Laid Off, Will Travel!

Old Oct 17th, 2008, 04:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Laid Off, Will Travel!

So it happened to me on Tuesday. I've been moping and sleeping a lot.

Now I'm starting to feel more ready to think about traveling. I've a lot of places I want to go, but it doesn't hurt to see if I'll get some interesting suggestions here.

When I was working, I concentrated on cramming a lot into short trips. Now I probably won't have as severe a time constraint, so I can take my time and travel to places that may not be as easy to get to.

However I don't intend to drive and the weather won't be good either in Europe during this time of the year, so what looks good?

I've been to most of the standard cities -- like London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, cities in Scandinavia, Istanbul, Naples, Athens, etc. etc.

To give you a sense for what I'm thinking of, I'm thinking of planning something around seeing some artwork that may not be as easily accessible otherwise. So I'm thinking of places like

Bilbao

Beaune (for Rogier van der Weyden's "Last Judgment" at Hotel Dieu -- though I know that this may not be really be by Rogier, but it's a good excuse to go to Burgundy)

Italy (Parma, Arezzo, Assisi, Ravenna)

And I do plan to go to London and Paris, though I've been there many times.

I'm not sure how long I'll have exactly. I'm expecting to be unemployed for a while, at least through the end of the year, but I'll need some time to plan and I also want to go to Asia and other places. So we'll see.

Thanks!
111op is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 04:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,496
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If it were me, I would use this opportunity to go to whichever places you most enjoyed on your marathon weekend sleep deprivation fests. I'd spend a few days there.

This could be combined with the trip to see art in more inaccessible places. But you don't need to rush through it. This will probably feel like an amazing luxury after your record breaking speed weekends.
Nikki is online now  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 04:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If art is your focus, there is no place like Florence. You didn't mention having been there, but even if you have, it is still a treat. Tuscany is amazing, and I imagine that there are some places there that you have yet to see. Umbria is also wonderful. Go up to Spello and look around!

If I had a lot of time, I would rent an apartment and "live like a local". Take Italian or a cooking class in Italy or French and a cooking class in France.

People I know really like Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil. I can't speak for that, but it is something others like well. I have a friend who goes back to Turkey every year. Now he is in Egypt for a second trip because he didn't see enough last time.

I have been in Paris in November, and although cold, it did not stop us from having a wonderful time. I have also been there at Christmas, and that is exciting.

Israel would be another choice for me, although I don't know if that will meet your criteria.

Enough to get started on. Keep us posted and let us know where you decide to go.
Grandot is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 05:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,932
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
I'd head further afield, now that you have a little time. And Fall is the right time for much of Asia.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 05:06 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I know this is the Europe forum, but you mentioned Asia, so I'd suggest that instead.
1. Nov-Feb is the best time of year weather-wise in South-East Asia.
2. Your unemployed dollar will go much farther there than it will in Europe.
3. It's easy to justify spending more time there because it's so much farther away (this fits with your "harder to get to" criteria). While I've done 1 and 2 week trips to SEA, I'd much prefer more time, like when I spent 3 months there.

As for Europe, don't let the winter weather put you off. Go some place in the South, like Sicily or Andalucia. I like one of the other poster's ideas of renting a place for a month or so. You should be able to find a good rate at this time of year.
Kristina is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 05:32 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,124
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you been to Argentina? Fabulous and Buenos Aires has lots of wonderful museums.
SharonG is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 05:44 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,566
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you decide on Asia, why not come to Australia and see some Aboriginal artwork - now that would be something different!
Maudie is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 06:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sure you know that you must see the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The problem, of course, is the weather.

Do you think you might get a RTW ticket? That's one strategy I'd explore.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 06:48 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,178
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely go to Southeast Asia. If you need info, just contact us regulars over on the Asia forum. We'd be glad to help out.
The other choice would be Argentina although I haven't been yet. However I know plenty folks who have, including one of our regulars on the Asia forum, who was recently there and said it was fabulous.
I also met a woman, at a work-related workshop, a few weeks ago, and she said that she had planned a week in Argentina...only Buenos Aires...but said that after she got there... she changed her ticket and stayed three weeks.
I've been, off and on, doing a year's worth of travel research on Argentina and a few weeks ago cashed in 50,000 frequent flyer miles for a plane ticket for this coming summer (their winter).
If you decide on Buenos Aires, rent an apartment. Look into buenosaireshabitat.com. I plan to rent through them after having researched a lot of companies. Recoleta is supposedly a great area to stay in.
Also, another highly recommended place would be the Bahia region of Brazil....the city of Salvador and surrounding area. I loved it. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 08:54 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Yes Nikki, you're right that it'd be nice to spend, say, a week in Paris or London. Or perhaps even more than a week! I'm not sure, though, if I'll do that. I think that I'll slow down, but maybe I won't slow down that much.

I had actually planned to be in Buenos Aires this week, but when they laid off a bunch of people last week, I cancelled my trip. Then I got laid off on Tuesday. So, my timing was a little off, as usual. I still want to visit, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go right now. I'll probably shelve this now though.

