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December days: Holidays 
2014-12-20 (Sat) 13:22
ghoti asked me: "if you had total free choice, money/time no object for a holiday, where would you go and what would you do?"

This is a good question because we've spent quite a while now with our holiday selections largely being driven by convenience with respect to conferences we were going to anyway, and other such external factors. In some ways the first thing that comes to mind when somebody says "money no object" for a holiday would be space tourism to the ISS, but after listening to Chris Hadfield pointing out that the death rate from space travel is empirically about 1 in 38, and noting that you didn't say "safety no object", I don't think I'd be willing to accept that kind of risk!

"Time no object" also helps with one of the usual problems we have, which is that [personal profile] ghoti usually has more ideas in advance for what to do when we get there, but I generally want some proportion of a holiday to involve downtime and sometimes end up feeling overscheduled. Being able to arbitrarily double or triple the length of a holiday would probably help quite a lot so that neither of us feels dissatisfied! I've been realising that I value downtime quite highly; if it weren't for the inconvenient details that I find anything above about 25-30° C to be uncomfortably hot and that I get sunburn in about twenty minutes, the sort of holiday where you lie on the beach, read books, and sip cocktails would in fact do me quite nicely.

All that said, a few places I'd particularly like to go:

In terms of pure natural beauty, probably New Zealand. OK, some of this is basically just its particularly gorgeous portrayal by exponents such as Peter Jackson, but still, it generally seems to get pretty good reviews and I'd like to see it for myself. This seems like a "meander gently around the countryside" kind of trip.

I'd like to go on a proper distillery tour around the islands of Scotland. I've visited the Bushmills distillery in Northern Ireland and I think it was the Aberlour distillery in Speyside, but this seems something worthy of more, er, scientific experimentation.

Iceland sounds amazing, notwithstanding my current grumpiness about it being winter and therefore cold; I'd like to visit the Alþingi and the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, and visit some of the geysers. And, although I've seen the Northern Lights once from an aeroplane, I'd like to see them at more leisure from the ground, and Iceland seems to offer a decent chance of that.

I'd like to visit some of the Asian megacities: Hong Kong, Tokyo, possibly Beijing. Tokyo is particularly appealing because Japan has such an interesting culture which I'd like to experience more directly, although I don't think I'd actually want to live and work there. My mum always wanted to see the Great Wall of China, and did in fact manage to do so before she died; I'd rather like to go there too.

Finally, not for right now, but if/when the Sagrada Família in Barcelona is finished (late 2020s?), I definitely want to go back and see the finished work.

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!
This entry was originally posted at http://cjwatson.dreamwidth.org/13468.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
2014-12-20 (Sat) 19:41 (UTC)
Thank you!
I think some of those I'd rather not do but that's OK, we don't always have to want to do the same thing. Also, you know how I feel about Iceland so there's that (see icon).

I've actually been trying really hard to not look up what to do in advance the last few years, so as to build in more down time for you... maybe I should try harder?
2014-12-21 (Sun) 00:32 (UTC)
Down-time on holidays is hard! We always aim to have some, and often kind-of fail to actually do so.
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