I spent the last year visiting cities in the US and Germany getting to know the people and see how the locals live... It has been a great year!
I visited New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Wyoming, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, London and Germany and I'm back in Illinois. I have no idea why I am here in Illinois and not somewhere warm like Florida, but my spirit says stay here and it has been a good choice. I'm even thinking about relocating from my home in Las Vegas to Central Illinois.
The most memorable time was my son's wedding, and spending time with everyone at our family reunion and the absolute most entertaining memory was when a group of 12 people at the Munich airport tried to get me to "scrap me plans and come with them to St. Andrews" (Scotland).(lol) I thought they were inviting me to a church.(lol) I later learned St. Andrews is a golf course. I didn't go with them, but I do plan to visit in 2019. (I always plan more than I can do!)
I regret that I did not take any train trips this year and plan to in 2019. (lol) Along with the many other places I still want to visit in the US.
For 2019 I hope to take one or all of the train(s) across the country, along the west coast and the one across Canada too. I doubt I will be able to do all this year though. There is so much to do! Lighthouses to see, lakes to fish, trails to hike, parks to visit, roads to travel and food to eat.
During my travels this year I learned that it is much harder to become a resident in Europe than the US. We aren't so bad after all and that you can find all types of food here, but not in other countries. In Germany they did have mexican, greek, chinese... restaurants, but not like you find in the US. We are very fortunate here!
In 2018 I drifted from state to state or country renting rooms from locals or stayed with family and friends. In 2019 I plan to have a place in Illinois and take small trips to the east, like a tourist. I learned I missed being away from home, I need a home.
2018 was a travel delight! Since I was very young, I always wanted to travel and view this magnificent country. With the help of 3 super friends I was able to overcome my lack of vision via air and car. January took me to Scottsdale AZ for a week long tour of the best this city has to offer. The Botanical Gardens, Talisman, The all encompassing Instrument Museum, theaters, and some of the best restaurants made this an outstanding time with 2 very special friends. April came in and I went out, this time to meet a friend of 50+ years and drove south from NJ through the South to ( bucket list!) Key West !!! Each city/stop offered a thoroughly enjoyable time. Richmond, Columbia SC, Sarasota & Fort Lauderdale were the prelude to Key West! Fab-u-lous!!! Go, tour, experience but stay longer than one night at each stop. My fall travels led me back to NJ to meet Jon again and mark off a bucket list item for both. We drove north for the New England Folliage and WOW! Michigan has colorful autumns but nothing like NE! The Maine Coast, lush New Hampshire & Vermont (Burlington is now a fav), the history of Boston and a stop in the Adirondacks made this a magnificent tour! I cannot wait to start again in 2019. KH
Spent two weeks in TX with my wonderful sister. Had one of the best times of my life. Most of the time was spent just visiting, watching tv, church, and eating. Had to go home to Ohio, but can't wait till next year's visit!!!
Our first full year of retirement had us traveing for about 3 months.
We started with a late December-early January trip (2-weeks) to WI for the first time in 20+ years to visit famiy...temps did not get above zero for the entire week....not going back at that time of year for another 20 years.
Visited with family in Colorado for a week in March...very nice.
Visited Hunt, Kerrville, Fredricksburg, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, TX on a 3-week trip in April. In June spent a week in Taos, NM.
In July did a 4,000+ mile road over 3-week trip through TX, OK, MO, IL, WI, MN, IO, NE, CO, and NM to see sites and family.
Back to CO (Pagosa Springs, Avon, Denver) in September for a week to hike mountains and visit family.
In October went for a week in San Juan Islands and a week in Victoria, BC, CA....very nice.
A week in Santa Fe, NM in November and a few more days in Taos, NM to round out December
On my “bucket list” there was only one trip. I wanted to return to the Grand Canyon which I had visited a decade ago. Since I was going solo I chose a group tour and I never regretted my decision. We visited the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks and ended our trip in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel. There are no adequate descriptors for those parks, especially the Grand Canyon. While it was much more “developed “ than it was a decade ago, I still marveled at the mostly unspoiled beauty and grandeur.
I might travel to other countries eventually but for now I plan to keep the “tourist “ money here in the USA, so I will be looking for trips to some of our other national parks.
5 nights in London to see Phila Eagles football at Wembly Stadium. High tea at The Ritz, West End theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, double decker bus, the tube, palaces, cathedrals, the Tower of London, and an unplanned visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital after waking up blind in one eye. Grateful to the British health care system for saving my eye but had to cut our trip short to get home for immediate treatment. Hope to go back and "see" what we missed.
2018 was a year of extensive travel. The longest period we spent at home was the first 7 weeks of the year. In February and March we cruised from Shanghai to Singapore. This completed my last major bucket list item as I have now circumnavigated the world. Diana met one of her bucket list items to have visited Singapore. Raffles Hotel was being renovated so we will have to go back to get her Gin Sling at the Long Bar. At the end of March we went to Vegas for a week to meet our son and family, 10 in all. We had a great time! April was a long weekend trip to Gulfport, MS for a Navy Wives Clubs of America convention. On May 4th we took the inaugural British Airways flight direct from Nashville to Heathrow London, where among other things, we attended a concert at the Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Welsh Massed Male Choirs, which was on Diana's bucket list. June was just a quick trip to Crossville, TN for the Senior Olympics. July we went to NY to see Tom's kids/grandkids and then on to CT for our British club's last national convention. In August Diana's daughter and family came from England and we toured the area including a trip to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. October was a trip to Paris, TN for another convention and we finished our travels with a Caribbean cruise in November. I'm not sure how many trips we will take in 2019, but we have already booked two.
