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Old 07-11-2016, 09:11 AM   #61
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Tents aren't so bad...this one was at the most expensive camp we stayed at in Botswana :

I was just looking at some sites for an African trip!
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:19 AM   #62
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I was just looking at some sites for an African trip!
Personally, I'd suggest avoiding Kenya, (basically Disneyland Africa), and maybe look at the Selous in Tanzania, the delta in Botswana, and perhaps Zambia (which is on our bucket list).
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:23 AM   #63
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It's true that traveling is often quite expensive, and I suppose this is one factor (with the other being complicated logistics) that has deterred me from doing it more often. But when I really think about it, I realize that money spent on travel is honestly the best use of discretionary funds I can imagine. I would much, much rather have an exciting, awe-inspiring two weeks in a fascinating new place than yet another iGizmo or or other "thing" that I will grow bored with over time. For me, pretty much nothing compares to the deep and lasting fulfillment of a good travel experience.

OP, what would you consider other worthy uses of discretionary money that would rival a fun, exciting trip somewhere? Let's say it's a trip to a country you've never visited before but have always wanted to go to, and let's say it will cost $3,000. What would you consider suitable or deserving alternate uses for that money other than the trip?
  • A new sail, or expenses for a couple of sail regattas.
  • There's always a list of upgrades, renovations to our house and yard. $3000 would hardly put a dent in the list.
  • Increase our dining out and/or entertainment (concerts, theater, etc.) budget by $3,000/year.
  • There are only two homeowners on my block who mow their own grass, do their own pest control, clean their own pools, etc. It might be nice to contract out more 'chores' - I haven't kept up with the Joneses...but then they're all still working.
Just to name a few off the top of my head...

I also had the good fortune of traveling as an 'Army brat' throughout my childhood, and lots of travel for business as an adult. I have seen a lot of other places already, even lived in other countries for 3-4 years at a time - probably why more travel is less appealing to me than others.

And you can do more virtual travel than ever these days. It's pretty amazing what you can find on youtube and other resources these days. Not a substitute for seeing the Grand Canyon (as mentioned earlier) or Niagara Falls in person, but there are some aspects of travel that are just as good as being there online nowadays. You can learn just as much if not more about a culture researching online vs being there - and experiencing different cultures is one of the most exciting parts of travel IMO.

At least in large cities, there's more cross cultural experiences today than when I was a child too. Restaurants are the best evidence, when I was a kid most restaurants were pretty pedestrian. Today you can find almost any ethnicity (in Chicago) at least, with all sorts of fusion cuisines and creativity.

I wholeheartedly agree we don't need more iGizmos, thankfully we grew out of the that years ago and have been decluttering ever since.

I recognize this is simply my point of view, not suggesting it applies to anyone else.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:26 AM   #64
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I think the answer to "why travel" for me is my love of history and literature. Mostly, that involves seeking out areas in Europe and the UK where I can see historical sites and visit literary shrines. I DO have an interest in going farther afield (Asia, Africa) but haven't made it yet as the time/money I have available for travel usually has me hankering again for Europe.
These days I despise air travel and this also keeps me going shorter distances. The 6-8 hours needed to get to Europe is about all I can take.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:34 AM   #65
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Once you've seen one art museum, you've seen almost all of them. Every place has much of the same things and only a small amount of uniqueness. After years of traveling, there may be no uniqueness left.
I think people who've been to the Louvre AND The National Museum in Taipei (I've been to both) would disagree.

If you're able to afford travel to interesting places I think it's a matter of broadening yourself for your own personal growth.

There's nothing quite like reminiscing about that sidewalk cafe in Paris, that ski run in Austria, the dinner overlooking Tokyo Bay, that fishing trip in the Keys, walking the Great Wall.

They become sort of a subtle personal fabric of who you are and it does change you for the better.

