Author Topic: Where would you travel?  (Read 31788 times)

Hirondelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1359
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #150 on: May 15, 2019, 10:55:32 AM »
I am only traveling a bit more in my first year of FIRE, but I hope to ratchet it up over time.  My husband is not retired, so I'll be doing a lot on my own or with other friends, hopefully. 

There's also basically nowhere I don't want to go (except perhaps Saudi Arabia) but there are places I'm curious about that I've basically never heard of anyone going.  Like going, period, not just going as a traveller/tourist.  Like, anyone here been to Guyana or Suriname? Or Western Sahara or Angola?  Obviously, I can do my own research on these, but just curious to hear from real live people that have been to countries like these that most people would barely recognize the name!

Suriname is a former Dutch colony and popular among Dutch tourists (both for visiting family reasons as for regular tourism) so yes I know HEAPS of people who've been there. There's plenty to see and everyone I know who's been loved it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 02:12:30 PM by Hirondelle »

sui generis

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 807
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #151 on: May 15, 2019, 01:12:41 PM »
I am only traveling a bit more in my first year of FIRE, but I hope to ratchet it up over time.  My husband is not retired, so I'll be doing a lot on my own or with other friends, hopefully. 

There's also basically nowhere I don't want to go (except perhaps Saudi Arabia) but there are places I'm curious about that I've basically never heard of anyone going.  Like going, period, not just going as a traveller/tourist.  Like, anyone here been to Guyana or Suriname? Or Western Sahara or Angola?  Obviously, I can do my own research on these, but just curious to hear from real live people that have been to countries like these that most people would barely recognize the name!

Suriname is a former Dutch colony and popular among Dutch tourists (both for visiting family reasons as for regular tourism) so yes I know HEAPS of people who've been there. There's plenty to see and everyone I know who's been loved it.

Really?  That's cool!  I think I thought most of them probably had slightly unstable governments, lots of poverty or something else that would make them possibly sketchy destinations.  I am moving Suriname higher on my list right now!

Threshkin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Location: Colorado
    • My Journal
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #152 on: May 16, 2019, 10:06:09 AM »
Recently returned from a 26 day trip to Germany.  We had a great time, mostly staying with family and old friends.  We are considering another trip but need to go to Hawaii first for my son's wedding.

First world problems.

Any highlights to share?

Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin are all on the list for future multi-day stays.  Many great museums to see.  Bremen and Hanover were meah IMO.  Cologne and Koblenz were nice but good for day trips.  We did not get to southern Germany on this trip.  Food was not expensive but boy to they eat a LOT of bread and pastries.  Try a Doner (Gyro meat with lots of veggies and sauce in a pita bread) for around 4 euro.  Great lunch.  There are more historic sites on the old East Germany side, mainly because they were not bulldozed for new development in the 60s and 70s like there were in West Germany.

Mixed emotions on the war history.  My dad was in Norway during the occupation and refused to have anything to do with Germany after that.  Mostly I was able to let it slide past but at times it was very hard.  Encountered a little anti-American and racial prejudice but never felt unsafe.  There is a lot of collective guilt about what happened during the war but, just like here there are people on all sides of the spectrum.  I tried to keep focused on the ancient history (middle ages to pre-roman) and the architecture to keep the emotions down.  But visiting war memorials and sites get a lot of focus with many people.  Thank you, but seeing another boarder crossing/concentration camp/military museum is not what I really want to do.  I studied the history and learned from it, I do not want to relive it.

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #153 on: May 16, 2019, 10:48:46 AM »
Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin are all on the list for future multi-day stays.  Many great museums to see.  Bremen and Hanover were meah IMO.  Cologne and Koblenz were nice but good for day trips.  We did not get to southern Germany on this trip.  Food was not expensive but boy to they eat a LOT of bread and pastries.  Try a Doner (Gyro meat with lots of veggies and sauce in a pita bread) for around 4 euro.  Great lunch.  There are more historic sites on the old East Germany side, mainly because they were not bulldozed for new development in the 60s and 70s like there were in West Germany.

Mixed emotions on the war history.  My dad was in Norway during the occupation and refused to have anything to do with Germany after that.  Mostly I was able to let it slide past but at times it was very hard.  Encountered a little anti-American and racial prejudice but never felt unsafe.  There is a lot of collective guilt about what happened during the war but, just like here there are people on all sides of the spectrum.  I tried to keep focused on the ancient history (middle ages to pre-roman) and the architecture to keep the emotions down.  But visiting war memorials and sites get a lot of focus with many people.  Thank you, but seeing another boarder crossing/concentration camp/military museum is not what I really want to do.  I studied the history and learned from it, I do not want to relive it.

I'm really surprised that East Germany has more historic areas.  I thought it was the communists that razed history for modernist buildings, but I guess West Germany just had more resources to actually make it happen. 

