The Art of Deciding Your Next Travel Destination

Hakone_Japan_2008
I
n a poor attempt to test my spontaneity yesterday, my clever husband asks me if I am up for going to Japan in 7 days. No plans, no preparation, no idea where we would stay except that this time, we must go to Hakone to climb Mount Fuji – be not impressed; it’s no Everest, everyone can climb it – and that we would have confirmed seats in business class; the fares are extremely reasonable due to significantly slower travels to Japan.

Ah Japan! One of my biggest loves, even if I rarely talk about it around here. We fell in love with Japan during our first visit back in 2004 and it wasn’t just the cherry blossoms that stole our heart. Over the years, we were lucky to return three more times, thanks to the sweet mix of pleasure and business, and each time, we were further intrigued and mesmerized by the unique culture, the divine food, the musical language, the highly efficient infrastructure as well as the originality of tradition and custom that is highly ingrained in the Japanese people.

We were complete outsiders, Gaijin according to the Japanese, and yet we always felt incredibly safe, welcomed, well taken care of, and happy. The dichotomy of it all never ceases to fascinate me. In fact, I describe going to Japan as going to another planet altogether, and that, my friends, is meant as the highest praise to the Japanese.

Kyoto_Japan_2004

Yet I hesitated, even with promise of business seats and a chance to capture Tokyo and Hakone from the lens of my new camera! So while the outcome of this particular conversation is still up in the air and while my hubby is impatiently hovering his mouse over Expert Flyer (affiliate) booking, I wanted to explore the reasons behind my hesitation.

Deep down, I just haven’t yet figured out my next true travel destination.

Some people know exactly where to visit next, a skill I am desperately trying to fine-tune here. Many others day dream of traveling and devoting days and weeks of their lives to trotting about the globe if only they could stop working or somehow break free from obligations of the daily grind.

No doubt the desire for seeing the world is strong but where do you start? How do you ideally select the destination and in what order and logic? Do you have a master destination plan, a top 10-list, a spreadsheet, or does it not even matter as long as you get to leave home and get on the road?

In my Fear-Crushing Travel Guide, my main focus was simple (though far from easy): Empowering people to crush their fears and anxieties about leaving home, getting on the road, fulfilling their dream of traveling and making the idea of travel accessible to everyone willing to do it.

That’s the first travel root: Overcoming the fears and embracing travel itself. I sincerely trust that’s a yes-check-done-move-on kinda nod for everyone reading this?

Awesome! Moving right along to the second root then: Where on earth do you go and why exactly?

Tokyo_Japan_2008

You may argue that your next travel destination is always largely driven by your circumstances and opportunities that are yet to come. Where the friends gather for a reunion, where the next fabulous conference for your hobby or profession of choice lands, or where the traditional holiday get-together takes place. Fair enough, I suppose. That’s one kind of travel.

Now can you go one layer deeper and give specific answers here:

1. Where do you ache to go? The thought of what place in this earth tugs at your heart strings? What corner of this world do you consider an exotic, must-see paradise and one you desperately wish to see someday?

2. Why? What are the compelling reasons calling your name to this destination?

3. How many of these specific destinations and matching reasons do you have in mind?

Reality checks are rude awakenings but they spring us to action more often than not. We have a finite time in this world and I say the choices of travel destination must resonate deeply within our hearts before we pack our bags. Travel for the sake of travel can be wonderful, fun, and very exciting but it slowly runs its course. Travel with an intent and purpose, on the other hand, awakens your deepest senses of curiosity and fulfills you on a different level. Those intents and purposes can be intimately personal but it pays to think about them, to write them down, to say them to someone, to hear yourself acknowledge them and to find a way to fulfill them someday. Here are some of mine:

Tokyo_Japan_2004

To attend a conference or a summit: To be able to experience the power of the human connection and to bask in the learning opportunities of your area of interest. This is part business, part self-growth and education. I happen to love it. Do conferences pique your curiosity enough to pick up and go?

To return to a place that needs closure: If you do not have a list here, smile and move on. It’s a good thing. For me, it is places where I lived and left not knowing whether I shall ever return: Iran, Turkey. A return visit has been in the waiting for over 20 years. Do you hold such places in your heart?

To satiate hunger for architecture and history: Some histories hold more mystique and intrigue in my eyes than others, with the ultimate ones being Greece, Italy – the unforgettable Pantheon, and Egypt – yet to happen. Where does history hold intrigue for you?

