The Important Things

[Apologies for half-assed-ness. It’s been a nutty week.]

So here’s the thing, lovely readers. I just accepted a new job. It’s extremely cool, with a great, small group of people, doing work that I find incredibly meaningful. It’ll be hard and crazy, as start-ups tend to be, but I have a really, really good feeling about it.

What does this have to do with travel? Well, two things.

Number one: When I negotiated my compensation with them, because they’re a start-up, they have relatively little wiggle room on actual base salary. But my tip to you is not to forget the other pieces of the package–and for me, the important piece is vacation time. I was able to get them to bump up my paid time off, which is worth more than a little extra money in a paycheck to me.

Number two: Also during negotiations, I was able to get them to push my start date back a week. Which means I’ve got a week of free time at the beginning of June. I guess I could just sit around Chicago and be lazy and enjoy myself, which might be nice… or, obviously, I could go somewhere. With limited time and funds, it would need to be America-based. It would probably be solo, so city-centric vs. wilderness is probably preferable. I’m thinking a small city. I haven’t been to Seattle or DC, and I haven’t been to Boston since I was a kid or Austin outside of SXSW. Thoughts?

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Crowdsourcing a Beach Vacation

OK kids, we’re going to do this again. You were so helpful in helping me pick my next vacation that I thought you could do the same for my neighbor.

Here’s the situation: My neighbor, P., is looking to use a $2,000 airfare voucher on a relaxing beach getaway for him and his wife over Christmastime.

Specifics:

The Mediterranean (he grew up in Greece) and Argentina (where his wife is from) are both out. That’s well-trod territory for them.

They’ve also hit every continent at least once (minus Antarctica) so there’s nothing in particular they want to cross off the list.

They want to go somewhere that they wouldn’t go without the benefit of the voucher. So Hawaii, a pretty attainable destination, is out, as is Mexico.

They want to lounge. He seemed spectacularly uninterested in adventure or culture when he dismissed the Galapagos Islands (my suggestion) or Cambodia (another neighbor’s suggestion).

So what do we have to choose from?

These are places I will never visit and have no knowledge of other than some quick googling. So I turn it over to you, the masses of the Internet. What do you think? Pros and cons? Where should this lovely couple go?