I had heard that there was a big Turkish influence in Germany, so I guess that adds a dimension to the food. 

I'm more interested in ancient history, too.  I think it gets overlooked a lot.  Really, though, I like to focus on the present when I travel.  I also think it can be unfair to a country to focus so much on the dark parts of their history.  Every country has done something terrible in its past.

Hamsteronaroll

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #154 on: May 16, 2019, 02:47:29 PM »
Lots of terrific answers so far.

I know that you canít De-mustachify so Iíll mention a few of the 110 countries Iíve seen that seem WAY cheap to me.  I include only Ďniceí places that arenít grimy....Added my two favorite spots in each country.

Argentina - hands down best of the S Americas if you want to live like a sophisticated Euro, yet pay pennies on the dollar.  Seriously, go. Salta, Buenos Aires.
Bolivia - still super cheap, super interesting scenery and culture, and public bathrooms.  Be prepared to have trouble breathing at that altitude!  Copacabana, La Paz (not so much).
Bosnia - I had no idea this was so mountainous and green, really nice cafe culture. Mostar, Sarajevo (obvious, sorry).
Slovakia - cafes, history, mountains.  Levoca, Kosice.
Colombia - for history, greenery, Euro/Latin feel.  Medellin, Cartagena.
Laos - for Indian subcontinent without too much hassle.  Vientiane, Luang Prabang

Youíll see a ton of stuff about Panama, Ecuador, Thailand -  they just werenít my kind of places.
Great value still...but I do not have personal experience - Ukraine, Indonesia, Mexico.

End of cheap list.

If you are up for grimy travel - Burma, Peru, Cote DíIvoire
If you are interested in going places where no one you know has been - Suriname, Swaziland, N Macedonia
If you want a couple of places that are pretty scary - Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Pakistan (okay, please donít go)
If you want to visit places that remind you how lucky you are to be first world:  S„o Tomť, Sierra Leone, Guyana.

flyingaway

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #155 on: May 17, 2019, 07:44:50 AM »
Lots of terrific answers so far.

I know that you canít De-mustachify so Iíll mention a few of the 110 countries Iíve seen that seem WAY cheap to me.  I include only Ďniceí places that arenít grimy....Added my two favorite spots in each country.

Argentina - hands down best of the S Americas if you want to live like a sophisticated Euro, yet pay pennies on the dollar.  Seriously, go. Salta, Buenos Aires.
Bolivia - still super cheap, super interesting scenery and culture, and public bathrooms.  Be prepared to have trouble breathing at that altitude!  Copacabana, La Paz (not so much).
Bosnia - I had no idea this was so mountainous and green, really nice cafe culture. Mostar, Sarajevo (obvious, sorry).
Slovakia - cafes, history, mountains.  Levoca, Kosice.
Colombia - for history, greenery, Euro/Latin feel.  Medellin, Cartagena.
Laos - for Indian subcontinent without too much hassle.  Vientiane, Luang Prabang

Youíll see a ton of stuff about Panama, Ecuador, Thailand -  they just werenít my kind of places.
Great value still...but I do not have personal experience - Ukraine, Indonesia, Mexico.

End of cheap list.

If you are up for grimy travel - Burma, Peru, Cote DíIvoire
If you are interested in going places where no one you know has been - Suriname, Swaziland, N Macedonia
If you want a couple of places that are pretty scary - Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Pakistan (okay, please donít go)
If you want to visit places that remind you how lucky you are to be first world:  S„o Tomť, Sierra Leone, Guyana.

Those are very interesting places.
Do you prefer to visit different new places or to good places multiple times?

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #156 on: May 17, 2019, 10:52:20 AM »
Lots of terrific answers so far.

I know that you canít De-mustachify so Iíll mention a few of the 110 countries Iíve seen that seem WAY cheap to me.  I include only Ďniceí places that arenít grimy....Added my two favorite spots in each country.

Argentina - hands down best of the S Americas if you want to live like a sophisticated Euro, yet pay pennies on the dollar.  Seriously, go. Salta, Buenos Aires.
Bolivia - still super cheap, super interesting scenery and culture, and public bathrooms.  Be prepared to have trouble breathing at that altitude!  Copacabana, La Paz (not so much).
Bosnia - I had no idea this was so mountainous and green, really nice cafe culture. Mostar, Sarajevo (obvious, sorry).
Slovakia - cafes, history, mountains.  Levoca, Kosice.
Colombia - for history, greenery, Euro/Latin feel.  Medellin, Cartagena.
Laos - for Indian subcontinent without too much hassle.  Vientiane, Luang Prabang

Youíll see a ton of stuff about Panama, Ecuador, Thailand -  they just werenít my kind of places.
Great value still...but I do not have personal experience - Ukraine, Indonesia, Mexico.

