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Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

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Old 05-12-17, 10:39 PM   #26
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

I've already been on my "big" trip of the year (Amsterdam). But I will hopefully be able to go to NYC (or DC) to see a concert in September\October. Somehow, my GF has never been to NYC before... so it should be fun!
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Old 05-12-17, 11:24 PM   #27
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Was thinking 3 days would be enough time there and maybe head down to Valencia?
I got there on a thursday afternoon and left monday morning. Was plenty of time to hit all the highlights.
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Old 05-13-17, 12:03 AM   #28
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

My girlfriend and I are flying into Seattle Memorial Day weekend. Spending the night there and then driving the coast to the middle of Oregon and cutting across to Portland.
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Old 05-14-17, 01:09 PM   #29
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Nothing big this year. Last year we went to NYC in April, Hawaii (Big Island) in October, and closed the year with a quick trip to Seattle.

Our oldest daughter is starting college so...

We have a trip to the Ohana Festival (South California) in September, and that's all we have planned.

I've been traveling a lot for work though. Have been to Mexico twice, and visited Houston and Austin. It was work, but I was able to do a little bit of tourist stuff at night.
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Old 05-14-17, 02:30 PM   #30
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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I've already been on my "big" trip of the year (Amsterdam).
Already did our "big" trip of the year as well -- a week in London with my son during our Spring Breaks and my birthday last month.

Our calendar through summer is jam-packed with lacrosse tournaments (with a couple of local over-nighters by the beach, so sorta-vacations), but considering Hawaii (we try to go at least once a year) in November and perhaps SE Asia in December when we have three weeks off.
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Old 05-14-17, 06:06 PM   #31
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Just got back from a wedding in Hawaii.

Going to try to to further my go to all the Disney Parks goal and hit Shanghai in late July.

Family trip to visit family in Chicago ... and a weekend in Vegas.
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Old 06-26-17, 01:06 AM   #32
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Just got back from summer vacation about a week and half ago.

Spent 24 days in Asia as I said earlier in the thread.

4 nights in Hong Kong - My 9th time there. Amazing time, great food and sites. The people are great.

5 nights in Macau - Fun city. Did some fun activities including walking on the outside of the 61st floor of the Macau Tower. It's like Las Vegas in Asia. Lots of Casinos, but overall a fun little town.

5 nights in Shenzhen, China - Had a few fun days there, but honestly it wasn't my favorite Asian city. Very hot & humid, the type of Chinese food made there wasn't my favorite and most people there don't speak any english. There was definitely a language barrier. I did really enjoy visiting the attraction called "Window of the World" where you basically visit all the major world landmarks (miniature form) in one place.

5 nights in Phuket, Thailand - Rained a lot there, but it was a really fun time. I'm Thai and speak the language, so there was no language barrier there. Great night life scene there. Lots of bars, beautiful women, and places to eat. Thailand is already a pretty inexpensive vacation, although Phuket is more expensive than Bangkok. It rained a lot though, so that kept me indoors a few days. Really nice beaches. I had fun at the bars there. Plenty of hot ladies to go around.

and lastly 5 nights in Singapore -- Great food and some fun things to do there, but super expensive. The U.S. dollar doesn't go very far there. I felt like my cash was dwindling really fast as my trip was coming to a close. I will say this, if you're a foodie, you won't be disappointed going there. Lots of great places to eat.

I was exhausted when I got home last week. I think I spent almost 30 hours total flying. I did take a few speed boats on the trip. Honestly all that flying was really hard on my body. 15 hours flying from LA to Hong Kong was really tough. I was jet lagged as hell for over 1 week.

Already back at work and having to start again and save for the next one in 2018. I have a few places in mind I'd like to visit.

I know most in this forum aren't into flying, traveling or exploring, but I think you're really missing out. It's not just Asia, but there is so much to see out there. I learned to appreciate travel back in 2000 when I went on a trip to Asia with my sister. We had a blast, but since she got married and had a kid, I decided to become a solo traveler and I have a great time doing it. I usually try to vacation there at least once per year. I've already been to Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand and I know there is so much more to go that I want to see.

