I always have one or two… or five… potential future trips lined up in my head. They shift around a lot depending on the season and where my friends have gone recently and what I saw on some blog while killing time at work. But there are a couple of trips that I’ve had in mind for a long time that, for one reason or another (time, money, work obligations, lack of appropriate companion) I haven’t gotten around to quite yet.
Madrid – Seville – Granada – Tangier – Marrakech
I can’t remember exactly when I became fixated on the idea of taking the ferry from Spain to Morocco, but I imagine it was around the time I was planning my first trip to Europe and realized for the first time ever, that, duh, Europe and Africa are really close. It didn’t make sense in the context of that trip to make the crossing, but I’ve been desperate to do it for at least a decade now. The architecture, the food, and the potential to get lost in the medina forever all make Morocco seem like a necessary destination, and wandering through the south of Spain for a bit, easing into Muslim Africa with a little Moorishness, seems like the perfect intro.
Buenos Aires – Iguazu Falls – Rio de Janiero
Originally, Buenos Aries entered my consciousness as the simplest gateway to South America: cosmopolitan, vaguely European, decent tourist infrastructure. And then I saw a picture in a magazine of the overwhelming glory that is Iguazu Falls and knew that I couldn’t die without seeing that in person. And at some much later date, I looked at a map and thought, well, Rio would make the whole trip into a nice triangle, even though I speak no Portuguese and I’m pretty sure City of God scarred me for life. Piece by piece, the whole thing came together.
Bangkok – Phuket
I was in high school when Thai food suddenly became a thing that was available to us in the suburban Midwest, and that was probably also when I became conscious that Thailand was a place I could visit. (I wasn’t a fan of The King and I.) The more I heard about the insane energy of Bangkok, the more I wanted to experience it for myself. It became completely lodged in my brain the year that I contemplated ditching my life entirely and running around from home, as I was aware of it as a place for you could live for cheap and sort of disappear from reality. Now, as a more solid person with some cash on hand, the absurd luxury of Phuket appeals to me equally. Combining the two sounds like the right balance.
I’ve decided that one of these must get checked off the list this year. I’ve got two weeks in April to dedicate to the cause. I’ve got Kayak alerts on all three of these trips right now, and the costs aren’t that different. The flights are cheapest at the moment to go to South America, but it’s no longer that cheap once you land, and it involves long travel days to cover a lot of ground. Thailand is the most expensive flight but will be least expensive once I get there, but it’s the worst weather-time of year to go there. Spain-Morocco is the most expensive but also the one I’ve wanted to do the longest and also the one I’d feel most confident doing alone, if I should need to.
What should I do?