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Monday, June 6, 2016

Question of the Month

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Question of the Month


The Question of the Month is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. The first Monday of each month I'll be answering a question posed by Michael prior to event day. Click on the link to his blog for more participants. 

The question for this month is:


“Of all the places in the world that you haven’t yet been to, where would you like to go next?”
    


         That's kind of a crazy question for me.  I get asked and my head starts flooding with places I want to go.  Many of the places where I think about going I've already been to and many of those I have to go back to because that's where my family is.   For me, travel to visit family precedes any travel I'd want to do for sheer pleasure.  It's an issue of love I would say.  I enjoy traveling, but I love seeing and spending time with family members.  If doing this requires travel, then that's where my travel time will go.    And of course my finances dictate how much travel I can actually do.

      Then there are those places that have fascinated me, but I'd be wary about going because of the situation in those places based on what I've heard in the media and elsewhere.
    
         One place that would be logistically easy for me to do and probably inexpensive would be a road tour of Mexico.  A tourist can just drive across the border into Mexico and drive around.  From what I've seen in documentaries and articles, there are some nice places to go in Mexico.  I've been to Mexico City and that was interesting to take in the sights of that area.  But there's that safety factor.  I've known people who have gone there and had some bad things happen and I've read about worse.  

       Not sure about driving around Mexico, but I'd sure like to.  Good food, some fine people, and interesting places to visit.   Since my wife is a native Spanish speaker I'd definitely want her along since my Spanish is not all that good.  However she has no interest in going there--even if it were safe with little travel risk.  She's from Ecuador and isn't interested in going to Mexico.  Truth be told, she's said that she doesn't even want to go back to Ecuador.   She probably would if I asked her to go and money were not an object, but if left up to her she wouldn't go back to her homeland.  At least that's what she usually says.

         By the way, regarding this world travel issue, travel isn't all that cheap.  At least not the way we prefer to do it.  When I'm traveling I prefer to stay in nicer hotels and eat in decent restaurants.  I'm not the roughing it adventurer that I used to be when I was younger.  I've grown softer as I've grown older.    My kind of travel takes a fair amount of money though not as much as a true luxury traveler.  

        So Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin American will be places I might dream about visiting, but the closest I'll probably ever get will be someone else's vacation photos or travel documentaries I see on television.  Also there are the places in my sleep dreams.  I like to sleep in my own bed at night in my own house and I go to some pretty exotic places in my dreams.  That works for me too.

          Do you enjoy watching travel documentaries?    Did you travel much in your younger days?   Are you able to travel much now? 

     Battle of the Band results will be on Wednesday June 8th.   

70 comments:

  1. Ecuador would probably be amazing to visit, with all their historical sites and nature!
    Sadly, I've never been abroad, and I don't think I ever will...

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    1. Dezmond, I liked Ecuador. If I didn't have my kids and grandkids I might consider moving there for retirement. If you ever do get a chance to come to Los Angeles, let me know. I'd love to meet you in person.

      Lee

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  2. I do like to travel. I would like to go to Scandanavia and Australia, but need funds to do that. Or Australia. Problem: I don't like long flights.

    My husband and I took a dream vacation to Alaska. It was a real delight.

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    1. Pop Tart, I don't like flying, though it would be nice to have a plane to oneself--not so bad in that way. Alaska is one of two states I have not yet been too. I'd love to go there.

      Lee

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  3. Some great places there Lee, hope you get to visit some in the future.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, you've done some great traveling.

      Lee

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  4. Hi, Lee!

    The cost of travel can be a deal breaker. Mrs. Shady and I would love to take the scenic train trip across Canada but it costs almost $5,000 per person. Fortunately we have the internet and our dreams to take us wherever we want to go. I would love to visit Finland and Mrs. Shady recently mentioned Iceland. I think we start dreaming of cooler places around this time of year when Florida turns into a steam bath. :) Tropical storm Colin is hitting us today and I wanted to hustle over here before we lose power.

    Have a great week, Lee!

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    1. Shady, I've looked at that train trip across Canada and you're right--it's cost prohibitive for most of us. Good luck with the coming storm.

      Lee

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  5. Central America wouldn't be high on my list. Like you, I prefer to travel in style. I've been to many foreign countries and would like to go back to several of them. My wife and I travel now as much as we did when we were younger. We didn't rough it then either.

