This is a crisis! Anyone suffering from travel addiction must have several things at least semi-lined up – at least booked but not paid for. Last year this time I was in New York, heading up to Bangor in a few days. I had a cruise to the South Pacific booked along with my tickets and cruise for Scandinavia and Estonia. I managed to squeeze in a repeat trip to the South Pacific because the first one ended up caught in a cyclone and we ended up in Suva. (And if I ever end up in Suva again, I’m not getting off the ship! First they run you through a barbed wire gauntlet and then you’re assaulted by Bula! screaming conmen.) And then there was my most recent expedition to Sydney, so I could take the long way home on the Diamond Princess. Five trips in one year and my only regret is there wasn’t time to fit more travel in.
So here I am with nothing planned for 2009. Nothing!
Uzbekistan is off the table. I just can’t drum up any support from the spouse who anticipates uncomfortable beds and stews that might contain eyeballs and monkey brains. I keep telling him there are no monkeys in Uzbekistan. However, I suppose I will have to defer to warnings from the NZ, US, Aus and UK government saying it’s really no place to go just because you’re nosy. If terrorists don’t get you (and they probably won’t) you run the risk of innocently committing a heinous crime. Actually, this is also unlikely, but I like to consider the possibility of being boiled alive as a genuine threat. I believe Uzbekistan is the only country in the world that still practices boiling to death. I don’t know – I find it fascinating and being that I’m against capital punishment in general, it seems more peculiar, but really, no worse than other forms. In any case, I’m not going to get to go there this year.
I’m thinking small country. Out of the way. I’m thinking cheap, but not cheap-cheap (no birds tweeting in the loo if you don’t mind). I’m thinking not hot. I’m off hot places. I’ve discovered the bliss of cold places. The thrill of the chill that keeps you moving. I want to go to Norway…
Ah Norway – I spent a day in Oslo this past September. As close to heaven as you’re likely to get. I was especially enamoured of the Norwegian Wood. But I’m hankering to do the Hurtigruten cruise, which is a combination cruise/mail/supply ship. Click the link for an idea… Unfortunately, it does not meet the cheap qualification. Norway is one of the most expensive countries. Still, it’s calling me.
Then I’m thinking a bit about South America. Peru or Chile, a bit of Argentina, perhaps. And maybe a short jaunt on a ship in the south Pacific in March… Like I said, it’s a crisis.