Where Oh Where Should We Go ?

I really, really need a vacation. I’m exhausted both mentally and physically.

We’ve had a rough couple of months with a health scare for Mike that has resolved itself in the best way possible. That’s the great news!

The not so great news is that who knows what those medical bills will end up being? The dog and cat also decided they wanted some medical upkeep as well.

The boys

Then there are the cars.  Mike’s needed new tires. Mine has some billion-dollar suspension problem that makes it feel like driving in a tin can.  The clothes dryer isn’t always drying thoroughly.  The porch and shed are approaching dilapidation.  And it seems like a zillion other things are vying to drain our bank account. Why does everything always happen at the same time?

All of this just makes me want to get away that much more. So the question is, what can we do for a reasonable amount of money? I definitely need my yearly fix of leaving the country, even if it’s only for a long weekend. What’s a girl to do? Be reckless, I think.

My high school reunion is in September in Florida so I am scouring cheap flights to South America from Miami. Let’s take a trip through the inner workings of Jill’s mind.

A while ago I got an e-mail from LAN, my favorite South American airline. It was advertising flights from Miami for $69 each way to Bogotá, Columbia. Of course I can’t get that out of my head when I check flights and see fares for $245 each way.

We have to go back to Peru because we never left the airport in Lima

For about the same money, we could go to Ecuador where a friend could hook us up with friends and family to really get a feel for the country.  Of course those are the advertised rates but when I go to book something, the cost soars like a jet climbing to altitude.

Jill with a Moai at the Fonck Museum in Viña del Mar, Chile

The trips that I really want are either to Chile’s Easter Island to see the giant heads or Moai; or Peru to see Machu Picchu and the Nazca lines.

The tantalizing teaser emails are filling up my inbox.  But  my bank account is saying, “Oh no, you shouldn’t.”

Last week I was tempted by an e-mail from Iceland Express airlines.  $199 each way from Newark.  Two tickets for a grand total of $900.  Not bad, until I add in getting to New Jersey.  Flying is about $600 for the two of us or we could drive my teeth-shattering car.  Driving means, gas, food, parking, time and possibly a hotel.

Reykjavik Iceland

Then my wonderful husband, who has recently discovered the joys of trip planning, wants to know why we can’t also go to Greenland.  I tell him to research how to get there.  He finds that we can do a day trip from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kulusuk, Greenland.  Whoo hoo! Count me in!

Kulusuk Greenland

I even had a schedule that worked and was almost ready to book it until I used my handy currency converter and realized that four hours on the ground in Greenland would cost us almost $1,200!  Ouch!  That was a tad excessive and truly reckless.

My brilliant husband pointed out that almost all flights to Greenland are from Iceland or Copenhagen so if we skipped Greenland and only went to Iceland, we would have to back-track in the future to get to Greenland.  Better put Iceland on the back burner until we can do both at the same time.

I go back to the idea of trying to find something reasonable from Florida.  Maybe South America, maybe an island in the Caribbean.  The thing is, we’re not really beach people so it would need to be an island with other things to do.

That point was driven home when American Airlines advertised flights for around $80 each way to Jamaica and Grand Cayman.  I’ve been to both islands but Mike has not.  Tickets from Miami totaled about $500 for both of us. When I went to book Mike asked the key question.  “What will we do?”

I suggested renting a car on Grand Cayman (driving on the right).  We could go see the turtles and drive to Hell, a tiny tourist-trap town on the northwestern coast.  He wasn’t buying it.  Just because I have a need to go somewhere, he reasonably said that we should at least have an interest in going to the destination.  Pass on that idea.

I’ve researched cruises to New England and Canada on vacationstogo.com.  The prices aren’t bad but nothing lines up with the week we have scheduled to take off and it will be a giant hassle to change the dates.

A Palm Beach Street

If I don’t find anything soon, we’re going to end up spending our upcoming vacation in South Florida…during hurricane season.  Not horrible, but I’ve already been down there twice this year and am itching to go someplace new.

Now I’ve convinced myself that we will be able to find rock bottom travel prices to somewhere for the beginning of November.  I reason that no one is traveling then.  As a back-up plan, I have received a confirmation letter that allows us to stand in line to try to get tickets to see a live taping of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in New York City.

In the meantime, I just came across $650 flight from New York to Istanbul, Turkey.  Those might work too!  Yes, this restless wanderer really is out of control!

About Journeys By Jill

I have spent most of my adult life working in and around TV, film & radio production. As an avid traveler, I have a goal to visit at least 100 countries using the Century Traveler's Club Country List. At the moment, I have 54 to go. My favorite form of travel is to get off the beaten path and discover weird & wonderful attractions. Basically, I wing it. I'd love for you to come along for the ride.
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6 Responses to Where Oh Where Should We Go ?

  1. eyeonwales says:

    You need more than a day for Greenland – too wonderful (and expensive) to have only one day there!

    • I know we do! That was our first foray into trying to figure out how to get there with the time and cash constraints we have for our next vacation. There are no direct flights from the U.S. and only a minimal schedule from Canada. Quick research showed that hotels are running $500 a night plus pretty expensive airfare so the day trip was a potentially cost effective way (relatively speaking) to get there, even if only for a day. Yes, it was a crazy plan!

      Where did you go? What was your favorite part of your trip(s) to Greenland? Any great tips?

  2. eyeonwales says:

    Well I was more there on work/research, so I ended up based in the capital Nuuk. Not the glamour location of Greenland, but a fascinating location for getting an insight into how modern Greenland is growing, be that for the better or worse. The advantage of basing yourself there is that it is reasonably simply to reach other more scenic parts of Greenland, not that Nuuk is so bad, you still wake up to see massive mountains and icebergs bobbing into the harbour every morning. I know other people can be quite snobbish about Nuuk, but I really enjoyed my experience there, and the people are lovely.

    • Nuuk was where I started. I figured that it would be easiest to get to the capital than anywhere else. I was wrong. That’s how we ended up looking at places like Kusuluk. We lived in Alaska and have traveled to the southern tip of South America. I just love the look of the mountains and icebergs floating, the northern lights and everything those remote places reflect. The people are self-reliant and tough but welcoming and gracious. Years ago, we applied for radio jobs in Reykjavik. We didn’t even get an interview but it has alway intrigued us since then. Thanks so much for confirming that Greenland is a must see!

  3. Gina Pye says:

    Hey Jill, It ‘s Gina from the Chelsea in New Bern NC.. Hope you are doing well. This is the first chance Ive had to lok at your web sight…Wow! you’vve been all over..
    Hope you both can make it bake this way soon!
    Safe Travels!
    Gina Pye

    • Hi Gina! Thanks for taking a look. I am working on the post on our trip. Been kind of crazy working on securing work so I haven’t had a ton of time to write. But it IS coming! We really enjoyed meeting you! We’ll definitely come by if we are in the area!

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