To explore and get lost in sight-seeing: Dozens upon dozens of cities and countries lend themselves to this one perfectly. London, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Singapore, and Hong Kong have been some of my favorites. I can return to either one again and again. Where would you like to get lost in sight-seeing?

To see an utterly exotic and unique culture: I learn from cultures and people that are beyond foreign. I feel a sense of connection despite the massive distance and I crave the feeling. I feel alone and yet connected to the human thread. Japan is on this list, no doubt. Can you think of equally exotic places?

To commune with nature: To bask in the amazing beauty of Mother Nature, to spend time in nature, and to simplify life by returning to simpler roots. Hawaii and New Zealand are unmatched in my memories. What about yours?

To go on a spiritual journey: This one is on which I have not intentionally embarked but I admit that Bali came close and Mysore, India is on my list for someday. What is your definition of a spiritual journey?

To photograph wild life: I haven’t the skills or the equipment to do it yet; all I know is that it shall come to be. And that I will set foot in Africa someday. Have you known the joy of shooting or observing wild life?

To participate in a festival: My favorite ones are yoga and Argentine tango and while both have taken a sad back seat, I’d love to travel again exclusively for this reason. What hobby and passion holds your interest to the point of traveling for it?

To fulfill a childhood dream or fantasy: Who knows why we hold on to an idea or a place in our childhood but alas we do. For me, it was always America, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. Go figure! Two out of three is pretty good so far. What childhood dream do you need to fulfill in your travels?

Maybe it doesn’t make all that much sense to structure travel. Maybe spontaneity is the best way to approach the dream list of destinations. Maybe it is best not to create a bucket list that may never be checked off.

Maybe it is better to not dream, lest it not come true.
Maybe. Maybe not.

What do you think? What would you do?
Oh and tell me, should I pick up and go back to Japan in the middle of these insanely busy days and with no preparation or planning whatsoever?

Tokyo_Japan_2004

  • Graham Lutz

    I want to go to that crazy old temple kind of place (in cambodia, maybe?) where the huge trees go right up through the old structures.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Graham, oh the world – and Asia in particular of course – is filled with these temples that take our breaths away. I hope that you make it there very soon. A lovely destination!

  • http://embracingtheordinarylife.blogspot.com/ Dawn

    I was born a traveler….the heart of and adventurer. My daughter has it too.

    Those places that call to me are Ireland, Greece, Italy, and California…

    I like the idea of having a purpose, our last ‘family’ vacation was a road trip with many destinations along the way, and a few unexpected. Those are the kinds of trips that get me the most excited.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dawn, and you have a such a fitting name. Dawn is to me a new beginning, a fresh perspective, and it’s wonderful to pass that heart along to others. Italy and California are places to which I can return countless times. Ireland and Greece are certainly on my list.
      Family trips can be fun too, even if they are unexpected. I wish my family were more willing to take on the road but alas, they love to stay home!

  • Alexis Yael

    I would definitely go to Japan on short notice!

    I have a HUGE travel bucket list. It is quite possible I will never complete it, but I don’t really care: the excitement, the love is in knowing I will travel to as many places as I can.

    I’ve been saying my next destination is Thailand. I feel compelled there. (But I also thought my last destination would include Morocco, but it didn’t; we ended up staying in Spain because we loved it so And now I want to go somewhere totally new!)

    I also want very much to go to Africa, but I want to wait until my son (who is five) can go on Safari with us. I want to share it with him and it’s not a “now” trip.

    We also do a lot of traveling for conferences/ family/ business. In actuality our next trip will probably be to Seattle (and I’ll visit a ton of friends while my husband conferences). I don’t expect to get to Thailand for a year or two (or three, depending). But again, that’s ok. We will either get there or not, meanwhile I will dream and wait, happily!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Alexis, OR it is quite possible that you WILL complete that awesome list. I need to create my bucket list too. You know, I’ve said a lot about Thailand too but I can’t swing my husband that way just yet. The wild life in Thailand is calling me. And Morocco and Spain sound lovely, lovely!! My sentiment exactly on the new. Africa is a few years out for us too. And I *LOVE* Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general. There is a je-ne-sais-quoi about it and I am very impressed by your travel spirit. Thank you so much for sharing it.