The money that I saved over the past year and spent on my trip was really worth it. I just wish I made more money where I would be able to fly first class and hang out at first class lounges at least once in my life.

Last edited by DJariya; 06-26-17 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 06-26-17, 04:19 PM   #33
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Toronto and Niagara Falls in August.

Seems to be the popular spot for Otters this year.
Hope you have better weather then than we're having now. Climate change has generally not been kind to our summers (wetter, cooler than traditionally), though I guess I shouldn't complain considering the life-threatening droughts others are experiencing.

As for me, nothing international or even interprovincial. Just spending most of the summer up at the lakehouse, but I certainly have no grievance with that prospect. Relaxation at its finest.
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Old 06-26-17, 04:47 PM   #34
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Not planning anything other than watching people flood the city for the eclipse on August 21st.
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Old 06-26-17, 05:31 PM   #35
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

We're going to Yellowstone for a week in August. Once again, we're staying at the Old Faithful Inn. We stayed there once before and we loved it. The interior is made entirely out of wood that naturally grew to the shape the builders wanted. Even the curved banisters and the Y-shaped pillars. If you want to watch Old Faithful erupt at night, you sit on a balcony with a drink. One of the amenities last time was a cellist in the lounge, and we could hear her from our room.

For the eclipse, we'll drive south a little ways to Grand Teton National Park. It's at the center of totality.

I've been planning this trip for about three years. I made hotel reservations the first day they were available. My first thought was to go to Nashville, but decided that the Grand Tetons would be better.

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Old 06-26-17, 05:36 PM   #36
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Just got back from summer vacation about a week and half ago. Spent 24 days in Asia.
Sounds like an amazing trip, and I wish I could spend 24 days on vacation.

We are doing a family vacation to key west for a week. Looking forward some some good beach days.
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Old 06-26-17, 07:44 PM   #37
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

San Diego Comic Con in July.
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Old 06-26-17, 09:01 PM   #38
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Looking at Barcelona in Sept. Just sent my passport in for renewal since it expires in Nov.
Got my new passport (and my old one a few days later.) Got my ticket to Barcelona. 7 days.
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Old 06-26-17, 09:04 PM   #39
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

In July, going to Paris for a week and then Venice for five days. First time in Europe.
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Old 06-27-17, 09:44 AM   #40
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

I might make a trip to the Midwest to see my mom, but I'll probably wait until fall when it's cooler.

For those that travel internationally, how much preparation is involved? Is it better to go with some kind of tour group?

I've never really done any traveling, but would like to. But I feel since I'd be going someplace unfamiliar, I would just end up getting pissed off and frustrated, especially out of the country (different culture, language barrier, etc).

Also, is there some secret to enjoying traveling alone? It just doesn't sound fun going by myself without having someone to share it with.
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Old 06-27-17, 03:15 PM   #41
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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For those that travel internationally, how much preparation is involved? Is it better to go with some kind of tour group?

I've never really done any traveling, but would like to. But I feel since I'd be going someplace unfamiliar, I would just end up getting pissed off and frustrated, especially out of the country (different culture, language barrier, etc).

Also, is there some secret to enjoying traveling alone? It just doesn't sound fun going by myself without having someone to share it with.
I've been mostly solo traveling since 2001 and I have a lot of fun doing it.

When I first went overseas by myself in 2001, yes I was definitely intimidated. Being in unfamiliar surroundings and worrying about a potential language was kind of scary at 1st. Also, that was a time when there were no smart phones or GPS, so I had to find everything via paper maps.

My 1st solo trip was to Hong Kong and Thailand. It helped that most people in Hong Kong speak English and when I went to Thailand, I stayed and visited with family. I've been to Hong Kong 9 times now and love it there, but I can honestly say that I wasn't very comfortable my 1st time there.

My recent trip to Asia (24 days), I booked all my hotels and flights in January before I took off in late May. I did very little prep other than finding key sites I wanted to visit, printing out the locations and also printing out subway maps. I just go with it.

