What would you do if you could wake up tomorrow and literally go anywhere?
What would it feel like to do something like that on a whim? To open a map and point to a place and say, “I’m going to go there!” And then, in the next few days, actually make it there?
Travel on a Whim
I ask because that’s exactly the question I’ve presented myself with. I’m going off on an adventure in the coming days but I don’t know where to yet! It could literally be to anywhere in the world that my frequent flier miles will take me!
Talk about traveling on a whim, huh? And to be honest, while I’ve done plenty of things on a whim (like going to Egypt after my miserable Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, my Salt Lake City trip, or re-doing my China plans after freezing my butt off on the “Dragon’s Backbone” rice terraces), I’ve never planned a trip quite like this before… A trip to somewhere! But where?
Why am I doing this?
Why not? I’m an opportunist and life has presented me with the perfect chance. So why not do something crazy like this? I’ve been itching for an adventure and flying by the seat of my pants is exhilarating! It almost feels like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I used to read as a kid, but in real life!
I’ve narrowed down my choices by thinking about a few considerations…
1) I need to go somewhere that I can travel relatively cheaply. Being a trip on a whim, I haven’t saved up for a fixed amount of time or anything. I don’t have a daily budget set but I’m willing to set aside a fixed amount for “on the ground” expenses. (Sorry Europe, Australia and New Zealand…)
2) I’d rather avoid places with complicated visa situations. With such short notice, I don’t really have time to deal with embassies and whatnot. So I need either a country with a visa waiver program for U.S. Citizens or a country that offers visas-on-arrival.
3) It needs to be a place that I can get a mileage flight to, preferably a “Saver” award at half the price of a full award ticket. (Alas, this puts me out of luck for South America as there’s nothing available next week)
4) I’d love to take this opportunity to explore some new countries.. (Here are the ones I’ve been to…)
This trip begins Wednesday, July 17, as I am flying to San Francisco to visit family (booked that ticket this morning). From there, the real fun begins…
Using the above criteria, I’ve come up with two potential options since I started looking yesterday.
Despite my two trips that have covered almost all of Southeast Asia, I’ve never been to Indonesia and I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things! It’s such a wonderfully varied country though that I’m not sure where I would begin! But it’s cheap and one of those places you could spend eons in and never see it all.
Morocco wasn’t really on my radar till I was talking to Talon of 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure, who was raving about it! It’s attractive to me as it’s a further look at “Middle Eastern” culture that I’ve gotten to know over the past year and there’s a certain mystique to it. It’s small enough to get a good impression of and it’s a great springboard to Europe by ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar. I could head to Europe afterwards, travel till the money I’ve set aside runs out, and then book a mileage flight home on a day or two’s notice!
I’ve also been eyeing options to go to southern Africa, but I haven’t explored those plans quite as much. Maybe I could fly to Johannesburg, South Africa and go from there? We’ll see. I’m heading to the bookstore later today for some inspiration, which may help inform this decision. Stay tuned!
What do you think?
If you were in my shoes, where would you go? Any thoughts on my options or other places you think I should be considering?