      • Alexis Yael

        Oh yes, I very much hope I will complete my list! Which is, basically, every country — well, not quite to Chris Guillebeau’s actually tour of every country, but maybe 50?

        I wrote the first edition of my bucket list when I was 17 and had never been to any other country than the US. I got my passport when I was 22 and traveled for a month in Europe. I really love traveling. We mostly do road trips/ US trips but every few years we pull off a really grand big huge adventure! And admittedly, those are my favorite :D

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Chris has a crazy list and he counts it as “visited” even if he just steps on the soil of the country. With all due respect for him, I actually don’t get his mission at all but I love the guy. I don’t know if it’s the number of countries that matter to me as much as the depth of experience and the variety of it. 50 is a good number, though, I’d say go for it and do some planning in advance but still mix it in with spontaneity. I love our grand adventures too. Gosh, now I am just dreaming of traveling again. I wonder if we can still get those tickets for Asia. Still waiting!

          • Alexis Yael

            Yes, I admit to being perplexed by his goals/ methods as well, though I admire his plan and his ability to follow through.

            I hope the tickets work out!

            And my condolences on the loss of your grandmother-in-law. May her memory always be a blessing!

  • http://www.deliberateblog.com Melody | Deliberate Receiving

    Hi Farnoosh,
    I see a big difference between traveling, which is kind of exploring and vacationing somewhere, which entails eating a lot, sightseeing and laying on the beach. They have very different wardrobes, as well. :)
    If I try to fulfill a purpose, like a spiritual one, in a place where there are lots of tourists, I get really disappointed (Stonehenge comes to mind. No way to tune into the energy amongst 10.000 screaming tourists…)
    So, my travel adventures tend to be more rural, like the rainforest or in villages. While I prefer to see the cities in style (i.e. I take makeup and heels).

    My list of destinations is enormous, but one thing I’d really like to do more of is to go to places for 3-6 months at a time, instead of just visiting them. You get a completely different picture of the culture and the people, and have a chance to learn the language, as well.

    Thanks for all the inspiration. Ever time I come here I get the itch to travel!

    Hugs,
    Melody

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Melody, I never thought of it that way. Travel versus vacation. The idea of vacation is to relax, enjoy and get away but I think given that, I hardly ever vacation then ;)!
      Stonehedge was crowded? How disappointing. I shall have to go in the dead of winter. I can stand the weather more than I can stand loud, obnoxious people ;)! I love your ideas of travel though and I can enjoy both the city and the outdoors about the same.
      Oh my! The idea of going somewhere for more than 2-3 weeks is breath-taking. I have got to make that a reality and same for you. Living versus visiting are entirely different worlds, absolutely. Here’s to both of us getting that chance to do that someday soon!

  • Elizabeth Zirk

    Farnoosh! I love simply picking up and going. Sometimes the best travel is spontaneous. You have an advantage in that you’ve been to this place before. I say GO! You could call it an experiment in spontaneity management. Being aware of how your priorities change and what gets effected most by spontaneity – that would be interesting.

    My boyfriend and I have traveled domestically and abroad with just the round-trip ticket booking. No idea where we’ll stay, no idea of what we’ll explore. It’s also an experiment in relationship building maybe! :-)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you for the vote on the Asia trip. We are two days out and my husband is still deciding. It didn’t help that we had to go to (so sad) his grandmother’s funeral yesterday. I do love your perspectives on spontaneity management and to my credit, I did give the go-ahead.
      I love your own spontaneity. Too much planning can’t be that good and you never know what opportunities may come along and if you are flexible, you are golden. Happy travels, Elizabeth and I’ll report out on what we decide to do!

  • Bimal Shivaji

    Go, go. it will be different each time you go! Have a nice time.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Bimal, ok ok! :) Great input and we have to see now if the tickets are still available. Thank you!

  • http://the100percentyou.com/ John Sherry

    A very very very timely question Farnoosh because, as I write, I’m in the New Forest in the South UK looking at potential new homes and a relocation. But, when I got here yesterday I found out that my own house sale had fallen through and plans may be on hold for a while. The level of how frustrated I am and how much I want to make the move showed me that my ache to be here and begin a new life is true and oh too real. Sometimes your aches are short term pains that check how much your dreams really mean to you. If it hurts they’re not happening you’ll have your answer.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear John, oh do spare a thought for me up in the New Forest. Where are you relocating from?
      So you know, I have felt that particular ache. You know you want something, you go for it, and something just goes awry and THEN you are really upset that you didn’t get what you wanted. Then you really realize how badly you wanted it in the first place. Perhaps another house opportunity will open up? Surely, that could not be the only way you could relocate, I hope. All the very best.

