Travel meme

While all colleagues & friends seem to be on vacation, I felt like filling in this travel meme. I stole it from Yab who stole it a long time ago from Tita.
  1. Do you prefer going on vacation abroad or do you prefer to go on vacation in Belgium?
    True vacation is abroad.   Belgium is a fantastic destination to discover but since it is that small you are always only max 2-3 hours away from home and somehow that doesn't feel like a real get-away moment.  That being said, our many lazy weekends spent in the Ardennes can feel a bit like vacation. 
    But as soon as you cross the border, you feel something different: different road signs, different language or accent spoken, larger horizons,'s great to cross those borders regularly. 
  2. Do you prefer travelling by car or do you prefer the plane? 
    Hmm neither would be my first response. In general I hate the "transport" time but it's the evil necessity to get to new places.

    In fact I don't mind the car as long as it can be relax, at ad hoc rhythm (with stops whenever we wish) in not too much traffic. Several of our vacations have been roadtrips in North-America and I absolutely love cruising around as long as I can avoid LA, San Francisco highways, Vancouver commuter traffic, ... Cruising in a car can be the core part of a fun vacation but traffic is hell. My stress levels jump up right away when there's too many cars around me and waiting times.

    Plane flights are ok. In general I seem to like long intercontinental flights more as these are more comfortable with more entertainment and (better) food in contrast to the smaller cramped tourist flights where the carrier would hate to spend one penny too much on you. 
  3. Do you also like to have short vacations out of the big holiday period?
    oh definitely, 1 vacation per year means that you need approximately 11 months until you can go again; I am convinced you need to get out more, to take a break and refresh.

    We generally try to have one multi-week big vacation  and another get-away of a week. This can be completed with several city-trip weekends.
  4. Do you prefer to spend your money to a nice vacation or a new interior? 
    euh tough question. I like a nice interior but that is not something that needs to get renewed often, so that's something you save for. I am convinced though that one needs to get out and take a break now and then so I'd also always want to put some budget aside for travelling. 
  5. Just suppose: you win a price and you can choose your dream destination. Where do you go? 
    euh if money was no restriction (and could eg also afford some unpaid time off from work, ...making time less of a restriction too), then I suppose I'd chose quite far destinations such as New Zealand, Australia  .
    But also the gorgeous (and expensive) (dive) destinations of Maledives, Philippines, Micronesia, Hawaii, ...
  6. All inn-vacations or bed and breakfast? Both, depending on your needs as long as you alternate a bit.

    Sometimes there's nothing more precious than just go to a hotel and go lay down with a book next to the pool...flip flop at every craving to the bar for a snack or drink and go lay down again.  That can be fabulous!

    But you don't get to see much on that type of vacations so it would be a pity to only travel like this. I mean: an all-inn in Turkey or Spain or the end it wouldn't matter much where you were. Additionally the food isn't very good generally in the all inn's.  Nope, there's no such thing as a true free lunch .

    So I also love to stay in a hotel or B&B, to only have breakfast and to venture out to discover the region during the day and to discover local food in restaurants that cross our road. 
  7. Do you prefer sporty vacations or lazy vacations? Apart from scuba diving and some mild hikes, I have no interest to do sports on vacation.  I love being lazy but I also love to experience culture and history which is missing here as an option. 
  8. Do you go to the local market to taste local produce? 
    Absolutely....nothing more fun to experience the local atmosphere but a local market (perferably not a tourist trap market). The colors, the smells, the interaction with locals: fun fun!  No better place to discover local food.  I might not always dare to taste there but at least you can have your eyes discover. 
  9. Do you prefer luxury or can it be a backpack vacation in cheap hostels?
    I do love a minimum of comfort (more pampering is absolutely welcome) and like to have my own spot with my own peace and quiet to withdraw to. I'm afraid I do not go on vacation to find new local friends or travellers. So no....backpacking does not sound like fun to me or hanging out in shared locations. For the same reason I am not always a big fan of B&B's:  please let me have my own breakfast table and don't force me early in the morning into a conversation with strangers.

    Vacation is a time to be with my family.  Clean rooms and bathrooms and decent food are a minimum. An additional comfy sofa in the room, a hot tub, ...are all bonusses I wouldn't refuse (but I can do without).
  10. To which country can't anybody force you to go to ?war countries
    Extreme poverty countries
    Countries where I fear not getting the minimum of comfort, where getting there and getting around would be too chaotic, where culture shock might be too big.

    I notice that I usually don't take African or South American countries into consideration when considering a trip...mostly because I have no clue what travelling there is like and I don't dare to take my chances. 
  11. If you don't travel, how do you spend your vacation ? hanging out in the Ardennes. but most of my vacation days are spent while travelling.
  12. Do you love a vacation in a camping tent? Not so much. Sleeping 1, max 2 nights in a tent with a fun group can be fun. But my quality of sleep depends on silence and darkness and warmth: 3 things that are regularly missing on a summer campground.
    Additionally, after 2 improvised campground meals, I long for a decent qualitative meal.

    so I do not consider spending a true vacation on a campground. 
  13. Do you want a mobile camper after you retire and when you have a lot of time to roam around? 
    When we do a roadtrip, I do envy sometimes the campers on the road. Sometimes it seems very attractive to just have your house at your hand. It also provides some comfort that a tent is missing, yet it gives you more flexibility than a sequence of hotels on a roadtrip.  Also at dive sites in the Benelux, a camper can come in quite handy.
    I think I want to try a mobile home (as we call it in Dutch) once.

    But owning one is a big investment that you need to get out of it by using it A LOT.  And i don't think it would ever become my preferred way of travelling. Even a big ass camper will always be a cramped improvised space.
  14. When you are travelling, do you mix with the local population or do you hang out in your hotel? 
    This is related to my answer in question 6.  It would be a pity to travel and cover distances to only see your hotel. Yet for some vacations that only have as goal to relax that is perfectly acceptable behavior. In our last vacation in Gran Canaria, we hardly left the (not so big) hotel premises and that was a fabulous vacation that I'd love to repeat once.
  15. Do you feel more romantic when you are on vacation ? No, not really. 
  16. What is the top 10 of countries you still want to visit ? ok let's only take countries I've not yet visited (which excludes most of Europe although there's definitely regions like Tuscany and Andalucia, Greece mainland, Dubrovnik, ... still on my wishlist). Hmm tough question. Answer in no particular order.
    New Zealand, Maledives, Iceland, Malta, South Africa, Cuba, Costa Rica, RĂ©union, Japan, Thailand
  17. What were your best vacations so far? euh, think most of them were great.  Bali 2009, Canada 1999, 2004, 2011 and now.   Egypt 2007, 2008,  2010, 2011, 2012, ...  Gran Canaria 2014, Bonaire 2012, Goa (India) 2006, California 2014, New England 2007, Burgundy 2006, Turkey 2005, ... 


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