Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Do You Travel?


Do you travel to relax or travel to adventure? Or perhaps something else?

Last year when we took Ben to Peru we divided up our trip into two sections: The first part included lots of adventures: tours, boat trips, hikes, and a visit to Machu Picchu. It was only at the end of the trip that we have a few days to settle down and relax in the Sacred Valley.

It was great, but we almost wished we’d done our relaxing at the front end of the trip. By the very end, we’d seen amazing sights and met some wonderful people - but we were also two weeks into a vacation with a toddler and were sort of ready to be home again. As my husband’s favorite travel mantra goes: “I love to leave, and I love to come home”. Also, there is some dispute as to traveling with a toddler - is it ever really relaxing?

As the mother of an exceptionally active child, that’s an unequivocal NO.

You may be sitting poolside with a margarita in your hand but you’re not immersed in your fluffy vacation novel - no, you’re keeping a sharp eye on your offspring that is wandering a little too close to the deep end.

So this time we’re switching it up a bit. Here’s the plan.

Way back in January I managed to snag some frequent flier milage tickets to New Zealand for this Winter. The only unfortunate downside, the ticketing agent informed me, was that there was a mandatory 24 hour layover in Fiji.

Did I hear that correctly? Layover in Fiji?


We extended that layover by four days and considered ourselves lucky.

So, here is the new strategy: we’re essentially front loading this trip with relaxation days. Finishing up work, passing projects off to coworkers, packing, and traveling for 18 hours are stressful activities. Why not arrive and just veg on the beach for several days before starting the adventure portion of the trip?

Oh - and did I mention that Ben is not accompanying us?*

Bring on those trashy vacation novels. And margaritas. 

After we’ve burned ourselves to a crisp in Fiji, we'll hop on a plane for a short ride to New Zealand’s southern island. The plan is to get our fill of hiking, boating, bungee jumping* and zorbing* before heading for home.

So, intrepid travelers: Any recommendations for must-do activities in Fiji and NZ? I am all ears.

Although this trip isn’t for another eight months, I feel simply giddy whenever the subject comes up. There is something to be said for planning so far in advance - the anticipation is delicious.

Any fun trips planned for the year? How do you travel? All relaxation? White knuckled adventure? Or a nice mix of both?



*Those last two activities are not likely - according to my husband.
*this is where I mention that we are blessed with fabulous in-laws/parents. Ben will be in good hands and his parents will be eternally grateful.