If I have more time later, I'll plan another trip to S. America. I've only been to Sao Paulo for 3 days, so I really don't know S. America. The advantage is of course the reversal of the seasons, making that continent even more attractive to visit when it's freezing here. For example I can visit Patagonia when it's winter here. But this will depend on what I end up doing. I don't think that it's going to happen this year.

I do plan to go to Singapore and Malaysia, which are always hot, but I also want to go to China again, and the weather will be more of an issue there as I may want to go to Beijing again. I think I'll spend at least a month in Asia.

Yes, I've been to Florence already.

I've also been to Andalucia -- to Seville and Granada.

Also I spent about 10 days in Australia beginning of last year, going to Sydney, Uluru, Cairns (Great Barrier Reef). I really liked it, but I think that I'll go again a few years later. There are just so many other places I've not been to yet.

Yes, I'm also thinking of going to Israel. There's another story there that I won't get into here. But I was there last year for about 24 hours. I'd be interested in visiting again and spending more time there.

I'm even thinking of going to Egypt, but as this is the Europe forum, I didn't ask about it. I gather that December is also a good time to go, as it's cooler. Of course I'd want to see the Pyramids, etc., at one point!
111op is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 09:01 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, WillTravel, I'll want to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg, but probably not in the dead of winter. Ditto Poland and Hungary, where I've never been.

I also like the idea of spending some time on Sicily, but I don't really know much about it. I'm not sure if I need a car or whether I'll have language issues.

I'm a little afraid that I won't have enough time to go to all the places I want to go. I'm planning to file for unemployment benefits, and also I'm going to try to work with recruiters. So technically I need to spend some time actually looking for a job. Maybe I can combine travel with job hunting. I don't know. I don't think that I want to leave NYC, but if there are jobs that pay enough, why not?

111op is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 09:14 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,471
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
Lucky you, sort of.

When I was in your situation a few years ago,I ran away to the Virgin Islands for a few weeks.

When I came back, I was bored and got a new job.

Since then we have been to Europe alot, and now if I was out of work, I'd head for Paris.

I don't know what it is about Paris, but I can't get enough of it.

Wharever you decide on, take advantage of your time off.

The world is a wonderful place, and we'll look forward to hearing about your adventures.

I agree with Florence and also anywhere in the south of France. Both of those are places I would return.
TPAYT is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 09:17 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course you won't have time to get everywhere you want to go! If you left right now, maybe St. Petersburg wouldn't be too bad, particularly if you gave it your usual whirlwind treatment.

I had a post not too long ago about jobs and living in Zurich. That might be one place to look. Also, it seems Copenhagen is better than expected for jobs, at least for some fields. Then there's London, of course.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 09:18 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to say that I do a double-take whenever I see this thread title .
WillTravel is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2008, 09:43 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't think that coming back after a few weeks and getting a new job will be a realistic option. I'm preparing to be unemployed for a while, given the state of the market.

And I don't think that I can leave right now. I probably have to wait at least two weeks. I mean, I have some paperwork to file, and I also need some lead time to buy plane tickets. Before I leave for an extended period of time I also have to make sure my affairs are in order. So by the time I get to it, some destinations like Russia will be automatically eliminated.

I must say that I'm beginning to get used to the idea of being laid off. I had expected this, and actually I'd been wanting some time off anyway, but when it happened, I didn't feel liberated at all. I definitely didn't feel good.

But now I'm starting to feel excited about a new set of adventures! So yes, I'm starting to think that I'm pretty lucky -- which is exactly how I thought I'd feel before I was actually laid off.
111op is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 01:50 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't forget to organise a Schengen visa if your trip is to be longer than three months!

I don't know what you did for a living but maybe you could look into a job in Europe - certainly in Holland unemployment is still falling and there is a big skills shortage - though maybe not in the banking sector.

Enjoy your enforced break, gain from it and return ready to find a new challenge when you get home!
hetismij is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 06:15 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love your attitude, OP!! Instead of looking at your misfortune as exactly that, you're looking at is as an opportunity!!

My mom just got laid off this week (at 61 yrs old) and she is still going away this weekend on a mini-vacation, as she had already planned. As she says, she needs travel now more than ever!!
jenblase is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 06:20 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I worked in the financial industry. As you can imagine it's bad right now. I doubt that the Dutch sector is any better, with the whole demise involving Fortis.

And no, I was not involved with the toxic waste clogging the system (well, at least not directly), so please don't blame me.

In any case, I'm not generally an optimistic person, but I do like to travel and this is definitely an exciting opportunity. I wish they had laid me off a few months earlier when the weather was better though.
111op is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 06:54 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 686
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only thing that stayed with me when reading your messages is all I saw were cities. Not in the way of cross country, say by rail or road to see the coastal villages or country. I assume that you are a city person when you do travel.

rogeruktm is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 07:02 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I'm very much a city creature. I really like living in NYC.

But my previous trips were also dictated by wanting to see as much as possible in very little time. I mean, it'd not have been realistic for me to spend a long weekend in the UK heading to the Cornish Coast or in Italy going to Tuscan villages.

I'd be interested in seeing the smaller towns and villages now that I've more time. But whatever I can do will be limited by access via public transportation. I'm not planning to rent a car.
111op is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information