Oh! the Places You’ll Go!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Dr. Seuss always says it best! Despite the brains in our heads and the feet in our shoes, the Bears are having an awful lot of trouble steering the direction we choose. I imagine that every RTW trip planner runs into this conundrum eventually. It’s inevitable. There are so many amazing destinations in the world that narrowing it down to just a few choices feels almost impossible.
The thing is, this trip feels like the last trip that we’ll be able to take totally unfettered and free. Because if all goes as planned, there will be a Bearby in the mix at the end of it all. That’s why it feels doubly important to make the right decisions. After this trip, it will be a long while before we’ll be able to just pick up and go, like we’re used to. I’m trying not to make these decisions too significant or heavy, because let’s get real here, I’m planning an around the world vacation, not trying to solve world peace!
Nonetheless, there are a few can’t miss experiences we want to have, and due to the constraints of time and budget, we’re not able to do all of them. There are 3 big ticket items that are at the top of our shortlist.
1) Kenya-Tanzania safari and wildebeest migration
2) Hiking the Inca Trail and seeing Machu Picchu
3) Taking a cruise around the Galapagos Islands
Actually, it’s really only between Africa and Galapagos. Machu Picchu gets an automatic pass because we want to hike the Inca Trail while we are still (relatively) young and fit. I know that people of all ages do it, but the Bearess has never been the athletic type, so age is definitely a factor. Machu Picchu also happens to be the cheapest of the 3. If we use a local tour operator (which we always want to try to do, to support local communities and avoid paying an unnecessary premium), we can get the whole kit and caboodle for around $600 each. Yes, that’s an expensive 4 days, but like I said, these are big ticket items. The rest of our year long trip will be made up of budget accommodation, self-catering and as many free things to do as we can find.
The safari is probably the MOST expensive item on the list. We could join one of those overland group tours where you are stuffed into a large van with 20 other people and drive for hours and hours on end, only to end up setting up your own tent and camping in uncomfortable conditions (did I mention we hate organized tours?). We are not adverse to roughing it, but even that would still cost us at least $4000US per person, for 22 days of travel.
To see the Galapagos properly, you have to get on a boat. And this costs at least $2000 per person/week. Still, the thought of sidling up to sea lions and swimming with sea turtles that have no fear of you, is pretty appealing.
What would you choose?