Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Planning a Vacation

My hubby and I were supposed to go to South America in April to celebrate my 60th birthday (it was to include Machu Picchu--one of my top 5 must-sees). Alas, I needed surgery on my shoulder, so we had to cancel. The airlines gave us a credit, which we had to use by October. After searching to see where Continental went that we wanted to go, we settled on Scotland and Ireland. We leave on 9/26.

At first we planned to book a hotel the first night in Edinburg and the last nite in Shannon and let the rest of the trip unfold. But after talking to friends who have been there, I began to feel uncomfortable about driving. You see, I can't navigate--hopelessly dyslexic with directions. When we rented a car in England, my unfazable hubby was quite a bit fazed. The wheel was on the wrong side of the car, as was the clutch. The car was on the wrong side of the road. And I kept riding up curbs because I couldn't judge. And don't ask me about roundabouts. Who can figure out where to go from a circle?

So when we discovered we could hire drivers, it was a no-brainer, except it costs a bit more. We've bitten the bullet, so to speak, and hired drivers for both Ireland and Scotland, so now, hopefully, we shall have a stress-free vacation. At least as far as the driving is concerned.
All we had to do was provide a list of places we want to see and they did the rest. Kind of like the old Greyhound bus ads, "and leave the driving to us."

This will be the first vacation in quite a few years that I'm not either severely overweight or injured (once it was a broken ankle, once it was a sprained ankle, once it was my shoulder...) oops, bite my tongue, knock wood, throw salt over my shoulder. I'm getting excited...

How do you plan your vacations? Do you find the planning fun or is it difficult?



Tabitha Bird said...

Hi Karen. I have been everywhere man...okay not everywhere. But a lot of places on God's green earth. though not to Scotland...yet.

When I was younger (late teens early twenties) I didn't plan anything. I got a ticket, boarder that plane and went with the flow. Now I am older (early thirties... I know, I know!) I plan where we are staying and what we would like to see if the kids are coming with us. Otherwise I am a bit more relaxed. Matt and I have been known to just take off if there is a free weekend and grandparents have the babies!

Planning can be fun, but don't forget what they say about 'best laid plans'. My motto is just enjoy whatever comes up. It makes for an adventure, even if unplanned :) If only I was so relaxed when at home...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Scotland is beautiful... hope you have a great time. I was there in February a million years ago and it was COLD. September sounds like a much more sensible time to be there.

Unfortunately, I don't enjoy planning trips....I feel the need to research every last detail. But I love going on them.

Mystery Writing is Murder

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You will love Scotland! And Edinburg was my favorite city.
Public transportation is SO easy there! Taxis are cheap and so is taking the train.
Do not miss Edinburg Castle. Incredible place. Or Holyrood Palace. (Spelling may be off on that one.) And Inverness - with Loch Ness - and the Isle of Skye are must-sees.

Gosh, now I can't wait to go back there myself!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

The Old Silly said...

Scotland and Ireland! I am like SO jealous! One of my to do before I die things is to tour Europe. Have a wonderful trip - you well deserve it. :)

Marvin D Wilson

Beth said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! My husband is of Scottish descent, so we'll do a British Isles Tour in our future.

I LOVE planning for trips. I do lots of research online, checking for intriguing restaurants or places to visit. Most cities have their own websites now, so it's easy to find information. Our next trip is Cabo San Lucas in December, and I've already got a couple of websites bookmarked!

JStantonChandler said...

Hello Karen!

I went to Ireland about 9 years ago and loved every single second of it! It's the most beautiful place I've ever been.

Seeing that I haven't been on vacation in more than 9 years (Ireland was for a history class in college), I've never actually planned one! The last trip I went on was a mission trip to India and all I had to do with that was book my flight and make sure I landed in Delhi and took off from same city on specified dates.

My husband and I, however, are planning a trip in two years to Europe. As much as I'd love to just buy a plane ticket and see where we end up, we'll probably end up going with a travel group. At least for the first trip! Then maybe, once we get to know the place, we'll go back on our own!

Have fun, take lots of pictures, and enjoy!

Karen Walker said...

How lucky, Tabitha, that you've been so many places already. I started late. I was 50 when I did my first trip to Europe.
Elizabeth, people have told me to be prepared for cold, even in September because the rain is so damp.
Diane, we have every place you listed on our itinerary. Can't wait!
Marvin, hope you get to Europe soon. It is an amazing feeling to fulfill those dreams.
HI Beth, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Nice to "meet" you.
Hi Jen, thanks so much for your "visit." My hubby and I have done both tours and on our own. They both are wonderful in their own way, but tours are especially good if it's a first time trip.

Helen Ginger said...

I hereby admit that I am not a good trip planner. I tend to leave that to my husband, who travels constantly for work and is adept at it. The only problem with him is he can use his briefcase to pack for a week's trip. And he sees absolutely nothing wrong with putting my hanging clothes on top of his and zipping the bag closed, assuring me they will not get wrinkled. Ha! I like to lay out all my stuff on the bed, then decide what size suitcase I'll need. For our recent trip to Vegas, I came out with a final item in hand to discover he'd packed all my stuff and zipped the bag shut. Voila, with a big smile. Needless to say, I ended up one outfit short.

But I love your idea of getting a driver. I've never heard of that. That's brilliant!

Straight From Hel

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Well, sounds like you're in for a nice time. Getting excited about it, I'll bet. Per your question: I enjoy planning the trip. But, my wife does a better job of that than I do.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jennifer Major said...

Karen - thank you for visiting my blog. What a great trip to look forward to. Perhaps this is the right time in your live to visit Scotland and Ireland instead of Machu Picchu. My husband and I budget on everyday items so we can splurge on things that make the special times in our life even better. Good for you to hire someone to drive you!

Stephanie Faris said...

I love planning. I think it's part of building the anticipation. Your vacation sounds like a lot of fun. I'm badly in need of one!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hope you have a wonderful trip, Karen.

My husband and I tried unstructured trips a couple of times and got burned (burned-out, that is) driving all night across France trying to find one single hotel with a vacancy. Now I refuse to go without advance hotel reservations. I need to know I'll have a comfortable bed to sleep in. But who makes those plans and reservations? Me, me, me.

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