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The World at Large

May 15, 2009


Ernest Hemmingway – peripatetic traveler and a man who had a brilliant way with words once said – “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

I just love that line. And like Hemmingway, I do believe who you choose to spend a journey with is just as critical to your travel experience as where you go.

But no matter if it’s with someone you love or even just sorta like, right now I think that people are afraid to travel – not enough in the budget, Swine Flu, pirate attacks – it can be anxiety producing and it has left many perfectly content to let Dhani Jones tackle the globe or Bridget Marquardt saunter around the best beaches.

Life is too short to spend it at a desk dreaming of trips you want to take when the timing fits in a little better with life. I have never regretted taking trips; saving for them, knowing it’s a memorable investment. And with the summer travel season quickly approaching, I can’t help you pick your partner in travel crime, but I can give you some creative ideas for choosing a destination worth emerging from your cubicle for.


A,B,C – Easy as 1,2,3
Travel based on the alphabet system. I know a couple that travels every year around the time of their anniversary based off this structured (but fun) system.

This can be as flexible as you want it with landmarks (M – Manchu Pichu), Continents (A – Australia), or cities (A – Amsterdam, B – Breckenridge, C – Cabo). Happy traveling letters…


Let Fate Decide
Get a globe – Spin it round and round and where she stops that’s where you go…

Pin the tail on the map – Hang a map on the wall and just like in pin the tail on the donkey, put on a  blindfold and stick tail on spot, book flight, rejoice! You are a spontaneous wanderer.


Off Season Deals
Sometimes a place that has one key peak season really wants to draw off-season visitors. I’ve enjoyed several memorable trips just by sifting through information like an Agatha Christie plot; researching the destination to find out the best time to book – both airlines and hotels And another insider tip – it never hurts to ask about specials or if someone can do a little better on the rate – whether it’s your room or an airport transfer. Case in point – ski resorts are awesome in the summer – loaded with hiking, kayaking, and great deals.


Tag Along
Best friend traveling for work? Family members with a time-share? Old friends living in another city? Ask to tag along, to use, or to visit. Just be sure to return the favor and without question, be a kind houseguest/flatmate/hotel crasher. That means keeping your suitcase contents under control and not raiding the mini-bar a.k.a. leaving the joint littered with Snicker’s wrappers and bottle caps.


Any Excuse Will Do
Rustle up a reason to go…sometimes all you need to visit someplace is a gentle nudge of an event. U2 playing in Dublin? Fabulous art exhibit opening in London? Friend getting married in Krakow? By all means, book that flight. A once-in-a lifetime anything is the perfect excuse.

Photography by Joe Albert

Photograph by Joe Albert

Family Vacay
Every other year our family decides on a place to spend one week together. This decision-making process is filled with color-coded spreadsheets, Illustrator-designed presentations and slideshows. The point of the matter is to book something where we’ll all have fun. Grab your family and go – also the every other year thing is good. Sometimes you need that year off to recover…and muster up your perma-happy grin.


Activity Lists
Narrow it down by activities – for my 30th birthday we were traveling in a group, so it was crucial to pick a place that had a little something for everyone; adventure, mountains, beach, surfing, scenery and amazing cuisine – a little something for all of us and ended up in Heaven a.k.a. the Nicoyan Peninsula of Costa Rica. We were all happy because no one felt left out or that they were spending their money on something they didn’t want to do.


Park It
For my honeymoon some five plus years ago, we literally wanted to park it – drink a lot, eat a lot and you know what a lot. We didn’t want to have to think beyond that. We did the all-inclusive thing and that worked for the type of vacation we wanted to have after the wedding hub-bub. I’ve never done all-inclusive since, but I do know lots of folks that swear by it. It does take the guess work out of planning. From yoga detox to surf or cooking schools – all-inclusives have come a long way since the Sandal’s concept.

Any way you choose to travel – go with someone you adore. Only you know your budget, schedule, and what type of person will get on your nerves during a seven-hour flight with three back to back Jack Black movies, a teething baby  and peanuts counting as your meal of the day. Now, get going, that poorly lit cubicle will still be there when you return.