I have 45 days, no restrictions, no limits. Where should I go?
April 8, 2016 12:27 AM   Subscribe

I just quit my job. It was a disappointment, and I want to forget about it. I don't plan to start working again for another 2 months, and I have $8000 to spend. I want to travel alone for the next 45 days. I believe that it is quite unlikely that I will have an equivalent, unadulterated period of travel time in my future, so I want to make the best use of this. I am ready to choose any point on the world map and get there.

I'm based out of India, and I have travelled previously to Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto), the USA (New York City, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas), Costa Rica (all over), Turkey (Istanbul) and W Europe (Paris, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Rome, Siena, Amalfi coast).

If it helps, I am 30 years old, male and my favourites so far are Kyoto, Florence and Venice. I love walking around great cities, and I love the smell of history in the air. I have no great qualms about "slumming" it out, and I am quite happy to backpack around alone.

Where should I go?
posted by rahulrg to Travel & Transportation (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A tour of some of the older cities of Spain? Good climate for the next 45 day slot, buckets of history, lots of places to stay, cheaper as well as more upmarket options. Maybe some time in Portugal also?
posted by biffa at 2:34 AM on April 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

South America. Buenos Aires, Rio, Bogota... Maybe down through Patagonia for some nature. Maccu Piccu.

The U.K.? Northern Europe?
posted by jrobin276 at 2:42 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Africa? Australia? Antarctica! No great cities there but probably amazing in exactly the opposite way.
posted by Jubey at 3:04 AM on April 8, 2016

Eastern Europe - Czech Republic, Hungary, maybe up to Larvia and the like. It's cheaper than Western Europe and quite lovely.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:21 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

With your past travels I'd be surprised if you haven't seen a bit of London. But it fits 'great city' and 'history'. And then you're close to other adventures like Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen.
posted by artdrectr at 3:32 AM on April 8, 2016

Jordan? It has a lot of history, and I've heard wonderful things about the people that live there.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:38 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]



Travel by train around 30 European countries quite cheaply, and see a huge amount. Stay in hotels or get night trains as you see fit.
posted by eyeofthetiger at 4:17 AM on April 8, 2016

I thought South America as well. Your money will go far and there are SO many different places to explore.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:21 AM on April 8, 2016

New Zealand? One of my sons took a similar trip and really liked it.
posted by mermayd at 4:22 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

If I was in your circumstances, I would walk the Camino de Santiago.
posted by Yorrick at 4:24 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

A word of caution: you plan to start working again in 2 minths, but do you have something lined up? If not, do you have good reason to believe you can find a new job in 2 weeks? Because IME you need to allow 6 months to find another job but that is just my experience.
posted by tel3path at 4:27 AM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

Seconding Ms. Moonlight. I enjoyed Jordan. I don't know if the cities are 'great', though in terms of history or visual appeal, apart from Petra. I used them more as a base from which to travel to the mountains, go climbing, visit ruins etc. There's a lot to do. I recommend these people. They were located in Madaba when I went (10 years ago) which is a smaller, much quieter city than Amman. I'd double it up with Lebanon which I think would be more exciting, city wise. Beirut seems buzzy, culturally very mixed and full of life, which is why I want to go this year.

Enjoy your trip wherever you end up going.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 5:20 AM on April 8, 2016

Is there another language that you're studying? I'd pick one place for that language and just invest in it -- maybe Seville if you're studying Spanish, Berlin if you're studying German. Become a local, immerse yourself in the place and the tongue, make yourself a regular at a cafe or a bar, see life in a place beyond the four short days that you may have given it as a jetsetter. You're going to have a lot of opportunities in your career to take a two week vacation that lets you see a few cities for 3-4 days a piece. Take the opportunity to drown yourself in one city for a month.

I'd be a bit wary of of spending your time in Northern Europe (or at least Scandinavia). You're talking about a $177/day travel budget, which is HUGE for some places, but Scandinavia can eat it up really quickly, if only because their local currencies have been very strong. You can make it work, and Stockholm in the spring and summer is actually pretty magical (esp. if Venice is one of your favorites, and you just love cities that intermingle well with water), but you're going to have to be pretty vigilant about your spending or just be ready to cut your trip short if you find yourself burning through cash faster than you anticipated.

