters or milestones. I want to be at the Grand Canyon for my 60th birthday in a few years (I like having a destination birthday every 10 years). We want to see Portugal to see if it is somewhere we want to spend time during retirement. I want to go to Spain and do the Camino Frances (or the Portuguese Camino) as soon as I am not working and am able to get away for over a month. I want to complete my travel goals of going to all parts of the UK and Ireland (I am still missing Wales), and to each of the countries of Central America (I am missing Guatemala and El Salvador). Then there are my "childhood destinations"--places I had read about and wanted to see since I was a kid: still have to get to Machu Picchu (Galapagos and Stonehenge are done). And then there are the places I feel I have to see: New Zealand (Lord of the Rings!), some part of Africa, and the South Pacific (Micronesia, Melanesia).

Posted by
166 posts

I thought I was the only person that wanted to climb into the novel I’m reading and become a character in the story! Imagination is a wonderful thing.

Posted by
4269 posts

My trip to Budapest next week was scheduled because I want to see a ballet in their newly renovated opera house, which wasn't open during my first visit, 5 years ago. And I did actually want to visit Budapest again, I just waited for the right ballet to schedule the trip. I'd like to see a ballet in Palais Garnier, so I'll schedule a return trip to Paris for that and to visit historic home museums.

Posted by
6949 posts

For us, it is a combination of region/country coupled with what we generally want to do, such as "explore", "beach", "long stay" or a specific activity.

We sit down periodically and create a list of potential trips, one for example was Cornwall and Southern England, with key activities of some genealogy research and a visit to the Bovington Tank Museum, we did that in April/May. After the dreary weather there, my wife was adamant that we do a trip focused on "beach", that will be next April. That will be a journey along the coast of Portugal and Spain.

Other future trips are just described as "Basque and Galicia Regions", A "long stay Italy" which would feature a week or more in a couple locations, a "revisit to Greece", "Explore former soviet bloc countries". With each, we try to tag a time of year. We also keep an eye on airfare to different hubs, if we see a great deal, we might grab it then fit whatever trip seems best.

Unfortunately, the list is probably too long to ever fulfill. I do not consider it a "bucket" list, just starter ideas, to which we keep adding.

Posted by
1655 posts

So many factors, and they seem to change on a whim. I much prefer a nonstop flight, so if it is a quick trip that is usually a must. Prices of course. So if I see a great deal and I have an interest, then why not. I absolutely hate hot weather, so I don't even look at tropical places, even though I have been to plenty. Just not my thing. I wilt in the heat;) Now the cold, that doesn't bother me at all. We have fallen in love with several places, including Iceland as you know. We keep returning, and exploring different areas or doing something different each time. Our trip this summer was perfect and we almost entirely avoided the crowds. I am having TKR in a few days and was bummed that we did not have anything on the books to look forward to. So I asked my husband about taking a short trip to Amsterdam as a treat for rehabbing. He wasn't that keen on it, so offered to watch all the dogs and our daughter and I will go instead. Works for me! When looking, we could do a stopover in Iceland, so you know how that booking turned out. Wish we had more time, but I know I have to be careful so this needs to be a low key trip, which I don't do well. I hate lingering at cafes, etc but I will be forced to slow down. I am already looking forward to being able to plan trips that I could not fully enjoy due to the knees. So Greenland will be the focus for summer 2025 and I hope we can do Faroe Islands at the same time since it would make sense. I want to go and do everything I can while I can. Life is too short!

Posted by
13253 posts

"I want to be at the Grand Canyon for my 60th birthday in a few years (I like having a destination birthday every 10 years)."

@Pete - This is an excellent reason! I did 50 and 70 at Yellowstone. I can only hope I can do 90 there as well!!

@Susie, lolol!!

Posted by
256 posts

Thank you all for so many wonderful posts and giving me so many things to consider! I'm currently 59, and still have (God willing) some good years left to travel. The problem is, the more places I see, the more I want to visit, or revisit, like Mary and Mardee. Adding new places and visiting them again and again keeps me from going somewhere I haven't been, which makes me think I may run out of time before I run out of my intended trips!

Pam- those tour itineraries, especially the Fall 2025, are amazing! And, with your enthusiasm, I wonder if you'll be getting any kickback for filling their tours for them, 😆.

mchpp- I never considered the use of webcams to help me decide if I wanted to visit somewhere! What a unique idea for utilization of technology!