  • http://www.kaizenvision.com Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    YES go to Japan.

    I really like your suggestions for deciding where to go:
    -satiate hunger for architecture and history
    -explore and get lost in sight-seeing
    - see an utterly exotic and unique culture
    -photograph wild life
    - a festival
    -a childhood dream

    Loved this. I usually just start with a craving to go somewhere – but that usually gets me thinking of the same places.

    your list inspires new thoughts.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Aileen, we’ll have to see. We just returned from the unexpected funeral and we have to see if the tickets are still around. Thank you so much for the vote to go and for your thoughts here. What’s a new place you want to visit? Let me know when you figure it out. Any new place will have an adventure awaiting all of us.

  • patrick

    I really enjoyed the post. I have fallen in love with Japan as well. I was fortunate enough to spend several days there. The cherry blossoms are absolutely beautiful and well of course I had to try the sushi!

    Sight seeing is an absolute love of mine.

    I’m sure you will have the opportunity to photograph wildlife in the near future. Thanks for the post!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Patrick, thank you. Japan is easy to fall in love with. We were there once during the cherry blossoms and it is incredible. Thank you for your lovely words and kind wishes and I hope all your travel dreams come to fruition too.

      • http://www.fromdreamstolifestyle.com/the-power-of-having-a-great-story/ patrick

        Thank you. I’m sure they will. I hope you get to enjoy some more photography experiences and share it with us :) I’d love to see more of your work. p.s. The photo’s on your blog look all look really well done and fit in really well with your writing style.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Thank you, Patrick but I am a complete novice photographer. I assure you it’s all the camera. More photos coming soon!

  • Patrick

    I went to Japan nearly five years ago and was thinking about it just this morning, I’d love to go back but after the earthquake/tsunami/radiation leak, I’m not sure if this is appropriate just now. I totally buy into Douglas Coupland’s concept of the ‘perfect holiday moment’, which for me I associate with a sense of peaceful calm and of being at one with the world…

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Patrick,
      You know, that was my first worry but we are not going in the north part, and the Japanese are very resilient in getting everything up and running again and to our knowledge, most everything is operating fine around Tokyo. Natural disasters do put huge strain on some places and I pray that they restore their beloved country one of these days.
      And oh I so love your “perfect holiday moment” thoughts. I had not heard it so all new and brilliant to me. May your next destination fulfill that phrase well.

  • http://whisperinggums.wordpress.com Whispering Gums

    Oh Farnoosh, I have to respond to this. I have just been to Japan (our third time) for three weeks in May. We were going to spend one of those three weeks in Sendai when we initially booked. After the tsunami we put our plans on hold, cancelled our JR Rail pass and waited. We made the decision to go two weeks before our plane flight, reordered JR Rail passes and organised an itinerary. It was well worth it … and the Japanese will love you for going. DO IT! (We spend our first night and last night in Tokyo. The only real thing we noticed was the some escalators aren’t operating – and we believe this is a power saving measure. However, since there are always stairs and/or lifts this wasn’t a major problem.

    (PS I wrote three posts on my blog about our trip – not full travel pieces. Have a look if you are interested. They’re tagged Japan).

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Sue, how lovely to see you here! And even more wonderful to hear that you were just in Japan. This is all bringing back memories, especially the JR Rail part. So guess what? We had to go to my hubby’s grandmother’s funeral and when we returned, all in gloom and doom of a mood, the tickets were snatched up so we are not going tomorrow after all but we shall definitely go. I am now looking through your Japan posts. So glad you had such a good time. I have no doubt I shall return. I also hope you are doing fabulous on all other fronts. All the very best and thank you for sharing your trip memories and tips.

      • http://whisperinggums.wordpress.com Whispering Gums

        I’m sorry about your hubby’s grandma. I hope her death was a peaceful one.

        BTW I love your list of reasons for travel … and can relate to a few of them.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Dearest Sue, you are so sweet, thank you so much.