End of cheap list.

If you are up for grimy travel - Burma, Peru, Cote DíIvoire
If you are interested in going places where no one you know has been - Suriname, Swaziland, N Macedonia
If you want a couple of places that are pretty scary - Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Pakistan (okay, please donít go)
If you want to visit places that remind you how lucky you are to be first world:  S„o Tomť, Sierra Leone, Guyana.

That sounds cool.

You should definitely try Mexico.  There is a lot to see. 

I'm also surprised you didn't mention India.  Thoughts? 

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5470
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #157 on: May 17, 2019, 04:06:49 PM »
I have been to some poverty stricken countries and I donít want to repeat it. 2 of my kids went to India and enjoyed it but after hearing their stories itís not for me.

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #158 on: May 20, 2019, 10:42:30 AM »
I have been to some poverty stricken countries and I donít want to repeat it. 2 of my kids went to India and enjoyed it but after hearing their stories itís not for me.

There are still amazing experiences to be had in poor countries.  I had the best meals of my life in India. 

It is hard to be around the poverty, though.  To each their own when it comes to traveling.

itchyfeet

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 758
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #159 on: May 26, 2019, 11:32:51 AM »
Well Iím off to Kyrgyzstan next week. No real idea what Iíll find there. Looking forward to walking in some mountains.

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #160 on: May 26, 2019, 12:26:52 PM »
The "stan" countries are on my list.  The hospitality is supposed to be amazing, and the food devine. 

We're heading to the South of France for a 2 week trip.   The focus is VERY narrow-- about a 300 mile loop from Marseille to Marseille, adding in some designated "scenic villages," historic and UNESCO sites, a boat tour of the coast,  a couple of national parks, river rafting, caving, hiking and horseback riding.  There's a Roman Amphitheatre and layers of history.  And, of course, eating!  Oh la la, I can't wait! 

My favorite bargain countries are Italy, Slovenia, Greece, South Africa, and Peru.  I haven't been to Colombia or a number of other countries on your list, so I can't weigh in properly.  Mexico has been my second home but the tourist/American always has to beware the scam.    South East Asia is too hot for my taste but scads of ex-pats live amazingly well on pensions or SS there because it is truly inexpensive by Western standards.    I've done some peeking at the Retire Abroad websites and I'm always intrigued. 

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Location: Italy
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #161 on: May 26, 2019, 02:16:58 PM »
My favorite bargain countries are Italy, Slovenia, Greece, South Africa, and Peru. 

Wow, i'm surprised Italy is on your list of 'bargain' countries.  Italians all love going to Slovenia because it's so cheap (and also beautiful and close by).  It's true that whenever I go to Northern Europe I'm amazed at how expensive everything is up there, especially food.

yyc-phil

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
  • Location: Yellowknife NWT
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #162 on: May 28, 2019, 01:09:12 PM »

Marseille
 

My favourite city in France, especially the Noailles district. Make sure you stop by at Charly Pizza at the old port. One of the best pizza in France, a local institution started by my Neapolitan uncle in the early 1960s and now taken over by his grandson.

jeroly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #163 on: June 02, 2019, 08:14:07 PM »
The "stan" countries are on my list.  The hospitality is supposed to be amazing, and the food devine. 

I had an amazing time in Kyrgyzstan last year.  Beautiful mountains, great hiking, wonderful people, interesting lens into a formerly nomadic culture after a people have settled - even folks with houses still put up their yurts in the summer.

It's a real travel bargain in some respects - we arranged for a private tour for ten days with all accommodations, food, our own van with driver and english speaking tour guide, for ten days, for about $1,000 per person not including airfare and gratuities. I'd never been on a tour before - I do a lot of independent travel and value the ability to construct my own itinerary as well as to change things on the fly - and it was nice to have someone else doing the planning for me but still to be able to change things up plus not have to interact with a bunch of 'ugy Americans...' 

On the other hand, some of the accommodations were pretty rough - we stayed in private homes that had comfy beds, but sometimes the rooms were pretty cold, and in one place there was only an outhouse.

The main thing that was not amazing was the cuisine.  Not a lot of variety except in different styles of horse meat.  Lots of noodles and fatty meat.

If anyone is interested they can PM me for more info on the tour company etc.

jeroly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #164 on: June 02, 2019, 08:28:10 PM »
As I'm FIREd, but mindful of taking advantage of my good health whilst I still have it, I'm looking to cross off all the destinations on my bucket list in the next six years.  My SO is still employed and she's likely to continue to be so for the forseeable future, so I seek travel companions for most of these - feel free to reach out if there's synchronicity in interest and timing!