"....In August Diana's daughter and family came from England and we toured the area including a trip to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood.....".
How could you do that to them? I know I'll get flamed, but I think Pigeon Forge is the worst town I've ever been to --- utterly crass and lowbrow. You have no idea of the true meaning of 'tourist town' until you've been there.
"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
I went on a beautiful 2 week trip to Italy with my daughter. It was magical. We went to Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice and many other beautiful places. It was the trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to go back.
I didn't go to any luxurious, or far away place because there are so many beautiful and historic places right here in the US to visit.
Several years ago, while doing some genealogy research, I discovered that two of my great-great grandfather's fought at Gettysburg and were captured. Neither of them lived to come back to NC. Ever since I found this out, I had been wanting to visit Gettysburg and try to learn a little more about what they would have experienced. I had not been able to go until this past year. I spent two days there in July, but could have spent much more time there. I want to go back sometime in the future, but I have other plans for my next couple of trips. This trip was very rewarding and fulfilling for me.
For the next couple of years, I will be traveling to some states to where I have never visited. I'm going to Indiana in July to attend the Red Skelton Festival. He was my favorite comedian and I think this festival would be a lot of fun. After that, I will be planning a cross-country train trip.
Went to Scotland this year primarily for hiking in the Highands. Spent most of my time based in Fort William in order to hike Glen Nevis and Glencoe areas.
Most memorable area was Glenfinnan Viaduct which was featured in the first Harry Potter film showing the Hogwart's Express, belching smoke, going over a huge viaduct. That train runs a couple of times a day and I filmed it coming over the viaduct, much like in the Potter film. The area around that viaduct is especially scenic.
Travel will be a bit different next year as I won't do my annual trip to the U.K. and instead, spend a few weeks hiking in Switzerland.
"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
I retired on June 30 this year. Defining a "trip" as consisting of at least an overnight stay, I have made 4 trips since retirement, all with my wife.
(1) a one week trip to Alberta, Canada to visit my wife's family. This mostly consisted of stressful situations taking care of problems of her disabled sister and the sister's disabled daughter. No time for personal sightseeing, etc. (eg: no trips to world famous Banff, etc). But nice to see them and other family.
(2) a five week trip to "archipelago country in SE Asia" to visit my wife's elderly parents and her other relatives (including her brother and his wife...who had immigrated from Canada). We took a 5 day side trip with her brother and his wife to Singapore, very nice. Otherwise, time was spent taking her dying aunt to the hospital, visiting aunt in the hospital, attending 3 days of wake, and attending aunt's funeral. Other time was spent tagging along with wife's brother and wife to their several doctor/hospital appointments. And taking wife's elderly parents around to various specialist doctors in town and attending to their needs. Very little time was availble for my own interests other than computer time at night. But nice to see them all.
(3) one week trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, meeting up with members of wife's family who themselves had arrived from Canada and US for meetup. Pretty nice, but had been there 2 years ago so I was there only for the people. Nice to see them.
(4) currently in second week of 3.5 week trip to Canada to visit wife's family. The elderly parents were brought back because of health care and finances. Again, all time is spent on family issues and problems.
So, four trips of total duration about 1+5+1+3 = 10 weeks. That's 10 / 26 = about 38% of my time since retiring spent on family trips. Actually more time was so spent because for such long trips there is a lot of packing/un to do and for the trip to SE Asia there was time lost on return due to time zone change (12 hour difference)...bigtime jet lag, and recovering from fatigue.
I don't consider any of these trips to be "travel vacations" other than the 5 day trip to Singapore (a relatively short flight from where we were in SE Asia).
I hope that more personally-interesting travel will be in my cards for the next several early years of my retirement. But considering the situation with wife and her family I am not confident that this will happen. Also considering that wife's physical energies are limited and that she will want to devote these to her family members. And then I feel my own physical strength and energy waning. I'm starting to just lose interest in the traveling that I'd like to do. What was it we used to say back in the day? "bummer, dude"
Myself, I would like to take some river cruises in Europe, even small boat canal cruises. Visit England and Great Britain; just like to spend a month in a B and B and travel around; and similarly for mainland Europe. Lots of other places too.
I've traveled a lot to scenic destinations and started visiting family in my later years, I enjoy the family visits so much more. For me, I learned late in life, it is about who I am with, not so much where I'm at. I hope you get your wish and are able to travel to a personally-interesting place in 2019.
Unfortunately, as much I as do enjoy travel, I made not one trip this year. This year has been fraught with calamity and loss. I feel blessed to even have come this far and am now looking at the close of another year. But maybe, with any luck at all, I can pursue some of those excursions I had planned to take over the last couple of years such as: Washington, D.C.--musuems, galleries, Arlington Cemetery, NYC--all of it, The Biltmore in Ashville, NC, the Milwaukee Art Museum to name a few. If I get to do only one of these trips, I will feel blessed. 2019! We shall see what it holds!