How do you pick where to go?

Make it personal to you.  What do you love?  Is it music, food, thrill seeking, sports, history, genealogy visiting family?  Start with something you love then look for a good exchange rate.

My Swedish family 75 years ago.

Genealogy– My parents passed away when I was a young and I wanted to see a little of my mother’s heritage.  So we started planning a trip to Sweden to see the jazz festival. I told my husband that I wanted to go north to see my grandparent’s birthplace.  I just wanted to go fishing in the same town as my grandfather.  I wanted to see if that town made me feel something.

When I told my cousin that I was going to Sweden she told me she had an address of one of our mom’s cousins.  I wrote him and within 10 days I had 10 new Swedish family members waiting on me to come visit.  I was not expecting that.  Only a few of them spoke English but with a Swedish American dictionary we ate, drank, laughed and looked in the book all night long.  Love transcends all languages.  I felt it on that trip and still keep in contact 14 years later. None of this would have happened if I had not wanted to go see their city.

Three days of Jazz every year in Rotterdam.

Musicis what we base most of our trips around.  We find a jazz or blues festival in a foreign country and start from there.  We have also done this in unique music venues around the USA too. Red Rock Amphitheater, Boulder Old Barn and Portland bridge.  Music is right below love as the universal language.   Usually the festivals  are several days or nights of concerts and it gives you somewhere to go every night with like-minded people. We have been to the jazz festival in Sweden, Cuba, Montreal, Charleston, Portland, Rotterdam twice, the blues festival in Ireland and Memphis and a tattoo military show in red square in Moscow.

Greek cooking class. We picked the vegetables and got the eggs from in the chicken coop.

Food– you can book your trips around cooking lessons in Ireland or visiting a family farm in Greece and making a meal together.  In Africa we went to the market and bought oil, sardines, local spinach, potatoes, beans, and went to a women’s home and chopped and cooked outdoors a wonderful meal with her family of 3 generations.  It was surprisingly very tasty.

AdventureGo somewhere that takes you out of your comfort zone.  Go to a place that does not speak English.  Somewhere that makes your brain feel in high speed with excitement.  Boating, zip lining, motorcycles, motor home, camping ,Kayaking, Hiking etc.

Sports– There is nothing like watching the final soccer cup in a foreign country.  Plan your motorsports or odd sports games in foreign countries.  Go golfing in Scotland.  Plan your trip around classic old cars at the Concourse De Elegance in Hilton Head Island every year.  Go to Wimbledon and watch tennis live. Go to the Melbourne cup to see horse racing.

Timing- sometimes countries that have been closed off from the rest of the world open up.  Good examples of this would be Myanmar and Cuba.  Sometimes it is better to go when  the country is more stable.

Just go somewhere for whatever reason!