my jaunts: where do i go next??

one great thing about my job is that i currently earn four glorious weeks of vacation per year. this seems shockingly high given some of my friends’ vacation accruals (unless you live outside of the US, and then you are probably laughing hysterically that four weeks seems high). however, it is always so difficult to find the time to take it! i have so many ideas for future adventures, yet there just seems too little time to take them. this weekend i attended the dallas gilt city warehouse sale with my friend, becca, and i purchased the jetsetter (travel arm of gilt) bon voyage book. with it comes the ability to have a jetsetter concierge plan a vacation for me, even down to creating the itinerary and booking the hotels. this makes me very excited. excited is actually an understatement. i am giddy!

so now on to the difficult part: where to go? i’ll let you in on a few of my ideas, and please let me in on a few of yours! there is literally nowhere where i am uninterested in visiting, so the sky’s the limit!

  • southern africa – this is really at the top of my list. i’ve never visited africa before and, well, it’s huge. how do you even choose where to go in a giant CONTINENT? i read brendan’s adventures blog, where he drove a motorcycle through africa, and it has inspired me to explore the chobe national park in botswana and the red sand dunes in namibia. also, if you haven’t read his blog, you need to – beautiful writing and quite the adventure. i’ve also wanted to see victoria falls in zimbabwe/zambia and tour the wine country of south africa. sounds like i may be biting off more than i can chew, but when you’re already taking the longest flight of your life, you kind of want to take advantage of it. :)
  • yucatan peninsula, mexico – i have this vision of the most perfect road trip ever, but i’m still afraid for safety reasons of traveling to mexico (if you’ve been recently, please leave a comment letting me know if my fears are unfounded!).  i’d love to start in cancun, taking a brief jaunt to the islas de mujeres, where the beaches are supposed to be wonderful.  traveling south to tulum i could then take in the mayan ruins (though let’s be honest, can we really honor the mayans after the calendar-ending-in-2012 debacle?) and laze around on the breathtaking beaches.  next up would be a trip to the cenotes of the peninsula, which are these crazy sinkholes that have created other-worldly caves below the earth’s surface.  and finally, a trip to merida to see the old town and meet its people.
  • scandinavia – i don’t know much about scandinavia, but i’ve been drawn to it ever since the norway ride in epcot’s world adventure.  the design, the people, the bent on life – it’s all different and extremely fascinating.  i’d love to see the lush gardens, boat culture, clean streets, and try different foods.  from the cloud-covered island of litla dimun in the faroe islands to the glass igloos you can sleep in to view the northern lights in finland, i’m intrigued by the unique natural phenomenons that occur in this far north region.  viking river cruise, anyone?
  • turkey – well, turkey seems to have it all, and i’m always so excited to see friends post photos of trips here.  the markets look exotic with heaps of colorful spices; the country seems colorful and welcoming, with plenty to offer in the way of fantastic photo opportunities.  outside of the cities, the beaches are supposed to be beautiful, and the natural rock pools in pamukkale appear to be fake!
so where do i go? i’m leaning towards africa for the moment, but i am open to any suggestions. any if anyone has great ideas on how to fund these vacays, do fill me in on your secret.