Monday, January 11, 2016

Trip Planning

Since I retired, four and a half years ago, I have travelled extensively. At the beginning of each calendar year, I try to get an idea of where I would like to go, what I can afford and whether I shall be a solo traveller or whether I will travel with a friend (or infrequently,  with Monsieur).


We visited Steinbeck country on a driving trip down the coast.

 For many years Monsieur and I did a lot of camping. Indeed I have backpacked, slept in a pick-up truck and in a few yurts in my time! It was fun at the time but I'm really not interested in sleeping on the ground or doing without running water in my seventh decade. Monsieur and I have stayed in several lodges in Olympic National Park in Washington State and I heartily recommend them for nature lovers who appreciate a comfortable bed and a tasty meal. Kalaloch Lodge is a wonderful spot for storm watching and beach-walking.


I enjoy walking in new places so I found hf discovery walking holidays in Cornwall and Devon to be great experiences. Personally, I am not as concerned with the number of kilometres that I cover as with visiting small out-of-the-way villages and sitting down in the local pub with a salad and a glass of wine. Friendly companions of similar age and fitness level are also important considerations



The path took us along the coast of Cornwall.


Language and learning are my passions! The first year of my retirement, I followed in the footsteps of an earlier retired friend and studied in Paris. Ever since 1919, Le Cours de la Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne has been offered. The course is offered to spread an appreciation of French language and culture throughout the non-French world. Courses are offered for 8 weeks or 4 months and are reasonably priced. I studied in Paris for 4 months and took a full program. Programs are offered at all levels of French and there is an oral placement test.


My dream came true!

Sometimes language learning and teaching can be combined. I have volunteered at The Oaxaca Learning Centre on a couple of occasions and have improved my Spanish as well as taught English.
No teaching experience is required to have intercambios (language exchanges) with students. Accommodation is very reasonable in Oaxaca and the state is renowned for its cuisine. When I visited, I attended some cooking classes at La Casa de los Sabores. Classes begin with a trip to the mercado and then the class members (usually 5 or 6 people) prepare a meal under the direction of local chef Pilar Cabrera. We finish with a typical Zapotec meal and a drink of mescal.



Oaxaca is a culinary destination.

Monsieur and I have taken a repositioning cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale. Repositioning cruises are great value! Once the Vancouver-Alaska season is finished in late September, the ships need to return for the fall/winter season in the Caribbean. We boarded the ship at Canada Place in Vancouver and sailed through the Panama Canal to the sunny Caribbean Islands. Prices are reasonable and only a one-way airline ticket is needed.


Monsieur was fascinated by the story of the Panama Canal.
What will I do this year? I am working on it. Next month, I will be travelling back to Oaxaca with Maman who loves Mexico. We will be staying in an ex-convent near the Zocalo (central square).
Oaxaca is a city of music and art and history so I know that Maman will love it as much as I do.
For the rest of the year, time will tell...I'm really a rolling stone!


1 comment:

  1. Whatever you decide to do, you'll do it with zest!

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