I HAVE AN ‘ITCH’ THAT I CAN’T SCRATCH for another year. So many opportunities have popped up since I self-imposed a moratorium on my international travels, it’s truly pathetic: a small-group trip to Scotland, Clan Gathering in Scotland, friends beckoning in England…the list goes on. The Travel Siren has been blasting in my head since October and it is so hard to shut it out–and so tempting to break the moratorium. So far, I’ve been successful!
I will have to be satisfied my travel-fix with in-state travel until sometime in 2014 (oh, it seem so far away!), and perhaps a trip to Oregon this summer to explore the Bend area (and a wonderful excuse to visit one of my brothers & family there). There are plenty of opportunities to see things locally–and I do. The area I live in is a hotbed for ‘tourist trappings’: the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Steinbeck Center, Big Sur & coastline in general, redwoods, mountains, ocean, beaches (both sandy & rocky)…I love all of it and am a frequent visitor to them all. The beauty, in my eye, will never diminish in the slightest and I will always be filled with awe at the diversity we have here, but that’s not the point. I love to see and experience different things. These are delightful, but I’ve seen them, over and over again.
I’ve decided to make a trip to Napa Valley sometime soon…a dual-purpose trip: see/photography the sights and visit a poultry breeder–going to add to my even-dozen, delightful egg-laying Girls (I’m excited at this prospect!), so I want to see her offerings. Plus, a trip to visit my dear brother in Palm Desert. Not only will I get to spend time with him & his family, but I will get to root around in the desert (while it’s still relatively cool), which I don’t do often. The stark beauty is breathtaking. Plus, a family wedding in Las Vegas in November. Hopefully the heat will be tolerable by then. I’ve only driven through Vegas, so this will definitely be a new experience. Maybe I’ll even shell out the money to catch one of the Cirque du Soleil performances. I love the artistry of their performances! I’ll have all my camera gear with me so I can go out into the desert to shoot. But, I can imagine that the blingy night-life of in-town will be interesting, too. I’m excited for this adventure–both for the wedding and the photography.
So, now begins the job of scheduling the dates, finding sitters for my gaggle of critters and figuring out where I’ll stay while I’m gone. It’s not like I can find a hostel, which I do for my travels in Europe or the UK & Ireland. I may be able to do the Napa Valley trip in one day, but would like to extend it to at least two so I’m not rushing. Staying with family is great (once I’m there, but I will need to find something for along the way) for two of the other three…but Vegas is going to be interesting.
If I end up at a hotel/motel, I will probably stay at one of the chains — something like Best Western or Motel 6 (especially for Vegas) — I don’t need anything fancy. But then again, I might also investigate the option of using my CouchSurfing.com membership (not for Vegas–no offense, Vegas readers–at least, not till I get to know & am comfortable with someone from there). CouchSurfing is a wonderful way to see the country cheaply (free, short-term sleeping accommodations), as long as you follow the sites safety guidelines. I have not used it in the states, but have hosted numerous CSers over the years from both ‘domestic’ and international locations and have gained some wonderful friends from it! I have only used CouchSurfing internationally once — stayed overnight in Brugges, Belgium with a CSer and her son (I had hosted them in the past as they toured California). In traveling during Europe’s football season, ‘couches’ were hard to come by, plus I was trying to schedule too far out from my arrival date–I’ve learned my lesson… I’ll have to see what is available in the areas I plan on visiting. It’s nice that the option is there!
So, if you’ll excuse me now, I’m off to plan my travels.
May your travels be many, the roads be varied and may you discover new friends at every turn!