Allan - I think that you and I have a similar philosophy to try and get the independent, and more difficult travel done while I'm younger! I once worked in Germany, and my contact was a man who had been all over the world, spoke seven languages, but had never been to Neuschweinstein. I asked how that could be, and he told me he was saving the shorter trips for when he was older and didn't travel as well. I feel the same, which is why I haven't seen much of the western US national parks. I also feel as though I will at some point take more guided tours or train travel when I'm older, which is why Banff keeps getting pushed back, even though it's been at the top of my list for years.

CWSocial- I love the idea of you revisiting Budapest primarily to see the ballet performed in a beautiful opera house!! That kind of passion for travel makes my heart sing!

Paul - the way you categorize your future trips is ingenious, and I'm going to have to borrow that! Instead of being specific about locations, your method seems like it would be more flexible and allow for visiting more places on one trip! Awesome!!

Mikliz97- I know that you are just as passionate about Iceland as I am! My gosh, this summer when it was hot in upstate NY, I keep wanting to just hop on a plane for a long weekend!! Greenland and the Faroe Islands sounds like a trip I'd really enjoy! I hope that your knee replacement goes exceedingly well! My neighbor just had it done, and within two weeks was back to nearly 100%. Amazing what medicine can do these days!

Someone had posted that the older they get, direct flights are a major consideration. Also, who can pass up some of the deals that you find on sites like Travelzoo and Sherman's Travel? I'm going to have to find a way to quell my FOMO, keep up the exercise so travel remains an option, and get busy packing!! Cheers all!!

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352 posts

I’m addicted to France but, like another poster mentioned, a few years ago I decided I needed to visit spots/do things that I may not be able to when I’m older (I figure I can stroll in Paris when I’m 80!). So I did 2 weeks hiking the Southwest Coastal Trek and Cotswolds, and then 2 weeks hiking in Slovenia.
My upcoming trip was driven by a cheap Iceland Air fare to Rome/out of Paris in April, which is an atypical time for me to travel. I’m going to do a lot of train travel, which I love, including the Bernina Express - so excited!
So many folks are sharing wonderful experiences in Scotland that I’m thinking I need to look into it, too.

Posted by
16617 posts

There are so many wonderful experiences out there that I gave up trying to apply logic. Living over here I am fortunate in that if there is extra money in my pocket and if a location I have yet to see is connected by a discount airline, I go. I have never had a trip that i regretted or that disappointed me.

Posted by
1655 posts

justsweetjs--Well you certainly have helped me with Iceland! That kayak fishing trip was the absolute best and my husband still wants to do it again. I really want to cover the north at a slower pace next time. Just yesterday while we were out walking we commented on the weather in Iceland this summer. We had one morning of rain, that was it. Truly ideal weather, not too hot or too cold. When my daughter and I go, we need to hit the Drunken Rabbit.

Posted by
256 posts

Lol! That is certainly the place for meeting colorful characters from everywhere!!

Posted by
1451 posts

2015 Ireland: heritage
2016 Cuba with DH: DH's dream and opportunity
2017 Scandinavia: I loove Nordic Noir and heritage
2018 Italy: DH said I should go, he was correct
2019 Turkey with younger son: I heard her calling my name, I am glad she did
2020 grrr
2021 Iceland with younger son: was open when other countries were not, wanted to visit a geographically unique location
2022 Bavaria/Austria/Slovakia/Prague: Younger Son's request, son's heritage (Cicmany, Slovakia), history, grand architecture
2022 Paris: DH says, "you don't judge Paris, Paris judges you" I fell in love
2023 Normandie/Belgium/Luxembourg with younger son: Son likes WWII sites and a quick 2 day return to Paris (I am in love)
2024 Portland/Northern California: Older son lives here, DH wanted to see the trees.
2025 Japan with both sons: The culture calls to all 3 of us
2025 September solo to Paris: I think I will return many times.

Paris is the only place that I have returned. I usually want to go, go, go on my trips. But I can just "be" in Paris AND learn and see something new. I am wondering if Tokyo will be another city that draws me back.

Posted by
6480 posts

I’ve been to Europe 15 times, so my priorities have changed over time. If someone is traveling with me, I let them pick the country & then I work on itinerary options. My husband & I were in England & Wales this year. My daughter picked Italy last year.

Since the Covid situation, I don’t take time for granted. I’ve taken two trips a year - one with someone, one solo. I move locations a lot when traveling solo (15 for next May!), and my initial itinerary is driven by local festivals & activities I enjoy.

These thoughts from Mardee & Carroll aptly describe my thoughts for trips when I’m planning solo trips. I love to begin my trip with a location where I’ve been previously, so I am getting over jet lag with a place that feels so comfortable like meeting up with an old friend. For Italy, that spot has always been Stresa, but this next year it will be Rome.

