Making Our Travel Map

East or West?

North or South?

So now that we’ve established our forthcoming mission, the question is, where exactly do we go to carry it out? Generally speaking, our plan is to tour the world. And then go somewhere else.

Travel Westward
1. Reap the benefits of
gaining time as you go
2. Less jetlag
3. Faster flights due to
the earth’s rotation.

or Eastward?
………in the end you
“gain” one whole day.
We are going the “wrong” way!

As you might guess, the climate plays a significant role in determining our itinerary. One of us doesn’t handle heat very well, and the other doesn’t handle cold very well; so we strive to maintain a happy medium, or at the very least a not-miserable medium.

Another factor is where we will be leaving our RV while we’re away. Originally, we’d assumed that we’d leave it in either California or Nevada, since we have friends and relatives in both places who could tend the RV for us. And either San Francisco or Los Angeles would make a good jumping off point.

But as it turned out, we arranged to leave the beast in care of some friends in New Hampshire, who not only will feed and groom it, but even ride it occasionally. So much the better. But that meant we had to rethink our plans, and zip off from the East Coast instead of the West.

As far as specific destinations, we already had a list of places we considered prime suspects, because of the volunteering opportunities and/or because they are just cool places we yearn to visit: India, Africa, Turkey, China, Southeast Asia — and, of course, Japan, where we had a legendary vacation back in 2006, and where we still have friends who are eager to play hosts to us again.

Japan, we figure, will be the final leg of the jaunt. It’s closest to the West Coast, which we will fly into and from which we will fly (or maybe take a train ride, who knows) back to the East Coast. But what should be the order for everything else?

Initially, we’d thought of starting east and heading to India early on. But then that nation became a new hotspot for COVID, and we’ve already been there and done that enough. (At this point, it’s doubtful that we’ll be able to hit India at all this time around.) So instead, we decided to head down to Central and South America. At the moment, our first volunteer gig will be in Guatemala, and the second might be (Are you ready for this?) on the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. Before Guatemala, we’ll make our grand entrance on the stage of Central America by landing on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and spending a little time there. So far, however, we’ve been unable to arrange a volunteering gig there. So in short, we have the first two pegs on the board, and the last one. But the exact order of the middle is still very much subject to amendment, juggling, finagling and legerdemain. We’ll let you know as soon as we know. Stay tuned.

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