Happy Tuesday Bonified Vagabonds!
I love to travel - have every since I can remember., just like our cool gnome friend over there.
Traveling can be expensive, but I’ve found a way to curtail my wanderlust - to get it out of my system temporality so to speak. I take my vacations vicariously through the internet - more specifically - Travelocity. A lot of the fun of traveling for a REAL vacation - for me - is the preparation. I like to be spontaneous in my life - but now with the stupid pd and my increasing reliance on luxury - roof over head - hot water - clean bed, etc. I can’t afford to be left lout in the cold - to be caught unprepared. So I plan in advance - sometimes as much as six months in advance. Like I said to my Mom when I was a kid - “No Mom I don’t mind window shopping with you. Lookin’s almost as good as buying - and it’s FREE!"
Up Up and away...
Even though a week and a half ago I was on a business trip with my son and band partner Donovan, I still have itchy feet - Maybe it’s because spring is coming up and - to me - Spring is the best time to travel. So, why don’t you join me as I do a little of the cabin fever elimination exercising.Don’t worry you won’t need a passport - You won’t even need to put your pants on. We’re taking this vacation completely virtually - We’re going to be window shopping - not window buying.
The fist step is to pick a place to go - this can be a place you would realistically visit someday soon, it could be a fantasy or “bucket list” vacation, or both. Let’s go all out today and think of the most exotic and romantic (it’s just me and my wife Kathleen this time. Let’s call it our 29th honeymoon.)
I, compared to my Grandparents, live a very affluent life. They couldn’t just take off and galevant around the country / world. I’m not rich and they weren’t poor although It seems that people have more money that they used to - money to spend on luxuries, or maybe traveling has gotten cheaper, relatively speaking. I don’t know. I do know that my ancestors would consider us very lucky - and we are.
Where to Mister...
OK - We have the whole world to choose from - but we want to be careful - there are a lot of places, unfortunately, were Citizens of the USA are not very welcome. Let’s go to the State Department’s web page to see if there are any places under travel advisory. Take the link in the previous sentence and check out their site - it’s a very important one, and always the first place you should check before international travel.
Here’s a list of the countries that the State Department has issued advisories or warning for since the first of 2014. A travel warning is more severe that a travel alert. I tried to find a country where US citizens are not allowed to enter, and Cuba was the only one. Some folk find ways to work around that by leaving from another country like Canada of Mexico. Some countries may not let US citizens enter however - That’s up to them.
12 SAFEST CONTRIES
Some of the countries on the list may surprise you.
Honorable mention: Jamaica, Turkey, the Czech Republic
12. Hong Kong.
10. The Netherlands.
9. The United Kingdom.
1. France. That’s right. The nation many in the United States believes hates Americans is the safest place for us.
France - yes France, right now, is the safest place abroad for us to go, and since Kathleen and I both are Francofiles ( we love anything French) we are going to make that our destination.
France is a fairly big place with many different climates and terrain types - but first we must decide if we want to visit a rural or Big city location. Since we’ve visited Paris together twice - both times enjoying ourselves thouroughly - we have decided that a stay in the countryside might be a pleasant and diferent view of France.
Our style of vacationing is to pick a nice location and stay in one place the duration of our trip - taking day trips to nearby points of interest. We like to relax and immerse ourselves in the local culture. We like learning the names of all the people we encounter frequently and attempt to get to know them better. This way we really learn (have fun) - we see the real - not the tourist version.
Now to decide which small village in France to stay in. First we pick a region - We like to travel during what is called the “shoulder seasons” usually late fall or early spring - Hotels and flights are cheaper and the crowds - thinner. Since the weather is even more unpredictable than usual in Europe during these times we’ve decided to look for a place in the south of France where the climate is a little bit warmer. We have always like the location and history of Aix-en -Provence - so we’ll start there.
We’ll be using Travelocity’s book Hotel and Flight together feature - we’ve used them several times, always with good results.
Since we decided to stay in a hotel in the center of town - instead of a Gite (Villa) or guest house, the Hotel and Flight feature will be perfect.
Here’s one that looks good.
Hotel Aquabella 3 Stars
Flight R/T JAX to Marseille PLUS 13 NIGHTS IN HOTEL - $2,016per person. So, if past budgets are any indicator then were are looking at about $6000 for a 14 day Vacation to France - a little expensive. It’s back to the drawing board. I forgot to say that our budget max was $5000. So tomorrow we’ll be looking at some other options. You can’t spend money you don’t have. It looks like a domestic holiday is in the cards this year.
I have some more Vicarious Vactioning to do, so join us tomorrow. - hopefully
Hopefully because I haven’t been feeling very well lately and I’m having trouble concentrating - Sometimes I have to rest a bit and this blog always must take a back seat to my health. But, if I can’t post a full BLOG I ‘ll do a mini blog from FB.
just say yes!
meet Andy Ward King, a professional musician and artist until a diagnosis of parkinons dsease at age 49 forced him into an early retirement., he now uses his music, his art along with the whimsical world he has created in this blog as therapy to ( as he puts it ) outsmart his brain and make the daily battles with parkinson’s a little bit easier, to give him that all important reason to get up on the morning, to make his life worth living. Andy has learned how to say NO to gving up \ NO to depression and apathy \ NO to following willingly the road of decline that stretches before him. he learned that to say no to all of these things all one has to do is say yes. Andy has learned to just say YES to life/\\