”Especially as I grow older, the comfort of going back to places I fondly remember is prevailing more and more.”

I love the smaller, less touristy locations. Museums where I’ve been the only one in each room, where I can truly enjoy each piece at my leisure. Lots of research of each city on a map along a train line has given me some very special experiences!

”I now favor places where I feel the most comfort and joy — small towns, charming villages and beautiful scenery. I am less motivated by blockbuster sites.”

We lived in the Seattle area for 30 years, so we would always attend the Rick Steves events in Edmonds when their tour guides would be visiting and sharing powerpoints of their tours. Those gave us a lot of insight whether we wanted to take that tour or interested in general about that country for the next trip. I usually had two countries rattling around in my head at any given time. Some I saved until I retired; the Adriatic, for instance, took too many days for flights while we were working.

Posted by
591 posts

I have a list of priorities based on overall atmosphere, historic sites (ancient or more modern), architecture and art, and natural beauty. Options we are weighing for the next few years include the Berner Oberland, Greece, Sicily, Andalucia, and others.

Posted by
4098 posts

Books and places that sound good from trip reports on this forum! And places I love-Florence and London. My future bucketlist:
Northern England-Hadrian's Wall, Yorkshire Dales, South Lake District, Bletchley Park in London
Italy-Orvieto, Bologna, Roberto's tour of Tuscany
Dec-Loire, Strasburg, Colmar
Costa Rica
Panama-to see the canal

Posted by
1655 posts

justsweeetjs--I really wanted to go there on our last few trips, but my husband does not drink. So this trip with my daughter, I think it will be a perfect place to sit and enjoy! That and the cat cafe, lol.

Posted by
6933 posts
  1. Have I not been there, and can I afford to go now? Waiting, I might run out of time.

  2. Has it been so long since I’ve been back to some place that I need to return, and that trumps going to a new destination.

There’s been a mix of those two, so neither takes priority every time.

Posted by
400 posts

This is a really interesting question for me because we've been re-prioritizing and rethinking things recently. This year we did an amazing 66-day trip to Spain and Italy over the spring. Loved it, but 66 days was a lot, and it was a very ambitious itinerary. We then had a month in Rome scheduled for October, our first "stay in a city for a month" trip. But when Delta (surprise, surprise) changed our itinerary enough that we were entitled to a refund, we cancelled it. We called it our "get out of jail free card." We realized (we're in our 60s, btw) that two really big trips in a year was too much.

But then, rather than just rebooking Rome, we really thought about what we wanted to do. We realized we weren't ready for the slower groove of just one city for a month, but we also wanted to reel back the ambition of the 66-day itinerary. The result? We decided to go back to Switzerland for a month over the late spring next year. Compact. Manageable. Easy. Wonderful. Expensive, yes, but doable. We'll move around in one-week increments. Assuming it goes well, we're already eyeing a similar structure for Belgium and/or Holland the year after that. We'll see...

But yeah, deciding where to go next is definitely a dynamic, fluid bit of alchemy. Ultimately, it requires realizing that some ideas aren't right any more, and other ideas aren't right just yet, and the next trip lies somewhere in between.

Posted by
14210 posts

My answer is focused only on Europe.

At my age now the primary factors in determining where to go over there are places of compelling cultural and historical interest concentrating first and foremost on France and Germany, regardless if they are situated in the south, east, west or the north in both countries, cities, towns and villages. Naturally, I have to weigh the time factor along with expenses.

Posted by
256 posts

"But yeah, deciding where to go next is definitely a dynamic, fluid bit of alchemy. Ultimately, it requires realizing that some ideas aren't right any more, and other ideas aren't right just yet, and the next trip lies somewhere in between."

THIS! The more wonderful responses I read, the more I realize that time and circumstances may change my travel plans, but that adding some fluidity into the process is just fine.

I'm loving all the different insights from folks who have been traveling long enough to let opportunity take over. It's almost as though there's a travel goddess making sure we all find our way and follow our hearts!

Posted by
466 posts

Not a single person on this thread said they used Instagram to pick destinations! (I knew you were my kind of people.) So times change, people change their priorities & hopefully their incomes change as well, for the better. Am I going to hitch hike Columbia, Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia again? Nope, and no more $1 a night youth hostels either, (yep that's what they cost in 1974.) And once I retired, time became fluid & we could pick and choose our vacation times in new ways. YAY.