  • http://actoftraveling.com/ Emiel

    Dear Farnoosh,
    When we start making a list of destinations, there is no end to it. We keep on shouting great countries or places that we want to visit.
    In the end you will only visit a few most probably, so which ones should get priority?
    Tricky question.
    I love the idea of spontaneous destination picking. Sometimes I travel for business and end up in a great place that I want to return to with my family.
    But the list of destinations keeps changing, along with local turmoil and natural disasters. The world is turning and so does our priority list of destinations. In our case, a new destination is only fixed when the plane ticket is in our hands. Our plans for 2012? No idea….yet..

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest Emiel, I had better not start an endless list then. No point to it ;)!
      I sure hope that in the end – meaning probably the end of our travel life, which (gasp) I hope never will arrive – that we visit much more than a few. You are way ahead of me I bet and you are only going to pick up your travels as time goes on. You know, even Andy said that new countries are being born and old countries are going away with the changes in geography and geopolitics so indeed, it’s best not to make a silly list after all. Thanks for sharing your absolutely fantastic perspectives on travel here or everywhere else that I catch you writing on travels, Emiel.

      • http://actoftraveling.com/ Emiel

        Arigatoo Farnoosh! You know when wish lists with travel destinations are actually needed? When someone shows fear of travelling. If someone doesn’t shows signs of travel hesitation, they should make a list! Max. 3 destinations, but that list will drive them to go out and discover. That list is needed otherwise those great travels will never come to light!

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Emiel, that’s a great way to keep the destination in front of the mind of the people who hesitate to travel. It’s a great incentive. Max 3 so they do not get overwhelmed and still take action. Brilliant addition to an already great conversation, thanks!

  • King Author

    Japan Japan JAPAN, this is a place i will have a residence in when the time is right. It’s wonderful how you went to Japan in 04 then went again. I enjoy the pics and the fact that you love there culture, because I love Japanese culture. So much discipline and so much depth,it phenomenal. Far from American culture, which is reduced to french fries and cheese burger. Great post.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Arthur, Japan is wonderful in many, many ways yes. But the American culture is far more than “french fries and cheese burger”. It is all in your perspective and how you grew up and where you live but there is a lot more to the mosaic of all cultures that have created the American culture and much as I love the Japanese culture, I think there is a lot to be said for the American culture too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Felicia @ No Deposit Poker

    I always wanted to go to Japan and visit Akihabara, Himeji Castle, Shibuya to visit Hachiko, buy an authentic katana, and climb Mt. Fuji.
    Japan is a really awesome country. Great post! :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Felicia, hi! I have been to all of those except the Himeji Castle…. and I sincerely hope that you do make the trip. Of course we are not going this time and there is apparently ice on top of Mt. Fuji even in early July, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts and for dropping by. Here’s to your future Japan trip!

  • http://SourcesOfInsight.com J.D. Meier

    I like how you asked, where do you ache to go.

    It inspires our inner-Indiana Jones.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      J.D., would you believe I haven’t watched those movies yet. I am going to make a point of doing so soon! :)

  • http://jefmenguin.com jef menguin

    Thank you for the guide. You inspired me to think of the places that I want to go as a speaker, a traveller, a lover of nature, a human being.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Jef, I am so glad I inspired you and all your passions sound like mine. Do share where you may be heading and I wish you the very best in your newly inspired destinations.

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    Farnoosh, so cool that you might do this, and the way you write always gives me a smile.

    If you can go, I say do it, as a selfish onlooker, I’d love to hear and see all about it on your blog.

    Have a wonderful holiday weekend. ;-)

    Marcus

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Unfortunately we didn’t go. The tickets were gone after we got home from the funeral and that is perfectly fine. We will be going soon though. Asia is a trip to make at least every 2 years if not more often. Thanks so much for stopping by, Marcus, and I wish you the very best 4th of July weekend.

  • Emily

    Like Melody, I prefer to live in a bunch of different places versus just travel. This is probably because I grew up as an Army brat and loved moving from place to place and experiencing new things. It was my goal to be able to live aboard with my job and one of the reasons why I chose to work for GM.

    China has always been a place that I had wanted to live and we have lived here in China now for 9 months. We have only managed to explore Beijing, Shanghai (where we live), and the surrounding water towns. Our hectic work schedules got in the way of exploring more but I had planned various things to do in Shanghai this summer along with weekend trips later this fall when the weather became more tolerable. The idea is that we would explore China and the surrounding countries while we lived here. Our next big trip was going to take us to Thailand and we had planned to spend a full 9 days exploring the Northern and Central part of the country.

