I am always thinking of travel. OK, maybe not always, but I think about it a lot. Almost every day I’m reading someone else’s travel journal, or clicking on their pictures on Facebook, or looking at Kayak or Google Flights or AirBNB or something else related to travel.
I can’t help it. I love to dream about traveling, I love to plan travel, and I to travel. It’s almost like I’m addicted or something.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I am a long-term planner. Thinking long-term is what made it possible for us to move to Hawai’i, and what has allowed us to even think about traveling on our retirement income. It also showed me that things come up and happen a lot quicker than you might think they will. I start with a travel idea (and check with Brett to see if he’s interested), then start putting some flesh on the idea’s bones to see if it’s doable, and what it’s going to take for us to make my flicker of an idea a reality, both in what we want to and can see and do, and how much we have to save.
I am currently thinking out to three years in the future at this point. Three years is how long it took us to make our Hawai’i dream a reality, and I know that having those ideas on my radar will go a long way to making sure they happen. Current travel plans are front and center right now and get most of my attention, but there ideas starting to simmer on the back burner are also getting some attention these days.
Here’s what’s on our upcoming travel plans look like so far:
- Waikiki Getaway (June): I almost can’t believe this is happening in less than a month! Our hotel (an ocean-front room at the Hale Koa) is booked and paid for, airline tickets have been purchased and paid for, and transport to and from the airport to Waikiki has been arranged. We’re there for just three nights, but that will give the girls enough time to do some shopping, and for Brett and I to decompress on the beach with some mai tais.
- Take WenYu to College (August): Airline tickets, hotels and rental cars have already been booked for this trip and mostly paid for. There’s still a few things to figure out, but we have plenty of time to get those taken care of.
- Japan Visit (March 2017): Our stay at the New Sanno Hotel has already been reserved, and I am just starting to look at air fares for Brett, YaYu and myself. There’s been a couple of good fares put out already, but I’m feeling pretty sure there will be better prices this summer or early fall.
- A New Mystery Vacation™! (December 2017): I’ve come up with what I think is a terrific and doable idea for a family Mystery Vacation™ over Christmas break in 2017. I’m just starting to look at lodging options and what airfares might be that time of year and so far nothing has screamed No Way Lady! Lots can happen between now and then, but the idea is simmering. I’ve been told though that this time, once air fare and lodging have been booked, I have to reveal the destination. No last-minute announcements will be allowed.
- Take YaYu to College (August 2018): For obvious reasons this has just been penciled in so we stay aware.
- Fall Getaway (September 2018): This is just something that’s being penciled in as well on our virtual travel calendar. Brett and I had originally thought we would go somewhere for up to two months; now we’re looking at more like two to three weeks. New Zealand’s North Island is at the top of the list for both of us.
- Spring in Japan (February – May 2019): This will be the first of our annual 90-day stays in Japan. We currently can’t even think about where we might stay in Tokyo because our son and daughter-in-law are planning to buy a house or condo in 2017. They’re pretty sure they’re going to stay in Tokyo, and not move out to the suburbs, but that’s not set in stone.
- Meiling’s Graduation in Oregon (June 2019) Again, just penciled in right now.
We’ve got some long stretches in there where we’re not going anywhere, but will use those times to beef up our travel account and figure things out. The hardest part is going to be the two years between Spring 2017 and 2019 when we won’t visit Japan. We can’t visit beginning February 2018 as U.S. visitors are only allowed to stay 90 days out of a 365 day period, and visa extensions can be very difficult to obtain. It seems like it will be too long to go without seeing our grandchildren, but hopefully our son and family will be able to make it here to Kaua’i during that time. If not, we’ll figure something out.