RTW with toddlers .... AGAIN.. where to go?

Old May 20th, 2018, 07:58 AM
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RTW with toddlers .... AGAIN.. where to go?

We are a couple, me .. mid 40's, wife, 40, and two boys, 5 and 3. We are Colombian/American and normally live in NYC. We rent out our apartment and one other small studio to fund the trip (not trustafarians... I wish )

We traveled RTW last year (I work as a psychologist for the NYC Dept of Education and they hold my job for me until our baby turns 5). Last year we did an impromptu 11 month RTW stopping in Maui, Tokyo, Hong Kong, cruise to Vietnam/Thailand/Singapore, then headed to Cambodia, Thailand, Maldives, UAE, Jordan, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Czech Rep., Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Iceland and finally back to NYC.

This second year (now) we are in Panama... just relaxing, breathing, and happy to be staying in one place. Amazing location and experience here!

We are planning on going back to NYC for the Fall (Sept-Dec) and then heading out for our last big trip .. from Jan-July/Aug.. than its back to work! AGHHH!

Any ideas of amazing places to go .. we are thinking of doing 2-3 places.. more like small towns that have a good healthcare, easy, walk-ability, close to beach, etc. If we could do 2-3 towns for 2 1/2 months each, .. we could stop at two places along the way for a week to break up the flights.

We are open to anywhere .. but want something kinda laid back and with a school for the kids. I am looking for something like: Antigua, Guatemala.... Oaxaca, Mexico......Nafplio, Greece; ....Maui, Hawaii ..... Sucre, Bolivia.... etc if that gives you an idea.

Any suggestions are welcome, as although we are well traveled, we are not foolish enough to realize that we don't know A TON.
Thanks so much for any help / tips / info... as it is much appreciated! Enjoy your travels!!

Roberto
Our travel blog now... from Coronado Panama (last update was us getting robbed in the middle of the night.. ahhh fun fun!)
mercadofamilytravels.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-middle-of-night-home-robbery-isnt-as.html

Last edited by nycroberto; May 20th, 2018 at 08:04 AM. Reason: add one line about how we paying for trip
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Old May 20th, 2018, 08:18 AM
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I personally love both Mexico and Hawaii but those seem somehow a little "tame" in comparison to the places you mention from your last itinerary! Certain either Oaxaca or somewhere on Maui fit laid back and a school for the kids.
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Old May 20th, 2018, 07:28 PM
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Thanks for the feedback.. truly appreciate it. I think that's the thing.. I would love to go back to Maui, or even here in Panama, or Mexico, .. but since this is the last time till I retire that we can go for an extended trip ... just trying to find something a bit different and yet still checks the boxes that we want. We were thinking maybe Argentina/Chile for 3 months or so.. staying put in a small town and relaxing (luckily we and the kids speak Spanish), and then heading to either South Africa .. maybe Madagasgar.. and then end in Barcelona perhaps.. or going the other way from Argentina and go to Fiji, New Zealand and perhaps Bali. We are on a budget since I work for the school system in NYC .. but since its the last year, willing to toss caution at the wind and end big. That being said, my wife wants it simple and less stops because with the kids.. at this age .. its just tough.

Anyway, thanks for the response and enjoy your travels where ever you head!
Roberto

our blog: Thanks for the feedback.. truly appreciate it. I think that's the thing.. I would love to go back to Maui, or even here in Panama, or Mexico, .. but since this is the last time till I retire that we can go for an extended trip ... just trying to find something a bit different and yet still checks the boxes that we want. We were thinking maybe Argentina/Chile for 3 months or so.. staying put in a small town and relaxing (luckily we and the kids speak Spanish), and then heading to either South Africa .. maybe Madagasgar.. and then end in Barcelona perhaps.. or going the other way from Argentina and go to Fiji, New Zealand and perhaps Bali. We are on a budget since I work for the school system in NYC .. but since its the last year, willing to toss caution at the wind and end big. That being said, my wife wants it simple and less stops because with the kids.. at this age .. its just tough.

Anyway, thanks for the response and enjoy your travels where ever you head!
Roberto

our family travel blog: .... mercadofamilytravels.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-middle-of-night-home-robbery-isnt-as.html
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Old May 20th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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I'd maybe try posting on some of the other destination boards -- Africa, Asia, Australia/the Pacific, Europe etc. Here you'l mostly get feedback from those who concentrate on Mexico/Costa Rica but people who travel a lot to say South Africa or Indonesia would never see your questions.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 12:04 AM
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Hi Roberto. We live a very similar lifestyle, although without the children! Details of our travels can be can be found on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com . A bit like you we are considering where next? Although in our case grandchildren are becoming an increasingly important influence on our planning. Had a quick look at your blog and will be returning for further inspiration!