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    1. Alex, actually I've never been a fan of roughing it too much though at times in my past I would sleep in my van on occasion, camp out, or stay in accommodations that I would likely avoid unless that's all I had to settle for.

      Lee

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  6. It is a difficult question...but I think I have to go with Bora Bora...

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    1. Op Ex, Bora Bora might be interesting. I don't know much of anything about it except it sounds exotic.

      Lee

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  7. Can't afford it and I have dog care issues now. I want so much to see more of Canada, do Rte 66, and of course Harry Potter at Universal. But you do need a passport to get into Mexico now, just like in Canada.

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    1. JoJo, my wife recently sent in her passport renewal. If she gets it back in the next couple weeks we'll probably drive across Canada going back East this year. If not then we'll do a northern route across the U.S. Either way it will be fun.

      Lee

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  8. Yeah travel is far too expensive. Mexico would be avoided by me, no sense is risking that. I'll stay in my own bed too.

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    1. Pat, like they said in Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like my own bed." Or something like that.

      Lee

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    2. Much more comfortable and no risk of dragging home bed bugs either, win win.

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  9. I was born in Europe and grew up travelling. My husband and I have been on a few fabulous trips as well; Rome, Pompeii and southern Italy in 1990 and, most recently (2013), Greece was crossed off the bucket list (it was #1). We'll be wanting to retire soon and that means less income, so I doubt there will be as much foreign travel in future, although I'm still dreaming about Egypt, Venice and Malta. We also like to do short road trips around here and into the U.S.

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    1. Debbie D, I'm glad I was able to travel so much when I was younger. Getting older and having less income certainly puts a damper on travel.

      Lee

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    2. Yes, the age and income issues do hamper many travel plans. We were physically struggling with all those rocks and steps in Greece, but it was worth it! I don't think I'd be able to handle it as well now, being three years older. Travel, especially by air, has become ridiculously expensive and more and more uncomfortable as airlines get rid of all the little perks and jam in additional, smaller seats.

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  10. I traveled quite a bit in my youth. Even went to Caracas, Venezuela. I have no interested in Mexico, but I would like to go to Scotland.

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    1. Bish, these days Venezuela would not be on my list at all--not until they get their situation straightened out down there with the economy and security issues.

      Lee

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  11. My husband has family in Trinidad and wants us to go there with our kids. I'm not enthusiastic because of the crime/kidnappings that have occurred there.

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    1. Tamara, crime and security issues would concern me with any travel outside U.S. borders these days. One even needs to be careful in the U.S.

      Lee

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  12. Have not travelled yet outside Jamaica but really want to. I would love to go to Japan. That has been my fantasy travel location since I was a kid. As an adult though I also want to visit Utah. A lot of my writer friends live there and it just seems like such a writer friendly place. As a kid I had close to zero interest in going to America. That is one of the things about being The Land of Opportunity. If I don't need it I'm probably not going to exactly be chasing you. Japan is still #1 for me though.

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    1. Sheena-kay, Japan I think would be very interesting though I doubt whether I could convince my wife to go. I've passed through Utah several times but never done any intense exploration of the wonderful sites to be seen there.

      Lee

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  13. Europe and Asia are on my list of dream places to go to, too. I may never get to travel, though. Unless I strike it rich. ;)

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    1. Chrys, within a few years Europe might be out of the question. Already many people are having concerns about traveling to Europe.

      Hope you do have a chance to do some travel even if it is only on the North American continent.

      Lee

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  14. I love to travel, but even road trips are expensive now.

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    1. HR, gas is supposed to go down this summer, but hotels and restaurants seem to be going up in price. We even spend a lot just staying home.

      Lee

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  15. I love to travel and have always done a lot of it, but I'm beginning to tire of the security, the time spent in lines, the hassel. I have Global Entry and still it's a drag at some airports. Then there's the hours of sitting on the long trips. Maybe I'm just getting old and grouchy. That happens. I just read the latest Bill Bryson book, and I sense a case of curmudgeon setting on even with him.

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    1. C.Lee, the issues involved with air travel and other aspects of today's society are enough to make any of us curmudgeonly. At least when I'm driving my wife and I are in our own little world where we don't have to deal directly with other people other than the other cars on the road.

