After three days of unsuccessfully trying to adjust back to "real life," I finally managed to get there today... thanks to a trip to the dentist's office. When it comes to snapping you back from those heady vacation days, I guess having metal tools shoved in your mouth is just the thing.
Ah well. It was good why it lasted.
And now my mind can focus on what's truly important... where am I going for my next vacation? This will largely depend on whether or not my car can hold on for another year. Right now, that doesn't seem likely, in which case my vacation savings will have to be reallocated to buying a new one. Which is the last thing I want to spend money on, but you do what you gotta do.
But thinking positively here, where would I want to go? The list is pretty huge, but I can narrow it down to a top-ten pretty easily...
- Antarctica. The reason I haven't been to Antarctica yet is solely a matter of money. I don't just want to float by on a cruise ship... I want an actual expedition, and that costs an absurd amount of bank. I'm hopeful I can get it figured out one day soon, because I don't know how much longer I'll remain healthy enough for such an adventure.
- India. It seems insane that one of the destinations I most want to visit on earth is still on my to-do list. I think the problem is one of time and logistics. There are simply so many places in the country I want to visit that I can't decide on an itinerary that would fit in a two-week period. I'll get it sorted eventually, I suppose, but every time I've tried in the past I get mired down with the fact that I need five weeks to do what I want to do, and no way to take that much time off.
- Peru. Machu Picchu is a bucket-list item that I've been dreaming of for decades. Now that I've (finally) been to Cambodia and Angkor Wat, this will probably be next. Unless...
- Jordan & Israel. There are many reasons I want to visit Jordan but, naturally, seeing Petra before I die is probably the biggest. And since it would be insane to go all that way and not visit Israel, another place I've longed to see, this is a dream trip.
- Brazil. Visiting Rio de Janeiro, Fernando de Noronha, The Amazon Rainforest, Ouro Preto, and dozens of other places in Brazil is kind of a no-brainer. But I want to see Iguazu Falls. Badly. It's just such an amazing spectacle on movies and television that I cannot fathom how amazing it would be to see in person.
- New Zealand When I visited Australia two years ago, I drew a line through Sydney and created a trip north (including Fiji), and a trip south (including New Zealand). I ended up going north because the southern trip would take a week longer and an additional $1600... both of which I didn't have. But that southern itinerary is still there. I still want to do it. I just need the money and the time. Again.
- Africa. Who doesn't want to experience an African safari? Who doesn't want to see elephants, gorillas, lions, rhinos, giraffes, and the dozens of other amazing creatures that can be found there? This is another one of those trips that requires a massive stack of cash to do right.
- Moscow & St. Petersburg. This is a pretty simple trip to plan... just call up a company who does river cruises (like Viking) and sail from Moscow to St. Petersburg while enjoying all the amazing stuff in-between. Easy! At least it's easy if you've got lots and lots of money.
- Nepal. Always wanted to go. Still want to go. Need to find a way to go. Have never put enough time into figuring out how to go. Really must go.
- Norwegian Fjords. A cruise along the coast of Norway through all the beautiful little fishing towns and jaw-dropping scenery seems like one of the most relaxing vacations ever. And I blame my obsession with experiencing it on Disney's Epcot. They show a movie after you go on the "Maelstrom" ride in "Norway" that shows just how amazing such a trip would be, and I've been dreaming of it ever since.
Holy crap that's a huge-looking list... and it only includes places I've never been before! There are dozens of places I've been already that I would love to revisit and see more of (Thailand, China, and Iceland come immediately to mind).
If anybody has a million dollars they want to get rid of so I can start checking things off my list, just let me know how I can take that off your hands for you.