2019 Columbia* (10th-26th June), Bosnia/Croatia (Aug, traveling companion already found), Nepal (October)

Bulgaria either 2019 or 2020 (visiting a friend, depends on what's convenient for her)

2020 New Zealand (Feb), Madagascar (Apr - traveling companion already found), Cuba (June - this one with my girlfriend!), Baltic States (Aug), Australia* (Oct)

2021 Jordan (Feb), Portugal (Apr), Indonesia* (June), Uganda (Aug), Ethiopia (Oct)

2022 Chile (Feb), Slovenia (Apr), Uzbekistan (June), Tanzania/Kenya (Aug), India* (October)

2023 Philippines (Feb), Italy* (Apr), China* (June), Ecuador (Aug), South Korea (Oct)

2024 Antarctic cruise (Feb), Malta (Apr), Georgia (Jun), Brazil* (Oct)

2025 Guatamala (Feb), Mexico* (Apr), Costa Rica (Jun)

Note: some of these destinations are repeats for me (indicated with an *), and in those places I'm looking to 'fill in' the interesting spots I haven't yet explored.  For example, for Italy I look to check out Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Calabria, and possibly the Cinque Terre - I've spent a lot of time in Northern Italy but haven't been to the south.

Padonak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #165 on: June 02, 2019, 08:55:52 PM »
On my list

Europe:

Italy
Spain
Portugal
Eastern Europe

Asia:

Philippines
Vietnam (Da Nang in particular)
Probably Chiang Mai, Thailand (not during the burning season due to air pollution)
Indonesia
Malaysia

itchyfeet

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 758
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #166 on: June 02, 2019, 10:49:10 PM »
The "stan" countries are on my list.  The hospitality is supposed to be amazing, and the food devine. 

I had an amazing time in Kyrgyzstan last year.  Beautiful mountains, great hiking, wonderful people, interesting lens into a formerly nomadic culture after a people have settled - even folks with houses still put up their yurts in the summer.

It's a real travel bargain in some respects - we arranged for a private tour for ten days with all accommodations, food, our own van with driver and english speaking tour guide, for ten days, for about $1,000 per person not including airfare and gratuities. I'd never been on a tour before - I do a lot of independent travel and value the ability to construct my own itinerary as well as to change things on the fly - and it was nice to have someone else doing the planning for me but still to be able to change things up plus not have to interact with a bunch of 'ugy Americans...' 

On the other hand, some of the accommodations were pretty rough - we stayed in private homes that had comfy beds, but sometimes the rooms were pretty cold, and in one place there was only an outhouse.

The main thing that was not amazing was the cuisine.  Not a lot of variety except in different styles of horse meat.  Lots of noodles and fatty meat.

If anyone is interested they can PM me for more info on the tour company etc.

Thanks for the insight. We fly today. We will do a private tour too.

Like you we typically travel independently but sometimes when we are particularly time pressed it can be easier to hire a driver, and in developing countries not prohibitively expensive. I donít see us ever joining a tour in say Europe or the US.... but even in Europe we once booked a cycling trip from Germany to budapest and the travel agent organized all our hotels, the bikes and luggage transport. I suppose it was a ďself guided tourĒ, but still very much with our hands held. Nothing for us to think about except where to eat 😆.


dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #167 on: June 03, 2019, 10:19:16 AM »
As I'm FIREd, but mindful of taking advantage of my good health whilst I still have it, I'm looking to cross off all the destinations on my bucket list in the next six years.  My SO is still employed and she's likely to continue to be so for the forseeable future, so I seek travel companions for most of these - feel free to reach out if there's synchronicity in interest and timing!

2019 Columbia* (10th-26th June), Bosnia/Croatia (Aug, traveling companion already found), Nepal (October)

Bulgaria either 2019 or 2020 (visiting a friend, depends on what's convenient for her)

2020 New Zealand (Feb), Madagascar (Apr - traveling companion already found), Cuba (June - this one with my girlfriend!), Baltic States (Aug), Australia* (Oct)

2021 Jordan (Feb), Portugal (Apr), Indonesia* (June), Uganda (Aug), Ethiopia (Oct)

2022 Chile (Feb), Slovenia (Apr), Uzbekistan (June), Tanzania/Kenya (Aug), India* (October)

2023 Philippines (Feb), Italy* (Apr), China* (June), Ecuador (Aug), South Korea (Oct)

2024 Antarctic cruise (Feb), Malta (Apr), Georgia (Jun), Brazil* (Oct)

2025 Guatamala (Feb), Mexico* (Apr), Costa Rica (Jun)

Note: some of these destinations are repeats for me (indicated with an *), and in those places I'm looking to 'fill in' the interesting spots I haven't yet explored.  For example, for Italy I look to check out Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Calabria, and possibly the Cinque Terre - I've spent a lot of time in Northern Italy but haven't been to the south.

