Choosing Travel Destinations You Both Will Love

Dear Debbie,

My wife and I are both recently retired.  While we both want to do some traveling, our travel ideas are different.  One of us is more adventurous than the other. One would like to travel to new and exotic places like India, Africa and the Far East. while the other would like to stick to US and European based  trips focusing on museums and local culture. We can’t afford to do it all.

What do you suggest?

Yours truly,

The Hopeful Traveler,


Dear Hopeful Traveler,

A new adventure is better than no adventure, and none of us wants to feel that there is no adventure left in us.

My husband and I have almost exactly that situation.  He would love to take three books, a bathing suit and sit on the beach in a lounge chair for a WHOLE week, taking breaks to go out to a restaurant for dinner in the evening.  I can sit for a limit of two hours on the beach, must be out walking early, in the museum by midmorning, run to the next museum by midafternoon, walk and walk, site book in hand, obsessively covering every point in the guide.  I have a limit of between 5 and 7 days before I get antsy for home.  Fatigued, from all the running, I prefer to stay in at night, read, conk out early and be fresh and ready to run again the following morning.  Luckily, I know my limitations and realize it is not only exhausting to read and write this answer but insane to impose it on someone else.  Understanding our shortcomings can lead to our success.

Compromise and research are the key.  Each of you should make a top 8 most wanted list.

  1. City, beach or countryside.  Cold or hot weather.
  2. Adventure, relax or both.
  3. Shopping.
  4. Visiting family, sharing time with friends or maybe even solo.
  5. Independent travel, private guide or organized tour.
  6. Budget.
  7. Exotic or off the beaten track, or, a more common location that many people visit with a high success rate.
  8. Now, name your top three most wanted destinations.

You may be surprised where you overlap, where you can have a meeting of the minds and you will see the obvious paths to compromise.

Exotic could be India, but India is huge and can be both noisy and dirty or interesting and unbelievable.  India can be Delhi, crowded, colorful and mobs or it can be Dharamsala with amazing scenery, serene and peaceful.   Russia is on the European continent but it is awesome and by reputation threatening, yet once you are there it is full of culture, great food and totally different street life than what we know in America.

One of our favorite vacations, which one could say, I threw him a bone, was a short romp to Mykonos, Greece.  He just sort of snuck this trip in between South of France and Israel and he met both of our needs.  Lots of lounge chair time to read, but long luxurious breakfasts with yogurts, olives and grilled vegetables that I love.  I got to pack some of my own food, we also brought in and ate on a patio attached to the suite with a stunning view.  There were late night outings to people watch, destination wedding spotting and music.  Nice and restful at the beautiful beaches and spectacular sunsets, but also, long excursions to the market and an archeological hike to the ruins in Sacred Delos.   IT WAS ALSO ONLY 3 NIGHTS, FOUR DAYS.

So you see, success is like a business negotiation.  All about achieving the objectives, finding middle ground and everyone getting a payoff.  Remember you are there to have fun, be challenged by interesting subjects and share love and time together.  Enjoy.



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