      Lee

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  16. I'm a Sagittarius, the Traveller of the Zodiac, and I have so many places I'm passionately interested in visiting. It's kind of embarrassing to admit I've only been in the U.S. (not even every single state) and Israel. I've also physically been in Austria, but wasn't able to get off the plane. We had an emergency middle of the night landing when an elderly Russian woman a few rows behind me got sick from having taken too much Xanax or some other anti-anxiety med to deal with flying alone. Someday, I'd like to actually be on Austrian soil, not just physically occupy space in the country!

    I'd love to visit so many places in Europe, as well as Japan, Australia, India, Armenia, Georgia (the country), Iran, China, and Antarctica.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'd like to visit Austria and the places associated with the great composers who lived or spent time there. Israel too!

      Lee

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  17. There's no doubt that travel is expensive. I just booked our tickets for CA and when I went to compare the price this morning with what I paid last night, it was a thousand dollars more! Made it in just under the wire. Phew.

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    1. Susan, yikes! A thousand dollars more is outrageous but I've run into similar things. That's one reason why I prefer driving.

      Lee

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  18. Same answer I always have to this one: Hisarlik...

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    1. C.W., What? No sure exactly what you mean? Someplace in Turkey? No way would I go to Turkey these days.

      Lee

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    2. Okay, that's what I found when I googled the name and the indication that it probably was in Turkey. I guess there is some debate about it though.

      Lee

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  19. Expense and safety really keep us from following our traveling dreams. I would prefer to do it your way, a driving tour rather than something with buses and tour guides.

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    1. Susan GK, to me driving is equated with freedom. I can change my mind about where I'm going whenever I want. Can't do that if you're traveling with other people.

      Lee

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  20. I like to travel, but I don't like to fly or take cruises. So that basically leaves to travel by car, which in my younger days (like a decade ago), wasn't a problem health-wise. Now, with my current medical malady nipping at the heels, I'm very careful in the distances I travel. But this summer, I plan on doing yet another monster road trip somewhere either through the south or mid-south/west. Not sure, but it should be interesting.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. GB, I'm getting ready to plan our summer road trip. My wife says she wants to limit our daily driving to about 9 hrs or less. Normally we do 12 hours or more. Maybe it will take a day or two longer but at least we can be more leisurely about it which is okay with me.
      Have fun on your trip and take it easy. No point in overexerting ourselves is there.

      Lee

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  21. My husband is Cuban and he has been begging me to go because his mother is there. After hearing him and his father's story of Cuba I am almost scared to visit, but one day, I'm sure that I will end up there. One day you'll get to mexico!

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    1. Jaclyn, I've mentioned to my wife about going to Cuba, but that is just one more place she doesn't want to go. I've been intrigued since the 60's when I used to listen to the short wave radio broadcasts coming out of Havana.

      Lee

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  22. My favorite road travel has been several trips down the Baja peninsula from south of Ensenada all the way to the East Cape. Tijuana is a mess, Ensenada and Cabo have too much traffic and too many tourists, but the nearly 1000 miles between is awesome. The highway is only 19 ft. wide, and it can be a bit scary watching a big semi barrel toward you from several miles down that straight highway. Other than that, it can be enchanting. You'll see Old Mexico as it has existed for centuries - the California missions started from Loreto. Let me know if you want to know more.

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    1. Jack, I'd love to take that trip, but I don't know how safe it is now. Probably okay, but I'd rather be with someone who knows the area and all of the ins and outs. Maybe someday I'll do that route, but I'm not sure that I could convince my wife to go along.

      Lee

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  23. We traveled some with our children when they were young. We went more places than I ever thought I would go, but I believe my traveling days are over.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, if I ever live closer to my kids then my traveling will likely decline a great deal, but I hope I can travel for years to come and be close to my kids too.

      Lee

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  24. I've shown myself now that I can both rough it, and go large. In December I spent a night in Sydney and stayed in a $25 hostel dorm with 15 other people. The room was horribly humid, the beds didn't feel clean and there was a man in the bunk bed next to mine that was snoring like a freight train. I felt the need to stand by his bed to ensure he kept breathing throughout the night. A month later I went to Singapore and spent a night at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, swimming in their rooftop infinity pool and eating a $45 breakfast in my room.

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    1. Michael, hostel life would not be for me. I'd likely rather camp out and sleep on the ground than stay in a place like that, but those experiences are for the much younger me. Now I'd really have to get used to dealing with something like that. I'll take the fancy place with the expensive breakfast.

