Aug 24, 2009

spoiled for choice

Posted by Mary |

I decided I wanted to travel again, but somehow this has turned into planning trips on three separate continents within the next year.

It started with Asia. My friend Christi moved to Cambodia in January, and it seemed logical to go visit her. I was halfway through planning a trip through Cambodia and Vietnam when I bought a house and realized that the airfare was not budging. My newest financial metric is one mortgage payment, and airfare to Phnom Penh was no less than 1.5 mortgage payments. I've informed Christi that this kind of rules out Asia.

Then Dara mentioned going to Belize this winter. A ticket to Belize is about 0.7 mortgage payments. So I began working up dates and an itinerary for Belize, Guatemala and possibly parts of Honduras or El Salvador.

Then an old friend told me today that she will most likely be in Kenya for field work next summer. She and I have been talking about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for about a year now, but it's always been a stumbling block for both of us to be in Africa at the same time. And now I know she'll be there and I can stay in her apartment for free.

What to do? What to do? I don't think I can turn down this chance to meet up with Cara in Africa. But I still have that leftover ticket from Seattle that I need to use by January. Should I try for just 2 weeks in Central America and then 4 weeks in Africa? I've got enough accumulated leave (and should have more by then) to pull off both, but there is a financial impact there. Should I designate the Central America trip as PFD money and the Africa trip as $8K-house-buying-tax-credit money? (Note: The trip will not be $8K. Most of that money is going to my mortgage. But I was planning on spending between 10-20% on something fun.) Should I just give up and buy an around-the-world ticket and figure out how to make all the segments work? Seattle-Belize-Fairbanks-New York-Amsterdam-Istanbul-Nairobi-somewhere else is looking mighty good....

Crap. I'm calling for a retreat. I'm heading out this weekend for parts unknown to camp by myself for a few days and consider all my options. Maybe I'll have some clarity when I come back.