Vacation Guidance—Pretty Please

My Smithsonian World Atlas, Sixth Edition, open for contemplation. August 6. 2014.

My Smithsonian World Atlas, Sixth Edition, open for contemplation. August 6. 2014.

When I take The Great Trip of 2014, I’ll have gone two years without a proper vacation and I have no idea how long I went without one before that. As a big believer in the value of time away from the everyday, I’d better actually take some.

Great news, right? Excitement reigns, right?

Alas, no.

Taking a vacation just feels like one more overwhelming to-do—and one with nebulous definition. The world needs travel agents, after all. Can’t someone else just plan this for me? If I had even the broad outlines of a plan, I’d feel better. An image in my head evoking fun ahead would help me feel excited in the here and now.

So desperate have I grown for leads, I’ve veered from the norm for this post. Instead of musing on a topic and inviting dialogue, today’s entry provides parameters and requests ideas.

I need your help, dear readers.

Collaborate with me on defining The Great Trip of 2014. Given my broad guidelines for the vacation, I invite you to share your travel adventures, best destinations, and great ideas:

  • The destination and activities should rate as safe for single women traveling alone. Also, road trips don’t typically translate into fun for solo travelers, so I’ll pass on one this time—although I do love them.

  • I like a mix of adventure, activity, culture, and relaxation. Some pampering sounds nice, too.

  • Drink and culinary adventures don’t entice me.

  • I don’t “rough it” without a significant experience payoff. For example, you won’t entice me to camp or stay in a hostel unless I can find no other way to see or do something I really want to see or do. (And if I’m lukewarm on the sight or action, I’ll pass.) I need at least a decent hotel.

  • As I will need to check in with the office at least once a day on weekdays, I need a spot with fairly decent and widespread Internet connectivity.

  • I’ve lived and traveled widely in Europe and Britain, so I’d like to see other parts of the world.

  • I have about a week to ten days, so I need to identify a destination that won’t consume too much time in travel or jet lag. In my thinking, that indicates spots in Central and South America, but I welcome other notions.

  • Given current commitments, the trip needs to take place in first two weeks in December or the first couple in November.

And so I beg your guidance, my friends:

Tell me about your best vacation.