Where In the World Should We Go: The First Three Journeys

Early this month I posted a query: Where in the world should Brett and I go on an annual fall sojourn? Our goal is to stay for three months every spring in Japan to be near our son and his family, but we also want to spend two months every fall slow traveling in another part of the world.

We were given LOTS of good suggestions of places to visit (thank you!!), so Brett and I spent time this month talking about where we each wanted to go and why. It turned out we pretty much agreed on where we wanted to visit, but disagreed on the order we wanted to wanted to see them. We eventually worked that out, and came up with a list of the top three places we’d like to visit:Florence

1. Italy: Placing Italy at the top of our travel list was not as easy as one might think. Brett has been to southern Italy several times (Naples and Sicily) courtesy of the navy, but this would be a first-time visit for me. I was (and still am, to some degree) concerned about spending two months on our own in a country where we do not speak the language, but Brett feels that if we play it safe and initially go somewhere where English is spoken we might never be eager to venture to a place where it isn’t. He believes we need to takes risks earlier rather than later. We still haven’t completely decided on exactly where in Italy to stay as there are so many wonderful areas to explore. We have some ideas, but nothing definite yet. So, there will be lots of reading and research over the next couple of years to help us make a firm decision about where to stay and what to see. The target date for this journey is the fall of 2018.bath_CNT_12feb13_alamy_b

2. England/Scotland: I have wanted to visit England and Scotland for as long as I can remember – this is where my ancestors come from (and some of Brett’s as well). Again, Brett has visited some of England (Portsmouth and the surrounding area) via the navy, but it will be a first for me. At least for this trip we agree on where to stay: One month in Bath, and one month in St. Andrews. No, we don’t play golf, but St. Andrews is less expensive than Edinburgh, and it’s near enough to be an easy commute to the city for visits and touring. We think we’ll rent a car for the month we’re in Scotland so we can take drives into the Highlands. We’ll fit in a short visit to London when we’re in England, but the city of Bath will be our primary headquarters. It’s a fantastic location all on its own, but also convenient to Wales and other places in the southwestern part of the country that we’d like to experience.

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3. New Zealand: A visit to New Zealand was high on both our lists, and we are definitely in a more convenient location for getting there. However, to take advantage of all there is to see and do there may actually require more planning than our first two trips and probably cost us more as well, so we will wait and see how our savings are holding up before we commit to a full two months down under.

If we decide to continue our travels after these first three years, then we’ll come up with another list. But we’ve got enough now to get us started and are feeling quite motivated.

It’s all very exciting to dream and make plans, but now the real work begins in order to make our dreams and plans come true. Until we leave it’s all about getting the girls off to college, saving, reading and researching, saving, saving, researching and reading, and more saving. We will continue to study Japanese to prepare for our annual stays there, but as we get closer to traveling to Italy we will try to learn a bit of that language as well.

Here we go!