As for being intimidated about doing things alone, I've done it numerous times, but it might help booking local tours. I've done several foodie and city tours in Thailand, Vietnam, China and Japan and you end up meeting and talking to people from all over the world on these tours. When you book local tours, it does help giving you a sense of having a schedule and not feeling lost. One thing I will say is you can't be shy on these tours. It may intimidating being around strangers, but opening yourself up and introducing yourself to others leads to be a very rewarding experience. It makes the tours more fun.

When I went to China for the 1st time back in 2006, I went with a tour group and we all flew on the same plane, did all our activities, ate together and stayed in the same hotels for the 2 1/2 weeks I was there. That was a really fun experience and I'm glad I did. But, I grew more comfortable doing and planning activities by myself and went to Shanghai last year by myself (no tours) and had a really good time.
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Old 06-27-17, 03:28 PM   #42
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

YouTube is an excellent resource IMO for planning international trips.

A lot of the activities I did/discovered on my recent trip was based off viewing several travel vloggers that I follow.
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Old 06-27-17, 10:28 PM   #43
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Thanks for the tips, DJariya. If I did go by myself, I'd probably go to an English speaking country like England or Australia. Or maybe just find a tour that's going there. I've always wanted to visit those places.
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Old 06-27-17, 10:52 PM   #44
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Thanks for the tips, DJariya. If I did go by myself, I'd probably go to an English speaking country like England or Australia. Or maybe just find a tour that's going there. I've always wanted to visit those places.
No problem.

Aren't you Asian-American? I wouldn't discourage taking a vacation to Asia even as a solo traveler. Unless you're really intimidated about being alone there, which I don't think you should. As I said, Hong Kong has plenty of English speakers there since it used to be a British colony. Signs are all mixed of English and Chinese. Shanghai is very Western friendly as well. There are plenty of Englsh speaking tours to take in Asia. I get that you've never traveled overseas before and going to Asia might be really intimidating, but if you don't try, you'll never know.

I just got back from Singapore and all signs there are in English and everyone there speaks English.

Pre-booking tours before you leave are definitely helpful to give you a sense of schedule and follow an itinerary. Someone will pick you up at your hotel and drive you around and you don't have to be scared about getting lost. Trip Advisor is an excellent resource to find a good English speaking tour.

For what it's worth, I did travel to Australia and New Zealand back in 2003 with a buddy of mine. We had an awesome time. Not a cheap vacation, but it was a really fun 2 weeks.

Last edited by DJariya; 06-27-17 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 06-28-17, 11:24 AM   #45
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

The "big trip" for me and the wife is us heading to Puerto Rico for a week, beginning this Saturday. Really looking forward to the clear blue waters and the beaches!
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Old 06-28-17, 11:51 AM   #46
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

I'm taking my kids to Great Wolf Lodge in scenic Sandusky, Ohio in a couple of weeks.

That's about all the travel I have the budget for.
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Old 06-28-17, 12:13 PM   #47
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

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Hope you have better weather then than we're having now. Climate change has generally not been kind to our summers (wetter, cooler than traditionally), though I guess I shouldn't complain considering the life-threatening droughts others are experiencing.

As for me, nothing international or even interprovincial. Just spending most of the summer up at the lakehouse, but I certainly have no grievance with that prospect. Relaxation at its finest.
My wife and I like cooler vacations and don't mind some rain. After going to Rome three years ago and New York last year during August, it will be a relief.
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Old 06-30-17, 07:59 AM   #48
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Did 12 days in Hawaii in May. 6 days on Oahu and 6 days on Kauai. It was my first time on Kauai and it just might be my favorite island of them all.

Doing a quick beach trip to Florida in August and probably road-tripping to Chicago for a few days as well.
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Old 06-30-17, 08:09 AM   #49
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Re: Any Summer 2017 Travel Plans?

Six days on Oahu is way too much. One day does it for me. Would use that time for any other island.
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Old 06-30-17, 08:44 AM   #50
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Six days on Oahu is way too much. One day does it for me. Would use that time for any other island.
To each their own. I always run out of time there. There are a ton of things to do and experience. Just depends what you are looking for.
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