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The World is My Oyster -Running Away :-) from Home at 50

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Dec 10th, 2003, 06:57 PM
  #1
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The World is My Oyster -Running Away :-) from Home at 50


I am about to turn 50. After taking the whole family on a round-the-world trip it is my turn do do my thing !!!

So....instead of a big 50th birthday party I requested that my husband and children use their frequent flyer points and cash to fund a trip for me from Sydney to Europe and the States and wherever I choose (except South America -too humid).

I want to do several things:

hear a great opera-London? Milan?

eat wonderful food and drink magic wine--France? italy?

taste the exotic--Casablanca? Egypt?

art-NYC?

and any other terrific things to do and experiences to experience....

Having read the wonderful traveller tales on this site I would love your suggestions about places to see, hotels to stay at, restaurants to eat at, music to hear, sights to seeand help in designing my "taking break from home at 50'" itinerary.

As a guide >>> the world is my oyster so anything goes...I plan on 3 months and have a reasonable budget BUT prefer interesting rather than prestigious

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Dec 11th, 2003, 04:06 AM
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If I had three months to travel, I would spend it all in Africa! Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia ... oh dear ... the thought is intoxicating!
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Dec 11th, 2003, 04:21 AM
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sandi
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Hey folks, you do realize that SusanLynne and I are going to running away together - and Roccco, Kavey, Liz, Jan, hlphillips2 and, and, and, too many to remember - you can come too!

angelnot1 - I guess you figured out what we'd all recommend.
 
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Dec 11th, 2003, 05:52 AM
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What fun that would be!!! Meeting you all face-to-face!
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Dec 11th, 2003, 07:48 AM
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My hub and I are taking a 2 month trip next year - it's the first trip of that length ever for my husband and the first of that kind of length for me since student days.

We're concentrating only on Botswana, Namibia and South Africa (I could happily spend the whole 2 months in South Africa alone and not feel that I'd run out of things to interest me).

My only comment on your ideas would be to advise against Casablanca and to visit Marrakesh or elsewhere in Morocco instead. Casablanca is (to me) one of the most boring and unattractive destinations I've ever wasted time visiting.
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Dec 11th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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Sandi:

I'd never thought of it as running away from something - heck, I'm running to it!! Getting my running shoes ready for January again to go back to Kenya after only three months home!! Just can't stay away.

Today I heard a lecture given by one of our orthopedic surgeons in the hospital in which I work. He donated a month of his time to go and operate on Kenyans in Kijabe Medical Center. Like all of us, he went with some trepidation, but he absolutely loved it and is now consider- ing doing another month in February.

If time and money were no object I think I would like to volunteer to help in any way I could for an extended period. Most of the Africans you meet are such wonderful people and so deserving of any help whether through volunteering or by our traveling there and depositing our money to the lodges, parks and people that we can give them. I just wish we had as many polite, hard working and caring people here.

Angelnot1, by all means include Africa in your itinerary. You'll never regret it.

Jan
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Dec 12th, 2003, 01:18 AM
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Thanks for your comments. I used to live in Ibadan, Nigeria when a teen but never ventured outside the area that is why am interested in any suggestions. I was told that kruger national park is worth visiting as well as Kenya. Not sure whether to go with a tour or wing it myself; if the latter would need to figure out places to stay

The 'running away from home is really a tongue-in-cheek as usually that belongs to teens - I have the lovliest of families
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Dec 12th, 2003, 03:58 AM
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sandi
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Jan - SusanLynne and myself would also be running TO - Neither of us have need to be running aways FROM HOME - but Africa pulls us, so why not run away TO!
 
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Dec 12th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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Africa did pull me and I am now settled in Zululand as head of Pediatrics at a provicial hospital in the birthplace of Shaka. (STanger of KwaDukuza) Between the death, sticking my hand on a AIDS infected needle, and 10 pound 5 year olds, I am actually accomplishing something. I have gotten the death rate down in our nursery and am trying to educate the doctors and nurses in the world of modern medicine.
The only problem now is I can't afford to travel to the places I used to when I was a highly paid American Doctor. I now make about $10,000/year!!! And SA has gotten expensive.
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Dec 12th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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Jan & Sandi I'm definitely being pulled TO right along with you! With three months I'd be thrilled to have my own private Fodorite tour guides show me the Okavango Delta, Garden Route... and everything else not yet on my list.

Angelnot, there are so many wonderful parks throughout Africa, but since there truly are amazing things to see all around the globe (and after you've compared everyplace else in the world to Africa you surely will return for your 51st birthday) you could easily spend a month in South Africa and Botswana with 4 days in each park. Definitely go with a tour company, because they will be able to provide guides to identify birds and game, and transportation for you from place to place. Depending upon the time of year a trip to Kenya and Tanzania would be incredible -- the wildebeast are continually migrating between the Maasai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania. If you catch them at the right time of the year, they can be seen crossing the Grumeti or Mara river. This year 2 million were estimated to have crossed -- it's difficult to imagine that many animals until you see it with your own eyes. In a month you could easily visit Amboseli, Aberdares, Tsavo, Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, the Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands, Selous, Zanzibar... what am I missing?

One great thing about African camps -- they will do your laundry for you and depending upon the lodge the cost may be included. So for a 3-month trek you can spend your days game-watching and relaxing instead of fretting about finding a laundromat.

Then you can spend a month in Europe (highlights can easily be seen in that time frame) a few weeks in the U.S. and a few weeks in the Orient -- maybe the Great Wall of China or the Taj Mahal?

Heather
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Dec 13th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Heather: Don't forget that the migration also crosses the Talek River, and there are some good camps/lodges right along that riverbank. That's where we saw our crossing last year. It is as loud and chaotic as you imagine it would be, but to see it in person is astonishing. What a privilege and honor it was!!! I had dust in my eyes, ears, mouth and all over my camera, but I was the happiest person in the world. So, don't rule out the Talek!
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Dec 14th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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angelnot1,
I was interested to see you spent time in Ibadan...when I was a child we lived in Lagos and Kano!

Three years ago my husband and I spent nie weeks in Africa combining Senegal and Mali (for a trip to Timbuktu)with wine tasting in South Africa, a safari in Zambia and then overland through Malawi and Tanzania to the beach in Zanzibar.

I suggest a trip with some diversity, something that challenges you and gives you luxurious pit stops. We really enjoyed the breadth and difference between revisiting West Africa and the more traditionally tourist destinations in the south.

Have fun!
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Dec 14th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Thanks welltravelledbrit for your great suggestions.

I visited Lagos frequently, even sneaking into the Federal (?) Hotel. I attended he International School in Ibadan-at that time there were over 50 nationalities there and many of my friends were the children of expats;

I kept in touch with some of them and will connect with 3 of them in London!
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Dec 15th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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More power to you! If I were doing this, I would visit the following places: Burma (Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay); India (Varanasi, Jaipur); Tanzania (Tarangire, Serengeti); Switzerland (Zurich, Zermatt), France (Loire Valley); New York City; Washington, DC; California (Napa Valley, Santa Barbara area). ZZ
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