Or you can stay home and watch TV.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:34 AM   #66
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Nice list. Personally, I'd say DW and I would largely agree with 3, 5, 6 and 11 from the list. DW particularly enjoys being away from home in order to be free of the house/home obligations she normally takes on; staycation doesn't work for her b/c she will always see something to be done around the house and/or email to deal with, etc. When we're on the road she's fully checked out and it's really good for her. She also loves the travel process, whereas I enjoy travel once we are wherever we are going ... but my BP spikes from the time we get to an airport until the plane lands (unless we're in business, in which case I relax once I have that nice glass of champagne before takeoff) ... if only it were possible to make the process of getting through an airport and flight more reasonable, I would travel even more
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:44 AM   #67
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It is true a lot of people can pursue some expensive hobbies instead of traveling, like several cars or boats.

But yeah, some polls or studies indicate experiences endure more than the pleasures some people get from things.

I remember listening to a report on NPR about how people walking in non-urban environments -- specifically open areas with trees -- saw their moods improve. And IIRC, there were measurable changes in activity in some parts of the brain.

Not unlike how you might get a feeling of well-being when seasons change and you get prolonged sunshine.

I liked visiting cities too though, and certainly the historic aspects is a draw, takes your mind away from dealing with little issues which pile up daily.

Another psychic benefit which might appeal to ER members is that DIY travel gives you the chance to feel like you've found value or saved a good amount of money than doing it another way. You're kind of hacking it, like finding restaurants which punch way above the prices they charge or finding a place off the beaten path which is better than more popular venues. You can afford to do things in a more expensive way but you find a deal or at least you think you did.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:54 AM   #68
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I wondered if anyone else hesitates due to expense...
Two places I would like to go but are off limits currently because of expenses: Venezuela tepuis (need helicopter) and Antarctica.

Also putting a lid on New Zealand for now.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:58 AM   #69
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It

OP, what would you consider other worthy uses of discretionary money that would rival a fun, exciting trip somewhere? Let's say it's a trip to a country you've never visited before but have always wanted to go to, and let's say it will cost $3,000. What would you consider suitable or deserving alternate uses for that money other than the trip?
see I'm the opposite Sojo, I hate flying, I especially hate what is required to fly. I enjoy my house, I want the comforts of my house so usually what happens is when I go other places after three days I want the things in my house. Now I do enjoy luxury hotels but at 700 bucks a night, that 3K is not going far. so let's say you gave my 3K right now to blow. I'd probably get two front row tickets to the play Hamilton and be just as happy. definitely would not even think to use it to travel. there is an awesome Gucci bag I've been wanting for a few years. and yes every time I used it I would get extreme pleasure.

please forgive me, I know you didn't ask me but I wanted to give my puny view as a person who's happy with not travelling. My favorite place is Disneyworld, which I take a lot of heat about from so called real "travelers"

My family had a family reunion on RC Oasis of the Seas, what a waste. but I will admit, I loved Paris.
I think also that another issue maybe that for most of my life I have not had the ability to travel for long periods of time. most folks vacation for a week, two if they are lucky. I remember when my kids where small and we use to rent a vacation house for a week at the beach, well it wasn't a vacay for me. first schelp half the house down to the rental, then set up, lug other half down to the beach to keep kids entertain, come back clean them up, feed them, rinse and repeat. lol, I was more tired after the vacation then before. best thing ever was when we got a pool and spent our summers at home/

I am hoping that now that I am retired I will try a few trips and make them longer. My kids want to go to London so I'm thinking maybe next year but once again 12 days in the UK is going to run a lot more than 3K and I'm not going for only a week. no way
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:19 AM   #70
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More the logistics than the money, but we declined two destination weddings this summer that were each going to easily top $3k for just a long weekend in places we don't care about. So my rule to never say no to travel is kaput. But I can still quote Kurt Vonnegut:
"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:42 AM   #71
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I may have missed it, but it doesn't seem anyone discussed the expense of travel. It's not that we don't like to travel, we love it - but it's relatively expensive, there are other worthy uses for that money.