Those all sound really cool.  I'm curious as to why you don't stay longer, though. 

jeroly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #168 on: June 03, 2019, 12:00:23 PM »
As I'm FIREd, but mindful of taking advantage of my good health whilst I still have it, I'm looking to cross off all the destinations on my bucket list in the next six years.  My SO is still employed and she's likely to continue to be so for the forseeable future, so I seek travel companions for most of these - feel free to reach out if there's synchronicity in interest and timing!
...

Those all sound really cool.  I'm curious as to why you don't stay longer, though.
It's because I have an SO that is super-duper cool with me traveling solo (or with friends, relatives, or new acquaintances of either sex) but we miss each other and 2 1/2 weeks in a stretch is about as much separate time as works well for our relationship.  Certain trips though (like Australia earlier this year [3 1/2 weeks], or Nepal in October) just aren't conducive to short jaunts, and I'll push the envelope with my four weeks trekking up to and around Everest Base Camp...

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #169 on: June 03, 2019, 03:49:10 PM »
As I'm FIREd, but mindful of taking advantage of my good health whilst I still have it, I'm looking to cross off all the destinations on my bucket list in the next six years.  My SO is still employed and she's likely to continue to be so for the forseeable future, so I seek travel companions for most of these - feel free to reach out if there's synchronicity in interest and timing!
...

Those all sound really cool.  I'm curious as to why you don't stay longer, though.
It's because I have an SO that is super-duper cool with me traveling solo (or with friends, relatives, or new acquaintances of either sex) but we miss each other and 2 1/2 weeks in a stretch is about as much separate time as works well for our relationship.  Certain trips though (like Australia earlier this year [3 1/2 weeks], or Nepal in October) just aren't conducive to short jaunts, and I'll push the envelope with my four weeks trekking up to and around Everest Base Camp...

I'll probably be in this same boat in a few years given that I don't think my spouse will want to travel as much as I'd like to.  I'm hoping a couple of months at a time will work for us, though. 

Threshkin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Location: Colorado
    • My Journal
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #170 on: June 03, 2019, 07:25:07 PM »
Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin are all on the list for future multi-day stays.  Many great museums to see.  Bremen and Hanover were meah IMO.  Cologne and Koblenz were nice but good for day trips.  We did not get to southern Germany on this trip.  Food was not expensive but boy to they eat a LOT of bread and pastries.  Try a Doner (Gyro meat with lots of veggies and sauce in a pita bread) for around 4 euro.  Great lunch.  There are more historic sites on the old East Germany side, mainly because they were not bulldozed for new development in the 60s and 70s like there were in West Germany.

Mixed emotions on the war history.  My dad was in Norway during the occupation and refused to have anything to do with Germany after that.  Mostly I was able to let it slide past but at times it was very hard.  Encountered a little anti-American and racial prejudice but never felt unsafe.  There is a lot of collective guilt about what happened during the war but, just like here there are people on all sides of the spectrum.  I tried to keep focused on the ancient history (middle ages to pre-roman) and the architecture to keep the emotions down.  But visiting war memorials and sites get a lot of focus with many people.  Thank you, but seeing another boarder crossing/concentration camp/military museum is not what I really want to do.  I studied the history and learned from it, I do not want to relive it.

I'm really surprised that East Germany has more historic areas.  I thought it was the communists that razed history for modernist buildings, but I guess West Germany just had more resources to actually make it happen. 

I had heard that there was a big Turkish influence in Germany, so I guess that adds a dimension to the food. 

I'm more interested in ancient history, too.  I think it gets overlooked a lot.  Really, though, I like to focus on the present when I travel.  I also think it can be unfair to a country to focus so much on the dark parts of their history.  Every country has done something terrible in its past.

Sorry for the slow response.  Since I FIREd I spend much less time on this board. 

Interestingly the reverse happened.  The Soviets actually prevented East Germany from rebuilding developing many bombed out zones.  This was (at least initially) punitive for the Germans attacking the USSR.  They basically forced the Germans to live with the consequences of their actions.  This policy, coupled with a lack of economic growth in East Germany resulted in the preservation of many historic areas.  After re-unification in 1989 growth started happening but by then the preservation of historic places was a higher social priority.  Even today the East is less developed.  Wages are lower, unemployment is higher, hosing prices are lower.  This is in spite of significant incentives offered by the German government for business to relocate or expand in the East.

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #171 on: June 16, 2019, 01:53:29 PM »

Marseille
 

My favourite city in France, especially the Noailles district. Make sure you stop by at Charly Pizza at the old port. One of the best pizza in France, a local institution started by my Neapolitan uncle in the early 1960s and now taken over by his grandson.

Well, darn it that I didn't see this post until today.  I spent lots of time walking the Old Port and think I even saw Charly Pizza, but did not go there because I didn't read your post.  Shucks!

I've now returned from a our wonderful trip.  FIR is exceeding all expectations! 