      Lee

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  25. I'm like you: all my travel is dedicated to going to spend time with family. Family is paramount for me and leisure travel has to take a backseat. I can only get away every so often and when I get the opportunity, I go to North Carolina to see my parents (but they're here with me right now so that's nice) or back home to New York (Niagara Falls) to see my brother.

    Lol to traveling in your dreams. I hear that! Exciting adventures are only in my dreams, I'm afraid... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, my favorite travel has been going to see family or the travel associated with work. I'd rather have somebody else pay for my travel so leisure type travel seems like frivolity spending to me now.

      Lee

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  26. I love travel documentaries and watch quite a few. I do love Rick Steves. I would love to travel but not in tents on a side of a mountain. I don't need 5 star places though. I would love to see Macchu Picchu and Ankhor Watt but I am always drawn to Europe. I would love to visit my mom's birthplace...Wittenberg

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    1. Birgit, Rick Steves shows and other such docs are fascinating to watch. I often watch these types of shows on PBS or other networks. Top notch luxury I don't want to pay premium prices for, but I do want clean and safe.

      Lee

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  27. I occasionally watch documentaries on places I'd like to go but have removed from the list for various reasons. Yes, I did do a lot of travelling when I was younger, and having been to loads of amazing places, I think that I don't need to experience those I can do via travel documentaries these days; it impacts the places less! Tourism is not what it used to be and I'm glad I was lucky enough to travel when I did. Mind you, my parents said the same thing, so it may just be a matter of age!

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    1. Jemima, I think the documentaries give a perspective and allow access in ways we could never do on our own. They're a lot less expensive to enjoy as well. I even like watching the documentaries about places I've been so I see them in a different light or am reminded of what I had seen.

      Lee

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  28. Chile as my maternal grandmother was from there. But it's now a dream as my wheelchair has restrictions. So I'll stick to exploring Idaho when I get there, and maybe across the borders...into Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and even across into Canada.

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    1. Roland, Idaho and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer. That can keep you busy for a long time.

      Lee

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  29. My husband grew up running the Mexican beaches, so we brought our own child up the same way... lots of fantastic memories! It's not the same any more, it's just not safe. Thankfully he encourages my adventurous side and we do a lot of road trips involving ghost towns - and of course, fishing ;-) Like most, I'd love to see places such as Ireland, or Stonehenge. Realistically, I plan to see the Tovrea castle one day.

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    1. Diedre, it's a big world out there, but there's always plenty in our own back yards to keep us occupied.

      Lee

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  30. I like travel documentaries and am a fan of Anthony Bourdain. He visits places I'd never choose, but I'm always entertained. I haven't traveled much lately except the same-old, same-old to visit family. I'd love to take a riverboat cruise somewhere.

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    1. Patricia, those Anthony Bourdain shows go to some interesting places with lots of eating adventures. A riverboat cruise might be nice, but still nothing replaces the family visits for me. Now if I lived closer to them it might be a different story.

      Lee

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  31. Money truly is the fiend that prevents me from seeing all the places I'd like to see. That and lack of a travel buddy. I go where my friends go because I would not want to travel alone. I've had dreams of traveling the world since I was little. Now, like you said, there are many places that have become more dangerous for Americans to travel over time, which dampens my dreams. I do still hope I can make it overseas at least once as long as I can find someone to go with. I have been able to travel into Mexico multiple times on mission trips and it was a very rewarding experience.

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  32. I love to travel, but since I don't have too much money, I still need to be that "adventurer" you speak of and camp when I can. But if I could go anywhere without worry? I'd visit England and France and try all the different foods. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with your followers, Lee.

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  33. Hands down, I would go to Japan. It's been a life long dream to live there for at least a year and immerse myself in the culture. I know a little bit of Japanese, enough to sound impressive to non-speakers. But I think my dreams will have to wait until family grows up a bit.

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    Replies
    1. It's a great place, Loni. Get there soon. The people are just amazing and so polite.

      Delete
  34. This question seems to be the question of the day! I would go to places in America--Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, a ship through the Great Lakes, a train across Canada (even though this isn't America)...there are more I am sure.

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  35. I would like to travel across Canada some day but if I don't manage it, then I'm quite happy where I am :) I'm a bit of a home-bird.

    ReplyDelete

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Lee