I guess I knew the answer to my OP question - each of us has to decide if it's worth it to us, or not. I wondered if anyone else hesitates due to expense...
That's what we saved for. Yes, it's expensive, but it's worth it for us. We have a large chunk of the budget allocated for that reason.

Travel expenses are on a sliding scale too. If there are budgetary constraints, it's possible to figure out how to do it cheaper. We probably spend 2x what we have to on our trips, but we can afford what we spend so we focus more on upgrading the experience to make it more comfortable and enjoyable.

I think I have the most fun we we are traveling.

No, no hesitation. We can afford to do more than we are at present.

I grew up in a couple of locations overseas. It was a great experience as a child, but hasn't dampened my enthusiasm now. It might ne a hereditary trait. I notice all of my immediate family are keen and a couple of siblings live overseas.

I enjoy checking things out with satellite and street views, but it's nothing like physically being there. I love the total immersion experience - which is one reason why we tend to travel alone and not with a tour group.

I love the history in Europe. We are really looking forward to the Roman remnants in Southern France - many still in use!
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #72
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I enjoy my house, I want the comforts of my house so usually what happens is when I go other places after three days I want the things in my house.
Totally agree with you, and actually this is one of the reasons I love travelling so much! It gives me such a greater appreciation of the comforts of home, whereas when I'm home all the time, it's easy to take it all for granted. So a nice two-week trip somewhere interesting not only provides me with great, fun, unique experiences, it also makes me happier when I'm back home enjoying all the comforts and conveniences again.

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there is an awesome Gucci bag I've been wanting for a few years. and yes every time I used it I would get extreme pleasure.
Yeah... this is where we really have to agree to disagree . If I were given the choice of a free trip somewhere interesting or some item of designer clothing or accessory (for example, a Rolex watch since I'm a guy), I would always choose the trip. Over the long run, an interesting travel experience provides deep and lasting fulfillment, whereas that designer thing-a-ma-gig is something you'd get used to pretty quickly and might get lost or get damaged or break, etc.

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My favorite place is Disneyworld, which I take a lot of heat about from so called real "travelers"
I love Disneyworld, too, but in a different way than most kinds of travel. Disneyworld is like a kid's dream or fantasy world, really just a giant and elaborate amusement park. Once you've been there a few times, you don't really get much out of it other than some passing thrills and pleasant feelings. I still might choose a trip to Disney over a designer watch, though. Experiences are much more nourishing and life-enriching than any clothes or designer accessories ever could be.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:04 PM   #73
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I may have missed it, but it doesn't seem anyone discussed the expense of travel. It's not that we don't like to travel, we love it - but it's relatively expensive, there are other worthy uses for that money.

I guess I knew the answer to my OP question - each of us has to decide if it's worth it to us, or not. I wondered if anyone else hesitates due to expense...
Yes, it's expensive, and I have been pretty tight with $ all my life. I now gladly pay plenty for my travel as needed. I typically choose the more expensive in park lodging in the US national parks, for example, because you do not have to waste all the time of commuting in and out from the cheaper lodging elsewhere. That can save hours in a place like Yellowstone.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:06 PM   #74
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I think people who've been to the Louvre AND The National Museum in Taipei (I've been to both) would disagree.

If you're able to afford travel to interesting places I think it's a matter of broadening yourself for your own personal growth.

There's nothing quite like reminiscing about that sidewalk cafe in Paris, that ski run in Austria, the dinner overlooking Tokyo Bay, that fishing trip in the Keys, walking the Great Wall.

They become sort of a subtle personal fabric of who you are and it does change you for the better.

Or you can stay home and watch TV.
+1 Very well said.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:17 PM   #75
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I think that most of the objections to travel come from the fact that, for the most part, everyone is doing it wrong.

Our modern concept of 'travel' is to attempt to cram weeks of sightseeing into one 10-day period. We fly for several hours, we land, we check in, we run around all over the place until we're exhausted, then we fly home and go back to work exhausted. It's the most expensive and tiring way to travel.