We have a really short list. We both want to go back to Japan, where we lived at different times in our lives, especially to visit Kyoto again. Hubby is faaaar behind me on trips to Italy, so that's a permanent "How much are flights this week dear' destination. Others mentioned trips being determined by price, why not!?!
One of my BF's has promised a biking trip along the Danube when we're OLD, HA.
Sorry, but why do you need a more organized approach??

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13253 posts

"Not a single person on this thread said they used Instagram to pick destinations! (I knew you were my kind of people.)"

@Sandancisco....hahaha!! I will admit to following Europe guides on FB to see what they are up to. No Instagram poses though, I like my travel more in depth now!

Posted by
3972 posts

The # of miles required to get a roundtrip ticket is often how I determine where I travel next overseas.

Posted by
1209 posts

@Sandancisco - that was great! I frequently giggle when people send me links to Instagram that I can't open because - I don't have an account!
Since 2021 my travel seems to be dictated by other events, not necessarily of my choosing but because of life events. Mostly good - some not so good. I had to trade an early 2024 trip to Egypt for a late summer 2023 trip to Italy after I was invited to a wedding. Sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth :-)

Posted by
1439 posts

Yeah, I love that Instagram comment! I don't have an account, either! And I would never choose my vacation destination based on a stranger's Instagram photos.

My husband and I have always loved to travel, and we love to go just about anywhere. Some of our decisions are based on family or heritage but many are not.

For example, we visited China 3 times because my husband was born in China, and because both of our daughters have lived, studied and/or worked in China. When our youngest daughter was studying as an undergrad in Prague, we visited her in Prague and then traveled to Krakow. I am of Polish descent and always wanted to visit Poland. When the same daughter was studying in Barcelona as a grad student, we visited her and added on a roadtrip along the Costa Brava. Our oldest daughter lived in France for 10 years, so we visited France quite frequently.

We are currently planning a 6-week trip to Australia and New Zealand for 2024. This is partly because my husband went to school near Melbourne as a teen-ager, and this will be his first time there since the 1960's. This will be a walk down memory lane for him. And both countries interest us because of our love of travel and desire to see as much of the world as we can. And I keep reading about how stunningly beautiful New Zealand is! If you're going to Australia, you may as well go to NZ!!!

Other places we have traveled (such as Andalucia, Greece, Croatia, Scotland, Costa Rica, etc.) have nothing to do with family or heritage but just our desire to see beautiful, historical and interesting places.

Future trips hopefully include SE Asia, Argentina and Chile, and European countries we haven't visited yet, and parts of the US we haven't visited. Although we generally don't re-visit places, we want to return to Italy for a lengthy stay since we haven't been there since the 1970's. And the same goes for England!

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1439 posts

Mardee, what is the name of the tour company you are using for Egypt and Jordan? I would love to go sometime but I don't feel comfortable going on our own. We never go on tours; we are independent travelers, but I would feel more comfortable going on a tour to the Middle East.

Posted by
3802 posts

I'm not on Instagram either, but how would getting a travel inspiration from that any different than watching an RS or Samantha Brown show, or reading a book/seeing a movie at in some exotic location or even receiving a postcard or travel flyer in the mail?

Posted by
1439 posts

Allan, Instagram is just photos, right? No text, or commentary, or historical or cultural information. I need more than a photo to interest me in going somewhere. I rely on guidebooks, travel forums, travel blogs, etc. I have always been interested in seeing the world; I used to work for a travel agency decades ago; I used to subscribe to Travel and Leisure magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. I guess I have always been curious about the world. These sources I mention are written by travel experts and travel lovers. So I am inspired by information first, and then photos. I could be wrong, but sometimes I wonder if the people who are consumed with getting that Instagram worthy photo is really interested in the place or site they are posing in front of. Do they know anything about the history, the culture, the food, etc.? I hope I don't sound narrow-minded by saying this. I am not inspired by someone's Instagram photo.

Posted by
3802 posts

Kmkwoo, I believe it's just photos. I'm not sure if it's one photo at a time or if an album can be created. My point was that a simple photo can be the spark that creates an idea that turns into a travel vision.

Posted by
1261 posts

Not on Instagram, but a single photo of a painting, church facade, or sculpture can send me to an out-of-the-way town. Definitely ON Instagram, my husband will do the same thing about a particular local food. He also listens to people speaking Italian on Instagram, so that's a thing, too.

Posted by
947 posts

The factors are approximately:

Where have I not traveled to yet?

Which place has good art museum(s)

Which place has well-known historical sites or ruins or monuments?

Safety: risk of disease, robbery, assault.

How easy or difficult will the transportation be? What is required? Planes? Long-distance trains and/or buses? Local transportation?

