A Poll: Our Next Vacation!

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So, Rob and I made a bet… and let’s just say I WON!

So, now I get to pick our next vacation destination abroad.

I think I first got the travel bug when traveled through France through our high school French Club. In fact, at seventeen years old, my first flight ever was Chicago to Paris. I worked my tush off at KFC to save for that trip! My eyes were opened up to a whole new world. I still remember the pit in my stomach the night before returning home.

Three years later, I found myself studying abroad in the South of France: Toulon.

Three years later, my friend Jen and I took a post-college, ten-week backpacking trip of Europe. I look back on that trip with such fond memories. Today, I can’t believe how cheaply we got by in just ten weeks.

This was becoming a pattern. Every three years, I was ending up in France. I knew in 2003, I would need to return. This time, I took my mom! She had never been abroad before. She, too, fell in love with Paris.

But just one week before I left for that trip with my mom, I met Rob.

I didn’t mention a word about him, because I didn’t want to jinx anything. 😉 Besides, we had only just met. We hadn’t even been on a date yet. But he did already learn one thing: I loved to travel.

Three years later, I brought him on his first trip abroad – to Paris.

View of Sacré-Coeur from a side street in Montmartre, Paris

He fell in love as well. He, too, was bitten by the International Travel Bug.

In 2008, I earned an all-expense-paid trip to Tuscany, Italy through The Traveling Vineyard. Rob wasn’t going to come. I hadn’t earned it completely for a second person. But his co-workers talked him into it. “This is a trip of a lifetime!” They said. “It’s still way less expensive than you would ever spend if you planned it yourself!” And so he came…

The view from our bedroom in Tuscany… seriously.

And in Tuscany, at the Villa Dievole, is where he proposed.

You have to know Rob. He’s witty. He’s a jokester. And he adores eBay. I seriously thought that when it came time to propose, it would be via email with a picture of a ring from eBay. Those were my expectations. You can understand my utter shock and delight when he did it on one knee in one of the most beautiful places in the world with the vineyards and cypress trees in the backdrop. It was like a fairytale.

We returned to Italy for our honeymoon. This time, the Amalfi Coast:

The view from our favorite restaurant in Positano. Lo Guarrancino is carved right out of seaside rock. 

You may be wondering why we don’t branch out… Why we don’t travel domestically… Why I always returned to France… and now Italy.

Well, that’s not the case. We do travel domestically. In fact, we love to travel domestically. We do it every year. But that’s not what this post is about. When Rob and I discussed marriage, I had one request:

I wanted our life together to include traveling abroad once every year.

It was a dream of mine. I can cut back on other things in life. Seriously, I will run my little Toyota Corolla until it dies. It has about 134,000 miles on it now. So its got some life left!

And we are making it happen!

This fall, Rob and I are traveling to Ireland with his parents.

We love to travel in the fall, when tourist season isn’t as high and kids are back in school. Generally, the weather is a bit nicer, too.

So, I’m trying to decide where to plan our 2013 trip abroad. Here are my thoughts. But since I’m horrible at making decisions, I’d love your vote and input!

Australia –  Truly, this is at the top of my list. Why? I get to choose.  And since Rob has no desire to take a flight that long, it would be my best chance at getting there. However, I need to be realistic, too. This most likely won’t be the choice. We’d want to be there for a few weeks and neither of us would have the funds nor vacation to make the trek in 2013.

Provence – Yes, I’d love to return to France. This time: Provence. I’d love to show Rob the region where I studied. But one of the things on my bucket list is to bike through the region. I am not sure if I’d plan the trip for us or go on a group tour.

Sicily – Yes, of course, we want to return to Italy! We just can’t get enough of it. There are more regions to discover. But I get to pick. So this would be my first choice.

Greece – Well, since I seem to love the Mediterranean so much, and it’s a country Jen and I did not get to on our ten-week backpacking tour, it’s a great option for a new place for me to discover in Europe.

Argentina – If you would have asked me about Argentina five years ago, I wouldn’t have had the desire. But it’s intriguing me more and more. First, we’ve never been to South America. For that matter, we’ve never even been to the Southern Hemisphere. I’ve heard stories from a few people have been to Argentina, furthering my interest. And how could we go wrong with the wine? Also, did you know that second to Spanish immigrants to Argentina were the Italians? Besides a lot of beef {which will suit Rob well!}, I’m told that there is a lot of Italian cuisine in Argentine culture. Mmm…

Québec – I’ve never been to Canada. My reason for choosing Québec, in parcticular, has not only to do with the French culture, but also the history and food. This would be a culinary adventure! We’ve discussed Québec many times and have even considered making a longer trip of it. We’ve thought about driving down to New York to visit some friends in towns near the border and also my cousin in Oswego. We could maybe even hit the Finger Lakes Wine Region.

See, we have plenty of ideas for international travel for the next six years. But to choose one? Nearly impossible.

Please HELP!

Please vote where we should go and comment as to why or your experience if you’ve visited any of these destinations.

Merci beaucoup in advance!

Cheers~
Carrie

19 responses »

  1. Ohhh boy. Traveling… my hot button topic that I could go on for eons about. I caught the travel bug after studying abroad in college. I had traveled a little before then, even to China in high school, but traveling with your parents is SO different from traveling with friends. When hubs and I met, I found my lifetime travel partner. It was only fitting that we met in Fiji. LOL For the last 6-7 years, I’ve traveled overseas somewhere, provided many times were to Australia where he’s from. We make multiple domestic trips a year while it’s easy and relatively care free with no kids.

    Obviously my vote is for Australia, but you’re right. You need a lot of money and time to see things. No major cities are really close (Melbourne to Sydney is a 9 hour drive, 1 hour flight), and the cost of food and accommodation can be expensive unless you hostel it. There is a lot to see, and it really is a once in a lifetime trip because it’s so far away…. (unless you marry an Aussie and go about every year or two. =P )

    All that aside… I say travel within your means. If you’re short on money and time, go to Quebec. It’s still international, but it doesn’t take a full day or even half a day to get there. It’s not that expensive and you can see a lot by foot, saving you a lot on transportation. You can continue to save up for your true ‘over seas’ adventure!

  2. I voted for Greece, but if I could vote a second time (huh, guess I could though, eh?) I’d also vote for Argentina. I bet Quebec would be great, but I wouldn’t count that as a big, exciting international travel opportunity, you know? To me, that’s an easy one to do in the future. I say go big or go home on this one since you get to pick! I agree with you on Australia. I think both Argentina and Greece would be amazing and something adventurous and new compared to your last few trips. You have picked some amazing possibilities though!!!

  3. Argentina! Have a good Malbec (or two or three). Definitely save for a trip to Australia. When I went, it was for a month, and really barely scratched the surface of what I would have liked to have done. It was so awesome to be able to spend that amount of time Down Under and I wouldn’t recommend any less than 3-4 weeks. Good luck with your plans!

  4. You knew I would vote for Australia. Yes the flight is long but worth it. You could do one half of Australia this time and the other half next time!!! Plus you have your own special Aussie to tell you what to see plus you could stay with my family in a lot of diferent places. Plus fall here is Spring there so the best time to go. Then of course there is the wine………i could go one and on……but I think you get the drift.

  5. Have not announced it to the blog yet, so shhh. But Marcus is going on business to Montreal next week and I talked him into letting me fly out to join him for the weekend! SO EXCITED FOR CANADIAN FRANCE.

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