Five years ago we spent seven months in a pop-up camper and saw most of the national parks and a lot of family and friends. It was fairly economical and not stressful in any way. After that we spent many weeks in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We also spent a few years in Mexico. It's a really great way to travel. Experiences galore.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:30 PM   #76
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Travel is expensive but if you search for deals you can lower the cost . I really want to visit Cuba but right now all the trips from the US are very expensive so I am keeping my eyes on a Fathom cruise from Miami to Cuba . They are offering Florida resident discounts at some really decent prices.
Check out the cost of travelling from Canada, your USD is worth $1.20 CDN and the trips to Cuba are priced normally. I notice the prices of Cuba trips from USA are expensive because of perceived limitations, it's newer, and exotic.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:38 PM   #77
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I may have missed it, but it doesn't seem anyone discussed the expense of travel. It's not that we don't like to travel, we love it - but it's relatively expensive, there are other worthy uses for that money.

I guess I knew the answer to my OP question - each of us has to decide if it's worth it to us, or not. I wondered if anyone else hesitates due to expense...
Some posters here fall into extreme camps. Some say money is no object, but they'd rather die than travel, or have seen it all (really? the world is that small?). Some say they would travel a lot more if there's more funding.

As for me, I am like most people, I think. I can travel a bit more than I have done, I guess, but I know there's a limit. I can do a 3 to 4-week foreign trip before I miss home. On an RV trip, I have gone for as long as 2+ months, because I can bring more personal stuff to keep myself comfortable and entertained.

So, even if I have more money, I think the most I would want to do is 2 foreign trips a year, plus domestic travel of 1 long RV trip a year or 2 fly-and-drive trips. That quota has been above what I have done, so I can still travel a bit more if the occasion arises, or the budget permits. In a few more years, I may get old and tired, and will have to stay home to watch TV, and may leave the home only once a year.

Anyway, a thread like this comes up every so often. I don't know why people who dislike travel have to defend themselves so vigorously. I do not like fast cars, nor watching spectator sports, but I do not go into these threads to boo-boo these pastimes (not too much, I don't think ). Nobody forces me to drive a fast car, or stay glued to the screen. I just don't do these, and that's it.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:53 PM   #78
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DH and I are both fascinated by European history, so what drives us to travel (and has driven us in the almost 20 years we've been together) is wanting to see where things occurred, see remnants of those events in museums, and talk to people in the country. It's a mindset. I know some people who wouldn't get on a plane to Europe if you paid their airfare in Business Class, but I first started wanting to go to Europe when I was a kid and Dad went on business. It killed me that a group of my HS classmates went on a camping trip to Europe one summer and I couldn't go; I was babysitting but couldn't make enough to pay for it, and my parents were saving to put the 5 of us through college so a special trip for one kid wasn't in their budget, either. I joke that I've spent the rest of my life making up for it!


Fortunately, DH and I are soulmates on this. We don't care if we have the biggest house, the latest fashions, the newest cars or the best furniture. Travel is our priority when we have the money for it. It's definitely enriched our lives.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:03 PM   #79
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I love history of the world, not just of Europe. However, I like to travel by myself, not in a group, and Europe is still a safe place where one can wander around exploring by himself.

If one pays attention, there's history to learn in the US and in Canada while traveling. I have been getting more out of domestic travel since I get more interested.

About museums, everybody flocks to the Louvre to see Mona Lisa, or to see Michelangelo's work in Rome, etc... That's fine, but I get the most kicks when I unexpectedly spotted some less well-known paintings while visiting a museum. The one that most delighted me was the Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch in Museo del Prado in Madrid. I saw a print of this painting in my youth, and it made an impression on me. When I happened to see it in the museum (I had not known it was there), I stuck my nose so close to it to study it that an attendant rushed up to tell me to keep distance.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:28 PM   #80
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The part about travel that bugs me is this: I do a bunch of research so that I plan to visit everything that I might enjoy during travel. But I always discover something later (online or word of mouth) that I missed and need to go back for. In today's information packed world, how does one make sure that they don't miss anything?
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