I never strived for a life of excitement. I'm not a thrill seeker, though I love a good roller coaster. I love traveling, but I am hardly likely to travel deep into the Amazon rain forest, or drop myself into an environment that is risky. As much as I would love to see the wonders of the Egypt and other countries in the middle east, I feel I will settle for a few Nat Geo documentaries. It's heartbreaking to me that "safe" travel destinations feel so unsafe now. No, I want wonder and to see the world, but with a sense of peace and calm, and opportunity to live among the locals, even if only for a week or two. While another vacation of a week or more is not in the money or time budget for the remainder of the year, I'm looking at other options.
A little Googling around the internet to look at low cost get aways for DH and I over the next 6-9 months and I came across a web site that I want to dive into a bit more. Travel Like a Local promotes getting off the beaten path. I like this paragraph from their About Us page, "In an age where every corner of the planet is within easy reach and
every experience is easily obtainable with money, we value the meaning
of details. Because every great travel can start as soon as you cross
your front door." From a few clicks, this team is traveling world wide, but experiencing more than just TripAdvisor might recommend.
Well, we will not be able to obtain any experience, as money is limited. Yet, I surely can appreciate and dive into the details of side trips and away from home experiences even if they are just outside my front door. My travel accommodation needs are minimal. Give me a clean decent room with access to a shower, and I'm a happy visitor. While staying in a suite hotel was nice on business, on vacation, we spend little to no time other than to sleep and shower in the room. Doing the math a bit more on our anticipated income and savings targets to December 31st, and the small $800 budgeted for a couple get aways might even be a bit high. Even so, I am bound and determined to find both a pre-Christmas and a "when will spring ever get here" weekend away. I found this map that gives a couple circular options of destinations to figure out. The first circle seems to be places within two hours of the Twin Cities, and the larger, places within four. Both would be doable on a tank of gas. I am sure if I dig, I would find little hidden gems. It is time for me to find my daughters geometry protractor and start building my own circles and then let the internet be my guide. Maybe it will be a downtown B&B in Waterloo looking at the first of the Christmas lights, or an out of season cabin in Spooner with pancakes and locally tapped maple syrup for Sunday morning breakfast at the townie cafe with a poke in the second hand stores and farmers market.
We are very fortunate to have the big family vacation to Alaska in August. It will be a trip of a lifetime, spent with my immediate and extended family. I have embraced the opportunity fully now, and am getting excited-while building in some self preservation techniques thanks to a few words of advice from many of you. It helped that I researched and booked a shore excursion for just my family. I still will want my own little getaways, and am excited to plan those, as if you have been reading my blog, you know half my fun is in the planning. What do you all have planned for the rest of the year for get aways? What have been some of your best outside your front door vacations and what would you recommend include in mine regardless of the destination?