As far as Italy goes... yes, many countries/places are less expensive, but I simply love Italy and there's still so much of it that I haven't seen. I LOVE Italy... the food, the history, the scenery, the people.    In our travels, we tend to really get off the beaten path and the prices are low enough if you are where the locals go.  You live there, @Hula Hoop, so you really know the nitty gritty,  but we're tourists.   We are comparing tourist cost to  tourist cost, and are USA based, so that's our frame of reference.  In the USA, a sub par roadside hotel will often be $80-90 a night.  We often tell our friends that we can travel in Europe for far less than home.   We stayed in an amazing, huge historic room in a 1000 year old castle BnB, which was about $40 including breakfast for 2.  That's the Italy I can explore forever!   Yes, we've found cheaper castles to stay in in Eastern Europe, I think $17 was the lowest, but the $40 isn't cost prohibitive, so it's all good.  In fact, it's all fantastic!

itchyfeet

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 758
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #172 on: June 17, 2019, 10:28:19 AM »
Just returned from Kyrgyzstan. Thumbs up. Beautiful Alpine scenery and ridiculously cheap food and beer.

A bit like Georgia which we visited back and was similarly awesome (probably moreso even).

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Location: Italy
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #173 on: June 17, 2019, 01:03:55 PM »

Marseille
 

My favourite city in France, especially the Noailles district. Make sure you stop by at Charly Pizza at the old port. One of the best pizza in France, a local institution started by my Neapolitan uncle in the early 1960s and now taken over by his grandson.

Well, darn it that I didn't see this post until today.  I spent lots of time walking the Old Port and think I even saw Charly Pizza, but did not go there because I didn't read your post.  Shucks!

I've now returned from a our wonderful trip.  FIR is exceeding all expectations! 

As far as Italy goes... yes, many countries/places are less expensive, but I simply love Italy and there's still so much of it that I haven't seen. I LOVE Italy... the food, the history, the scenery, the people.    In our travels, we tend to really get off the beaten path and the prices are low enough if you are where the locals go.  You live there, @Hula Hoop, so you really know the nitty gritty,  but we're tourists.   We are comparing tourist cost to  tourist cost, and are USA based, so that's our frame of reference.  In the USA, a sub par roadside hotel will often be $80-90 a night.  We often tell our friends that we can travel in Europe for far less than home.   We stayed in an amazing, huge historic room in a 1000 year old castle BnB, which was about $40 including breakfast for 2.  That's the Italy I can explore forever!   Yes, we've found cheaper castles to stay in in Eastern Europe, I think $17 was the lowest, but the $40 isn't cost prohibitive, so it's all good.  In fact, it's all fantastic!

Glad you like it here in Italy, Jojo.  I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the place but that's because living here (especially trying to earn a living here) is an entirely different thing from coming here on vacation. 

I agree that Italy can be really cheap in some really amazing places.  I stayed in a place like you describe around 10 years ago in Caltagirone, Sicily during the low season (January).  It's a truly amazing town - just gorgeous - and it had just been listed with UNESCO when we were there but almost no tourists.  We had a great time being wined and dined by the locals probably because there were so few tourists and they were just so thrilled that I spoke Italian (I was travelling with a friend who doesn't though).  But there are a million towns like Caltagirone here.  Absolutely stunning towns with almost no tourists.  For some reason all the tourists go to Florence, Cinque Terre, San Gimignano, Venice, the Amalfi Coast and Rome.  Those places are wonderful but there is so much more to see especially in the South of Italy.  One of my favorite places in Italy is Naples.  So many tourists just go right through Naples on the way to the Amalfi Coast, Capri etc.  They have no idea what they're missing.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 01:07:30 PM by Hula Hoop »

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #174 on: June 17, 2019, 03:39:56 PM »

Marseille
 

My favourite city in France, especially the Noailles district. Make sure you stop by at Charly Pizza at the old port. One of the best pizza in France, a local institution started by my Neapolitan uncle in the early 1960s and now taken over by his grandson.

Well, darn it that I didn't see this post until today.  I spent lots of time walking the Old Port and think I even saw Charly Pizza, but did not go there because I didn't read your post.  Shucks!

I've now returned from a our wonderful trip.  FIR is exceeding all expectations! 

As far as Italy goes... yes, many countries/places are less expensive, but I simply love Italy and there's still so much of it that I haven't seen. I LOVE Italy... the food, the history, the scenery, the people.    In our travels, we tend to really get off the beaten path and the prices are low enough if you are where the locals go.  You live there, @Hula Hoop, so you really know the nitty gritty,  but we're tourists.   We are comparing tourist cost to  tourist cost, and are USA based, so that's our frame of reference.  In the USA, a sub par roadside hotel will often be $80-90 a night.  We often tell our friends that we can travel in Europe for far less than home.   We stayed in an amazing, huge historic room in a 1000 year old castle BnB, which was about $40 including breakfast for 2.  That's the Italy I can explore forever!   Yes, we've found cheaper castles to stay in in Eastern Europe, I think $17 was the lowest, but the $40 isn't cost prohibitive, so it's all good.  In fact, it's all fantastic!

