For my birthday, my boyfriend arranged for me to take two weeks off work to travel to the place in the world I have most wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. Hurrah! But it turns out that right now is a terrible time to go there (political upheaval, violence, etc.). Sadness. Can you help us figure out where we should go instead?
For years I've been obsessed with the idea of visiting Socotra
, a Yemeni island in the Indian Ocean that's known for its bizarre indigenous plant life, beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and a generally unspoiled atmosphere. It's really, really cool. And for my birthday, my boyfriend secretly arranged with my boss for me to take two weeks off work at the end of February/beginning of March for the two of us to go there. Then the tragic realization struck: it's simply a stupid idea for two Americans to visit Yemen right now. Where should we go instead?
I find myself in the interestingly frustrating position of having two weeks of vacation time and no vacation to go on. We have a million ideas of places to visit, but have spent so long reading and learning about Socotra that we're not really sure where to be focusing this decision: Chile? Bhutan? Panama? Turkey? Tokyo? MeFites: Help me decide where to travel on six weeks' notice!
- The biggest, most important thing for us is that we're looking for a feeling of difference
, of being outside of our normal environment. I realize that can come from any number of sources, we're open to most of them.
- Would kind of prefer for it to be overseas (we're in the US), and would prefer not Western Europe, where we've already traveled extensively.
- Budget is pretty flexible. We'd assumed $1300+/person for airfare to Socotra, which keeps most of the world open.
- Our priorities for activities are: For me: good/interesting food, good/interesting things to photograph. For him: Beauty, natural or cultural; the chance to interact with new people, whether fellow tourists or locals, but also opportunities for solitude.
I'm particularly interested in anecdotes about really really amazing places you've been to. What's the best destination-driven
trip you've ever taken?
*This isn't a high bar, but I'd like wherever we go to be safer than Yemen, which is currently overrun with political instability, anti-American sentiment, and Al-Qaeda.