Factors that I consider that I think I should not consider: which place would my mother freak out least when she finds out I am traveling there? My mother was mortified before I went to Spain in March 2022. I told her one week in advance. First she was afraid of coronavirus-2019. Then she switched to saying that Europe was dangerous because of the war in Ukraine. An aunt also tried pleading with me to cancel my trip. My mom was afraid I would catch coronavirus-2019 when I went to Florida in December 2021. I never caught it. Yeah I have a mother who freaks out and goes nuts and gets excessively worked or scared when I travel too far away from home. My other closest relatives try persuading me away from traveling but in a less volatile way. Yes I logically know that I am an adult, I work at a normal job, I live on my own and do all the normal life functions except that I live alone and I have a syndrome of still feeling like a kid and like I am sneaking around behind my mom's back and disobeying my mother or worse when I plan a trip but I travel anyways because all people have hypocracies and contradictions I know that this feeling is irrational and I know the most memorable times of my adult life have been when I traveled far from home.

I went to Quebec in 2015, England in 2016, Italy in 2017, Greece in 2018, parts of the Netherlands and Belgium in 2019, Florida in 2021, Spain in 2022, Southern California also in 2022, The mountainous area in south-central Mexico in 2023. My mom-was mortified before each trip but more before some trips than other trips.

I was 32 when I took my first major took my first major solo-trip far away from home. I was living on my own. I called my parents and an aunt and told them where I was going, the evening before I went to Quebec. My mom was mortified. I managed to sublimate or suppress my feeling that I was doing something wrong. My trip worked out ok.

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1655 posts

nancys8--When my grandparents passed away, I inherited a print that they bought in Rothenburg. I absolutely loved it from when I first saw it, and I wanted to go. When we finally made it there, we happened to stop in a tiny little shop that had prints. I just happened to have a photo of my grandparents one on my phone, and I saw some very similar ones I the shop. I explained to the owner, and it turned out the artist had passed away, but left all his prints to her. So she closed up shop for about an hour, and went and got all of the prints from wherever she had them stored, and we met up later. I bought one that coordinates very well, and now have the two of them framed side by side. So yes, a photo alone sure can spur one to travel!

I am on instagram, but mostly for my business and even that I am not techy so it is very limited. You can absolutely add text, which I always do. I don't mind IG for travel photos, but really really dislike when people do photos just for that. I am thinking along the lines of women who bring ball gowns and do photo shoots on the basalt columns in Iceland as one example. The issue is that 99% of the time they want the area to themselves and tend to hog places. Nails on a chalkboard for me!

Posted by
7902 posts

We have a number of factors that pull us into travel.

First is the price of the airfare. My wife's hobby is finding ridiculously inexpensive flights--usually 50% or less than what normal airfares are. We're also quick to fly on budget European airlines at ridiculously low airfares. This allows us to visit one region and catch a completely different city on the way home.

Second is have we been there before? After 20+ European trips in 50 years and 22+ ocean cruises, Lisbon is the only large European city we've missed. We have been to the top 10 travel cities 4-5 times, and we're intimately familiar with those cities. And we're really getting tired of the crowds that we've faced the last two Junes at the most popular travel sights. Somehow we end up in London, Athens and Italy too often.

My wife is having mobility problems, and she has a folding personal scooter. We have adapted to using only hotels with elevators and we're quick to book a cruise for one week of our two week trips. Cruises work well her and her scooter. We've seen the Adriatic, Greek Islands each of the last two years. We previously loved our cruise out of Copenhagen of Scandinavia.

Because life throws situations to you, there's often a way to get around them. I'm in great shape for my age, and we're not yet ready to stay at home all year. We just have no desire to travel domestically any longer--and especially not in big American cities.

Posted by
3 posts

price is always a factor: flights, car rental, hotel/hostel/airbnb. So i check that first for the destination(s) I want. Who's going with me and where they're interested in plays a part. And then just gut: what country is pulling me right now? So, not organized haha!

Posted by
5168 posts

Mardee, what is the name of the tour company you are using for Egypt and Jordan? I would love to go sometime but I don't feel comfortable going on our own. We never go on tours; we are independent travelers, but I would feel more comfortable going on a tour to the Middle East.

kmkwoo, I'm going with Overseas Adventure Travels (OAT). There were tons of good reviews about them here, and I like that there is no single supplement, and that the groups are small (mine will be between 8-16 people, averaging 13). I'll send you a PM with more info.

Posted by
14210 posts

Doing more research either from books or the internet, which is one of the driving forces in my choosing to see a particular town, also hearing out others' suggestions, especially those from locals in France and Germany.