Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite 8 Trips

I've traveled enough to have opinions on what trips are great. My criteria for the following list is simply this: Am I willing to repeat the trip? If it doesn't make that criteria, it doesn't make this list. I'll start from the best trips. Note that anything I've already done more than once automatically comes ahead of the ones that I've done only once.
  1. Cycling The Alps. Well, this isn't theoretical. I've repeated this trip no less than 4 times, and each time, I come back wondering why I do anything else on vacation. On my recent trip to Hawaii, I found myself dreaming about touring the Alps. Nothing beats this.
  2. Hiking the Bernese Oberland. I've done this three times. Each time it's been magical, and I find something new. If you enjoy hiking even a little bit, do this trip.
  3. The Canadian Rockies. This includes Glacier National Park. I've also done this trip 3 times. It's not Switzerland, but it's the closest you can get in North America. And it offers great camping. For hot springs though, visit Yellowstone National Park instead.
  4. Sailing, Snorkeling, and Diving the Caribbean. I've done this 3 times, once with a skipper who was a total ass. I like it so much I want to do it again. I could do this every year, and not get tired of it.
  5. Cycling the Pacific Coast. I've done the entire coast on my bike. The parts I've repeated are the California coast. Not to say that Washington and Oregon aren't pretty, but California has the best weather, the highest roads, and the best scenery. I'd ride it again.
  6. Coast to Coast in England. I've only done this once. But it's easily the best long hike I've ever done. I could be easily persuaded to do this hike again. Or visit any of the famous long walks in England. It's a pity that England is so expensive, but I'll be taking Bowen on at least one of these classic walks once he's old enough.
  7. Japan. I've only been in Japan once during the 2009 Tour of Hokkaido. The cycling is pretty crappy compared to Bay Area riding, so I wouldn't go there for cycling again. But I would happily go back to Japan again for the hot springs, the food, and the people and adventures. The hiking is pretty solid, but you have to be into volcano hiking. I've had enough of volcanoes for a while.
  8. New Zealand. It's pretty, it's infuriatingly tough to get to, and the cycling sucks. But the mountain biking and hiking is great, and I'd be happy to go back.
I'm not the kind of person who can repeat a trip endlessly and not want to try new things. However, in my lifetime I've discovered that there are certain places so magical that it's worth returning to do discover new things. These places are so rewarding that I find myself dreaming of doing so. If you've not visited these places I strongly recommend that you put them on your list.
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