Glad you like it here in Italy, Jojo.  I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the place but that's because living here (especially trying to earn a living here) is an entirely different thing from coming here on vacation. 

I agree that Italy can be really cheap in some really amazing places.  I stayed in a place like you describe around 10 years ago in Caltagirone, Sicily during the low season (January).  It's a truly amazing town - just gorgeous - and it had just been listed with UNESCO when we were there but almost no tourists.  We had a great time being wined and dined by the locals probably because there were so few tourists and they were just so thrilled that I spoke Italian (I was travelling with a friend who doesn't though).  But there are a million towns like Caltagirone here.  Absolutely stunning towns with almost no tourists.  For some reason all the tourists go to Florence, Cinque Terre, San Gimignano, Venice, the Amalfi Coast and Rome.  Those places are wonderful but there is so much more to see especially in the South of Italy.  One of my favorite places in Italy is Naples.  So many tourists just go right through Naples on the way to the Amalfi Coast, Capri etc.  They have no idea what they're missing.

I'm suprised that smaller locations in Southern Italy don't see a decent amount of travelers just from the Italian diaspora.  So many villages in Southern Italy have descendants in the US, Argentina, Australia, etc.  My great grandfather's little village is way up on my bucket list. 

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Location: Italy
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #175 on: June 17, 2019, 05:08:36 PM »

I'm suprised that smaller locations in Southern Italy don't see a decent amount of travelers just from the Italian diaspora.  So many villages in Southern Italy have descendants in the US, Argentina, Australia, etc.  My great grandfather's little village is way up on my bucket list.

I don't think that tourism to ancestral villages is big enough to have much of an impact.  I know a couple of Italian Americans, Italian Australians etc. who have visited their ancestral villages but they also seem to always go to the usual tourist spots.

jeroly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #176 on: June 17, 2019, 08:01:33 PM »
Just returned from Kyrgyzstan. Thumbs up. Beautiful Alpine scenery and ridiculously cheap food and beer.

A bit like Georgia which we visited back and was similarly awesome (probably moreso even).

So glad that you enjoyed Kyrgyzstan!
Where are y'all off to next?

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #177 on: June 17, 2019, 08:05:03 PM »

Glad you like it here in Italy, Jojo.  I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the place but that's because living here (especially trying to earn a living here) is an entirely different thing from coming here on vacation. 

I agree that Italy can be really cheap in some really amazing places.  I stayed in a place like you describe around 10 years ago in Caltagirone, Sicily during the low season (January).  It's a truly amazing town - just gorgeous - and it had just been listed with UNESCO when we were there but almost no tourists.  We had a great time being wined and dined by the locals probably because there were so few tourists and they were just so thrilled that I spoke Italian (I was travelling with a friend who doesn't though).  But there are a million towns like Caltagirone here.  Absolutely stunning towns with almost no tourists.  For some reason all the tourists go to Florence, Cinque Terre, San Gimignano, Venice, the Amalfi Coast and Rome.  Those places are wonderful but there is so much more to see especially in the South of Italy.  One of my favorite places in Italy is Naples.  So many tourists just go right through Naples on the way to the Amalfi Coast, Capri etc.  They have no idea what they're missing.

Ah! What do you like best in Naples?  I'm spending a couple of weeks in/around Naples later this year.  Low season, thank goodness.   It's just going to be a very small loop down the coast a bit to Salerno and back up more inland. Yes, it will include the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.  I've never been to either, yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing them.  Once they are ticked off the list, I can move on to more obscure locations and do some serious exploring. 

  Sicily is going to have to wait its turn, but it is on my list.     I don't want to be rushed when we go there, so it will have to be a destination of its own. 

@itchyfeet - Kyrgysztan sounds wonderful.  I hope to go there, and Georgia as well.  Tell us more!

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Location: Italy
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #178 on: June 18, 2019, 08:06:37 AM »
Honestly, in Naples, we just loved walking around and talking to people.  Also eating a lot of pizza and drinking a ton of coffee and pastries.

The Archeological Museum is amazing - it has all the good stuff taken from Pompei. The Naples underground tour was also a highlight especially for our kids. The Museo San Severa was fabulous and macabre. The Santa Chiara Monastery was beautiful.  I'd also recommend taking the funicular to Vomero and going to the Castel Sant'Elmo with beautiful views over the bay.  The San Gennaro treasure museum was jaw dropping and our kids totally loved it.  We didn't have time for this, but next time I also want to go to Posillipo for a drink or meal. 

