(Trip) planning is never easy

So this spring, my sister suddenly mentioned that she wanted to take a trip to India in mid-October to be there for Diwali (India’s Christmas). I haven’t been to India since ’97 — and nearly all our extended family is still over there — so I thought about joining her for a couple weeks (she was planning to stay for a month, as she would just be finishing up with her summer job by then). But, cut to a couple weeks ago.. and it turns out most of the relatives we’d want to see and/or stay with will be out of the country or super busy (i.e., my mom’s best friend is planning her daughter’s wedding). So, rather than go and then upset our out-of-country relatives, we’ve put the trip on hold indefinitely.

Now that we have the travel bug in our head, we’re trying to find someplace else to go right around that same time of mid/late October. Japan came to mind immediately, just because we know some people over there, and can speak/understand the language brokenly. While we try and get in touch with those friends, I’m still exploring other options. I haven’t traveled internationally in nearly seven (!) years now, so I want to go somewhere really cool, and kind of off the beaten path. I’ve already been to the top destination of London, and due to their popularity, am hoping to avoid other top locales like Paris, Rome, etc. I still would like to go to those places, of course, but for now, I’m trying to come up with someplace a little more exotic. I even thought about somewhere in S. Africa for a bit, but the price of flying there is nearly as much as to go to India ($1,200-1,400). I also thought of Egypt, but then I looked at some pics a friend of mine took when she was there in October of last year, and noticed that on one day, it hit 128 degrees. Much as I’m dying to see the pyramids, I don’t think I could handle 128 degrees!!

So.. the investigation continues. Some other options are Turkey, Hungary, Peru, the Czech Republic.. and of course, Japan, which might end up being the most realistic just because then we wouldn’t have to deal with the largest planning stress of finding a place to stay. Of course, who knows, we may end up going nowhere at all!! I’ve at least started the process of getting my passport renewed. Hopefully my sis and I will do some more in-depth research over the next week or two and start narrowing things down. Worst comes to worst, well, there’s always Canada!

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