I’m turning 40 soon. By which I mean in about six months. Which gives me just about enough time to plan a big trip for my birthday… If only I knew where I wanted to go.
This is why I’m asking for your assistance.
My birthday is on February 25, which means I’m sort of thinking about the Southern Hemisphere. I’m a Euro-phile, and my only Southern Hemisphere experience is Australia and New Zealand way back in 1992. This, my friends, is not going to help me pick a vacation destination.
What I’m hoping for in a vacation spot is listed below. What I’m hoping you’ll be able to do, oh Person Who Knows Continents I Do Not, is look over this list and say, “Oh, such-and-such country/region/city would be perfect.” I’m open to just about any suggestion destination-wise, although I’ve been eyeing maps of Central and South America primarily because the airfare wouldn’t be as monstrous as it would be if I wanted to (for instance) re-visit New Zealand. I’ve even considered going back to Scotland or France or going to a new-to-me country in Europe, such is my love of the Old World, so I’m really all ears at this point.
Many thanks, in advance, for your help.
40th Birthday Trip Wish List
- food – This isn’t “oh, I hope they have food there,” it’s “I want the food to rock my world.” Also, I should note here that I have a stupidly sensitive gastro-intestinal tract, so if the food is extremely spicy or prone to making even hearty travelers sick I’m not going to be a happy camper.
- wine – I’m not so into wine that I’ll chase it down, but wine-producing regions tend to also be foodie regions & gorgeous-scenery regions. And I’m good with all three of those things.
- history – I’m not a history geek, but I love places where I can walk on streets that people have walked on for centuries. I’m not so into museums that I have to visit every single one in a city, but I do like museums showcasing local history, art museums with good guides, and churches. I’m a heathen, but boy-howdy do I love big, old churches…
- scenery – I’m open to your interpretation of what’s pretty to look at. I’m a fan of city views as much as rolling hills and coastlines. I just want to be able to look out a window and sigh now and then.
- festivals? – Is there anything going on over the weekend of February 25, 2012 in your chosen destination that I should know about? Something I’d want to seek out, or avoid?
- not super hot/humid – I don’t deal well with high heat or humidity (I get ill, which is no fun anytime, least of all on one’s birthday), so if a destination isn’t super hot and humid that’s a very big plus in my book.
- not strenuous – I’m not going to hike the Inca Trail for my birthday. It’s not going to happen. I would be willing to take the train up to Machu Picchu, but that’s about it, people. I will, however, walk all day long around a city or town or go for day hikes.
- not beach-oriented – I can’t really be out in the sun much, so any spot that’s known for being the kind of place you kick back on a beach with a book isn’t going to work for me. Coastal places are fine, as long as the beach isn’t the only thing to do in town.
- 1-2 weeks – I’m undecided as yet whether it’ll be a one-week trip to just one city or a two-week trip to a larger area, but if a destination “requires” a month in order to really “do it properly,” that may not work.
Oh, and if you happen to know of a kick-ass hotel in your chosen destination where I should really plan to wake up on my actual birthday – something with the kind of view that might make me weep with joy, for example – that’d be great to hear, too. I’m usually a 1-2 star hotel cheapskate, but I’m willing to splurge a little for a few days on this trip.
Please leave your suggestions as comments below. I can’t wait to hear what y’all have to say…
photo by David Reber’s Hammer Photography