Question: My husband and I have been planning to retire in a few years. We started thinking about our “to-do list” of places we should go. If you were in our situation, where would you suggest?
Answer: Thank you very much for your e-mail and I know you are glad you are considering traveling, but I have to ask: why are you waiting for retirement?
Today is what we have. Don’t waste it, because as a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, I see that it happens too often: children or grandchildren need help; we become carers of the parent (s); the back or knees go out to the extent that we have to slow down; the pandemic blinds us. Life is happening.
Our precious holiday dreams – and all the wonderful plans we have put in place to enjoy them – are relegated to the sidelines. Our tomorrow will never come. Therefore I cry out of my lungs: go!
How lucky we are as Americans to have so many options where we can travel, but that again only adds to the dilemma. I know you wanted a simple 1-2-3 answer, but when it comes to travel, I’m like a kid whose mom gives a $ 20 bill, sends it to a candy store, and tells him to buy only one thing.
To answer your question of where I would have spent my hard-earned retirement travel dollars, my mind swept around the world until I came up with my top 5 options. I decided on these destinations, because like that old song on the radio that can make you laugh, no matter where and how much time has passed, the memories of the trip still make me happy. To be honest, traveling is such a personal thing that one day you can stand in exactly the same place as me and say, “What the hell? Is that it?” Still, since you asked, here are my best options for your retirement list:
* I have to go to Italy. What an amazing landscape! We appreciated the history and talent that made Rome, Venice and Florence so special, but we also considered the mountain towns and vineyards of Tuscany, the Lake District around Bellagio, the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast to be enchanting. I really hate being so vague, but he could throw an arrow outside the Big 3 – Rome, Florence and Venice – and I’d like that. Get off the beaten track and you’ll understand why Italy should be on your retirement radar.
* All the ads say “It’s better in the Bahamas”, but I personally would marry Hawaii every day! Maui has always been our favorite island, but we found something we liked about others – Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii. Each of these islands is very diverse and has something to offer. Take the time to appreciate and explore everything they bring to the holiday table to decide on the best island or call me at Monroe Travel Service. There is much more to Hawaii than just a great beach!
* The Pacific Northwest should get on the list of all travelers! Majestic is the word that comes to mind when I think of this travel corridor. You can do it piece by piece on several trips or like us. We started in Seattle, explored the charming towns around Puget Sound, and then took a train to Vancouver, Canada. From this city, which is as cool as San Francisco, we took a ferry to the small island of Victoria, where we saw the beauty of Buchart Gardens and the port area and then returned to Vancouver. Then we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer Train and headed to all that amazing beauty of the Canadian Rockies. What a ride! Mother Nature has done some of her best work in this western part of Canada, where small towns like Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise are a delight.
* The French don’t seem rude or arrogant to me, but they are proud of their beautiful country and after a holiday in it, I think it’s a great destination. Spend time in Paris, see the Louvre and eat well, but you have to leave the city of lights in the rearview mirror. Go and learn about the history of World War II in Normandy. Be amazed by the strategy, bravery and price of freedom. For the first time, we did this area with our children ourselves, but later we discovered that cruising the river is the perfect way to slow down and “hear” the story. Versailles, Mont St. We were captivated by Michele, Carcassonne, Dijon, Lyon and the French Riviera. Invest in France for a while and you will quickly understand why it is the world’s number one tourist destination.
* If natural beauty is your priority, then New Zealand should get on your travel list, but if it’s too far to travel, I have compromises. Come, fall in love with the green, green fields of Ireland. Take the Glacier Express in Switzerland, visit the Black Forest in Germany, listen to Austrian music, enjoy Military Tattoo in Scotland or be captivated by the Dutch Kukenoff Gardens. Istanbul has the Blue Mosque, Portugal has the Duoro, Mexico has the Cancun, Peru has the Machu Picchu, New York has the Broadway … and the list could go on and on.
After all, just as there is no right or wrong way to retire, there is no one size in the world of travel. What works for one may not work for another. Think of travel as if you were doing your job. Invest time and energy in it. As a travel agent, we can show you ways to maximize your experience, but finding out where and what makes you happiest – now and in the years to come – is a question only you can answer.
Thank you for your email . You’re handy that you’re planning ahead. I just hope that when your “once” comes – you know, the retirement path you worked on – you will be on top of the world. Call me, because I’m sure I’ll be happy to help you enjoy the view!
Dianne Newcomer is a travel agency in Monroe Travel Service. If you need help with your next vacation, call one of our experienced experts at 318 323 3465 or send an e-mail to INFO@MONROETRAVEL.com and get free advice on traveling the world.