Where do you want to go? There is a multitude of possibilities… or not depending on what you’re looking for. But the point is, you need to look- maps, family, friends, whatever.
Miss South Carolina says that some people can’t locate the US on a map because some people don’t have maps. Don’t be one of them! Instead of dusting off the ol’ atlas, www.googlemaps.com is the first place I recommend. When you get the geographical spread, it’s plainer to see what places are clustered together and easily accessible from one another like Italy & France, Syria & Lebanon, India & Nepal, etc. Keep it realistic though, you don’t want to be driving more than touring!
For even less legwork, ask your friends. These are the people who know you best and have had their own experiences to share. It also helps that they’re probably in the same socio-economic bracket as you too and unlikely to suggest something that doesn’t fit your budget whereas travel magazines (though Bora Bora looks great, really!) sometimes only offer up the dream.
Still unsure? Overwhelmed by the possibilities? Look for a family link. Think to yourself, “I’m of Irish descent therefore I’ll go to Ireland.” I know too many people who’ve yearned to visit the homeland but never made it their main priority. You’ll be required to actually VISIT some of your family, if you have any there, and you may have to go bearing gifts and do the whole circuit. On the plus side, your family can show you around and offer you a deeper understanding of the place, not to mention, house you! I visited my family in the small Italian towns of Conca Della Campania, Vezzara, and San Pietro Infine. I got to go round and round and round a mountain to get there (as seen on TV!), ate the best Italian food products Caserta has to offer (here’s looking at you, mozzarella di bufala!), and picked figs and hazlenuts right off the tree. Amazing!
You may be thinking “Mel, that’s a lot of work!” Fine, look for convenience. Nothing says vacation like doing absolutely nothing unless you really want to. Some time in the countryside, sitting at a beach resort, or on the deck of a cruise are easy, carefree options that don’t take a lot of planning or money. Resorts and cruises have become especially affordable in the past few years.
Lastly, you can look for the adventure you’ve always wanted or seek out in your everyday life. Take a ski trip, a hiking tour, a culinary adventure of Italy, bike across Europe, go rockclimbing in Jordan… There are no limits for those who seek thrills.
The world is your oyster, bon voyage, and the like.