Also, one caution about Buenos Aires and Patagonia -- it's coming up on winter there. Buenos Aires in the autumn should be quite great and fine, but with Patagonia, it's dependent on how outdoorsy you are, as the weather's rather volatile and you're likely to spend a lot of time waiting out or hiking through rain storms. I would love to sink a month and a half into El Chalten if only to have a window for that perfectly sunless set of days to explore Los Glaciares in all of its glory, or do the traverse from Argentina into Chile. But I also know that I'll be spending a good chunk of that month in sleepy, small towns, reading books and writing in my journal, and that sounds a bit of a polar opposite to wandering a great city.
posted by bl1nk at 5:25 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

btw, I'd also add Beijing and Shanghai to your list of great cities with amazing history, fantastic neighborhoods to explore, and a wide range of options for living in any of those place for $150/day. Chengdu in China is also decent as a large city that can be a base for planning trips to the outdoors in China (though the city itself is a bit grim, and the historical parts are absurdly inauthentic, it has a fantastic selection of teahouses suited to chilling out and killing time while you're sorting out adventure ideas)
posted by bl1nk at 5:34 AM on April 8, 2016

With the exchange rate South Africa is super super cheap at the moment, seriously $8 000 is like R120 000. The weather isn't super hot in Cape Town (but it isn't storming either) so a beach holiday might be out of the question but it's a great time to go on safari.
posted by PenDevil at 5:48 AM on April 8, 2016

Seconding the Camino. I would also highly recommend South Africa - it is a stunning country, particularly the northern provinces.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:13 AM on April 8, 2016

Scandanavia has many great cities, though they are quite expensive. Also, what about smaller European cities? You could stretch your money a lot farther than the bigger places, and they're quite history-rich - these are both kind of random choices, but Talinn and Minsk both come to mind.

If you liked Costa Rica, maybe you'd enjoy other parts of Central America (no big seasonal issues there, unlike South America) - I don't know much about traveling the region other than Mexico and Guatemala but that would be a good place to start. Antigua, Guatemala for example has a booming industry of language schools where they can set up a private Spanish lesson and a homestay (best way to stay in any foreign place in my opinion) for a very reasonable sum.
posted by R a c h e l at 7:55 AM on April 8, 2016

Istanbul is amazing (and the rest of turkey looks nice and i hope to see much of it on future visits).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:29 AM on April 8, 2016

Stockholm, Tallinn, St Petersburg are cities I have been to that you haven't already seen that I enjoyed walking around and felt a sense of history.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:48 PM on April 8, 2016

Fly into Bangkok, take your time in Thailand, head south to cross the border into Cambodia, on to Siem Reap to catch Angkor Wat in the present season of good weather, on to Phnom Penh, on to southern Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City with a detour into the Mekong Delta, head north to Hanoi (stop in Hoi An and Hue along the way) then to Laos. Ground travel all the way, mixing history with beaches and beautiful places and fascinating cultures. Easy to make travel and hotel arrangements solo, will leave plenty in your budget, easy to make friends along the way or be alone when you prefer. Could be done comfortably in 30 days.

(Since you enjoyed Japan, as an extension, May is the best time to visit the awesome Yakushima.)
posted by chimpsonfilm at 7:11 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just throwing it out there - if I had unlimited time and money, I would try this 28 day Safari Guide training course just to experience the wilderness
posted by gt2 at 5:55 AM on April 9, 2016

Stockholm, Tallinn, St Petersburg are

...barely above freezing at this time of year.
posted by biffa at 12:08 PM on April 9, 2016

Research books, videos and podcasts and identify an area that is well-supported by educational material, and make it a study/vacation kind of trip. Surely some era of history and part of the world will catch your attention. Read up on a few and pick your favorite. Find a friendly librarian and ask her advice.
posted by conrad53 at 7:48 PM on April 10, 2016

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