We are currently back in the U.K. considering where to go next, determined to make it somewhere we haven’t been. Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Belize are our probable destinations for late this year and early next.

A few of the places you mention we love. New Zealand is amazing. We have done three 2 month long campervan trips there great, usually in winter spring, when it is less crowded and much much cheaper. Our son lives in Sydney Australia so we do spend some time there, again a great lifestyle choice.

Argentina is another place we like a lot and almost considered settle I gotta there and probably would have if it had not been for the political and economic stability. Salta in the north west has a huge amount going for it. I could easily spend a few months there.

You mentioned Sucre. Bolivia is arguably the most spectacular country in South America and Sucre is one of its more traveller friendly towns although, with children, the healthcare issue would concern me.

So many places, so little time...
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Old May 21st, 2018, 08:12 AM
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As much as I love Oaxaca, I don't think it would be a great fit, and why people that have never been there would recommend it is curious, given your criteria. It's not close to the beach (Oaxaca De Juárez, that is) unless you fly. And most of the beaches are not good for swimming especially for toddlers, exception being Huatulco. Summertime is usually when the teachers go on strike, and their protests, while normally non-violent, can be disruptive. And who knows after this year's elections what next year will bring. Health care access I would say is adequate, not great. Partly because of Oaxaca's isolation from more sophisticated hospitals. I'm unsure if anywhere in Mexico would tick all your boxes, and I live here full time.
Antigua is a charming city, but far from beaches, and the beaches aren't great either. 2 cities that could work would be Panajachel and Quetzaltenango, but again, Healthcare outside of Guatemala city is suspect.
I agree with crellston on Bolivia's health care. I flew to Santa Cruz to be with a friend that was near death from a large tumor found in his abdomen. He lived, but his wife had to take biopsies to the lab herself and buy the instruments for surgery, as the hospital didn't have them. Ugh. If they'd been in a rural area, he'd have died.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 08:18 AM
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Wow.. thanks for the response .. and just started reading your blog .. love it! Just checked out where you were in Colombia and you really got around.. saw some great things. I will definitely read more later. I am glad you said New Zealand as I have been to the north island but am dying to go to the South Island. Just my wife is trying to not go on such long flights, so we will see. I have thought of doing the campervan thing several times, .. so perhaps if we do head that way we can try it out for a week or two and see how we fare. Traveling with the kids is amazing and rewarding.. but also can drive you to drink

Anyway, ... if you have any questions at all about Mexico (been there numerous times and best friends are Mexican and go back and travel 3-4 times a year), Guatemala (I lived in Antigua for 4 months year ago), and Panama (we are here now and will spend about 8 months in total here). .. feel free to ask or I can give you a ring on Whatsapp some time as well.

Thanks again and will get back to you after I read more of your blog. Enjoy the travels ... you are so right.. so many places to visit and always new ideas get thrown into the mix.. but I guess that's one of the joys of travel.. you never know where you will wind up! Take care and talk soon!

Roberto
*MERCADO FAMILY TRAVELS* : A home robbery in the middle of the night isn?t as sexy as it sounds. Our time in Panama.
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 10:02 AM
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Glad you enjoyed the blog Roberto. Colombia is an incredible country, I would go back in a heartbeat but my wife is keen to explore pastures new, hence Mexico and Central America. Will certainly take you up on your offer of help when we have firmed up on our plans.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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Roberto: Sorry about your recent experience in Panama. Awful, though could have been much worse. As you say, you must be vigilant wherever you are. Mexico's reputation notwithstanding, there is nowhere I feel safer and freer, and I particularly recommend Yucatan for an extended stay. I lived for many years in the US but was born in Mexico City and have traveled throughout the country without incident.(Other than the occasional traffic cop shakedown). I continue to explore providently, constantly marveled, and see a much brighter future south of the contentious border. Now I spend most of my time in Merida, Yucatan, which despite being a growing city, still retains a provincial, relaxed and civilized lifestyle. The urban benefits include excellent schools, outstanding health care, infinite cultural activities, and a huge housing selection. We are also surrounded by Mayan treasures and natural wonders like cenotes, jungles, mangroves, and some of the worlds best beaches. Climate-wise, January through April are perfect. Late spring you could move to higher elevations, Chiapas? Guanajuato? Jalisco? Puebla? Mexico's clinchers are the ease of travel to-and-from, shared time zones, and the extent to which money goes!

Last edited by bigbenito; May 24th, 2018 at 11:05 AM.
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