I enjoyed the banter in Naples.  People normally speak their own dialect/language but they also speak Italian and we chatted with everyone.  This was probably made easier by our having kids with us.  Their sense of humor is wonderful and really dark. 

letsdoit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 405
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #179 on: June 18, 2019, 09:39:18 AM »
thanks for reminding us about southern italy. 
we should all be on the look out for places like the Stans that are under-touristed.


dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
  • Location: AL
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #180 on: June 18, 2019, 11:42:08 AM »
Honestly, in Naples, we just loved walking around and talking to people.  Also eating a lot of pizza and drinking a ton of coffee and pastries.

The Archeological Museum is amazing - it has all the good stuff taken from Pompei. The Naples underground tour was also a highlight especially for our kids. The Museo San Severa was fabulous and macabre. The Santa Chiara Monastery was beautiful.  I'd also recommend taking the funicular to Vomero and going to the Castel Sant'Elmo with beautiful views over the bay.  The San Gennaro treasure museum was jaw dropping and our kids totally loved it.  We didn't have time for this, but next time I also want to go to Posillipo for a drink or meal. 

I enjoyed the banter in Naples.  People normally speak their own dialect/language but they also speak Italian and we chatted with everyone.  This was probably made easier by our having kids with us.  Their sense of humor is wonderful and really dark.

I've never really gotten the draw of just trying to stuff in as many major tourist attractions as possible.  I'm glad I saw Pompeii, but honestly just wandering around Naples randomly wandering into pastry and gelato shops was better.  No agenda, no rush.  Isn't that a thing in Italy anyway?

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Location: Italy
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #181 on: June 18, 2019, 01:17:21 PM »
Dougules - me neither.  We're lucky as we don't live that far from Naples so we've been there several times usually just for a few days here and there.  We generally wander around with a bit of help from Google maps and just wander into churches and museums as they appeal to us (or pizza places or coffee bars).  I also go there sometimes for work and try to fit in a bit of wandering and pizza eating, if possible.

The only thing I'd warn people about when wandering Naples is that the area just around the station and the Centro Direzionale of Naples are hideous.

itchyfeet

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 758
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #182 on: June 19, 2019, 11:17:51 AM »
Just returned from Kyrgyzstan. Thumbs up. Beautiful Alpine scenery and ridiculously cheap food and beer.

A bit like Georgia which we visited back and was similarly awesome (probably moreso even).

So glad that you enjoyed Kyrgyzstan!
Where are y'all off to next?

We are actually going to Poland in 2 weeks to visit a friend there. Just Warsaw.

BussoV6

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Location: Egoli
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #183 on: June 25, 2019, 08:55:55 AM »
I already lived on four continents and traveled pretty much everywhere for work and pleasure, and my wife and I intended just a few months ago to continue traveling during retirement, but in a different way, staying extended periods of time in one spot as a home base, working as an ESL or scuba diving instructor, and exploring neighbouring regions.

I'm thinking along these lines as well. I want to spend winters in a warmer place, just not in the same place every year. The first few years will look something like this:

Killarney Ireland
Botswana
The Yucatan peninsula
India
The Azores

Having been to Botswana might I suggest Etosha National Park in neighboring Namibia?   It was freaking AWESOME...better then the delta when I was there (although the bat caves in Botswana were pretty cool)

+1 on that suggestion. Also, Botswana is quite expensive as they are concentrating on the really wealthy tourists. Namibia is a great safari destination. Also consider Zambia. South Luangwa is my favourite game park. Make sure to do a walking safari   :-)

jeroly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Where would you travel?
« Reply #184 on: June 25, 2019, 10:28:32 AM »
I already lived on four continents and traveled pretty much everywhere for work and pleasure, and my wife and I intended just a few months ago to continue traveling during retirement, but in a different way, staying extended periods of time in one spot as a home base, working as an ESL or scuba diving instructor, and exploring neighbouring regions.

I'm thinking along these lines as well. I want to spend winters in a warmer place, just not in the same place every year. The first few years will look something like this:

Killarney Ireland
Botswana
The Yucatan peninsula
India
The Azores

Having been to Botswana might I suggest Etosha National Park in neighboring Namibia?   It was freaking AWESOME...better then the delta when I was there (although the bat caves in Botswana were pretty cool)

+1 on that suggestion. Also, Botswana is quite expensive as they are concentrating on the really wealthy tourists. Namibia is a great safari destination. Also consider Zambia. South Luangwa is my favourite game park. Make sure to do a walking safari   :-)

I can't compare, never having been to Botswana, but Etosha was great. You sit in a grandstand next to a watering hole and watch as group after group of animals come up to drink. Then you can also drive around to find the lions, ostriches, and elephants hanging out on their own in the surrounding areas. It's very Mustachian as well - you can do it on your own without paying for a pricey safari.