    Today I found out that we might move to Kenya later this summer so that does call for a change in plans. I have always wanted to go on a Safari and go to Egypt (two items you mentioned that are on your list) and moving will allow us to do this much easier.

    For me, travel needs to be planned and structured so that I really do go on trips and don’t let time just fly by. However, I also like the spontaneity of travel and eventually we do want to do that once we rack up enough frequent flyer miles to travel in style. In the meantime, my goal is to plan one adventure each week (i.e. exploring what can be done around you in one day), one weekend adventure each quarter, and huge adventure each year.

    If we do move to Kenya by the first part of September, there is another weekend adventure that I want to take here in China and we will just have to brave the hot and humid weather to go in July.

    The lesson that I am taking with me wherever we move next is to spend more time getting out and exploring and to not let work get in the way of really enjoying where we live. I plan on discussing your three questions with my husband so we can brainstorm where we want to go. Dream building individually as well as dream building as a couple is so important and I think this is something we could discuss at our next date night.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Emily, reading your comment is a joy – I am so impressed by what you are doing and it’s very very brave and smart at the same time. My cycling teacher who is in her mid 20s studied in China and she is crazy about it. I have never been to China and if you recommend it, I’ll put it on my list. In the meanwhile, you have very healthy perspective on the rest of your goals – your week long, month long and year long perspectives that keep you going and don’t worry you have so much time and you will see that travel will add up as much as work so your travel treasure box will be accumulating memories over time. I do like the idea of structured planning. As you know, we ended up not going on this trip but today, Andy mentioned a quick trip to Scotland. The problem is that we cannot take long vacations even though I am flexible because of his job but someday soon I hope we can go and spend a month in Scotland if that’s what we want to do :)!
      More than anything, I hope that our paths intersect so that I see your beautiful self in person one day soon. Keep those lovely spirits up and talk to you very soon.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/EmilySummerer Emily

        Hi Farnoosh – China is awesome and I would highly recommend it! The country has the perfect mix of ancient situated next to modern. If you need any feedback on what to see and do or tour companies please let me know.
        Scotland is another place that I would love to visit. That is the hard part about traveling when you are trying to fit in everything you want to do within a short period of time. How wonderful that the two of you share a similar passion for travel. Yes, it would be exciting to meet you in person. Maybe one of your travel destinations will match up with a place that I will be living and I can help show you around. That has been one of my favorite things to do when people visit China for work or fun, taking them around the city to see non tourist sites.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Emily, I’ll put that invite in my calendar and take you up on it when our trip brings us to China – perhaps you will still be living there but it seems you have so much else on the horizon for you. Thank you for the perspective on China. We do share a huge passion for travel and we still don’t travel as much until things change in the future with our work situation where we both can work remotely. It’s lovely to know how much you too embrace the love of travel and other cultures in our world.

  • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

    This is such a wonderful post! So glad I finally came around to read this!

    I have been postponing travelling for so long and one of my reasons remains this : I just can’t pick a good place to travel.
    Now I have a whole check list to choose from :)
    I have always been passionate about visiting Egypt, somehow I am in awe of the pyramids and the mysteries surrounding it!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Hajra, thank you. I am so glad to see you here too and now I see I have complicated the art of picking the next destination even more ;)! Egypt is in my list too and one day, I want to go there. Reading historical fiction around Ancient Egypt really sets the mind into motion. Happy travels and thank you for your comment.

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  • Negar

    I love this post! Great timing! London was, in my opinion, the best first international trip (that I can remember, of course ;)). I already had a good amount of history read up on it, I didn’t have to worry about a language barrier, and the overseas flight wasn’t too bad at all. All in all, turned out very successful! Now excited for more “challenging” trips!! Pedram and Pouneh are talking Costa Rica in December / January… we’ll see if I get lucky enough to tag along with them again! ;)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Negar, so nice to see you back on Prolific Living. It lights me up every time I see you here. Thank you for stopping by and both of us were in London recently so I am so glad to share the excitement of international travel with you. Costa Rica is also very nice – I went there in 2001 and the rainforests are a must-see, although I was not crazy about the food, but I am very picky. You guys will have a blast. Big hugs!!!

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