Traveller's Tales - Decisions, Decisions

May 8, 2018 - 8:58am

You’ve decided to go on holidays. You’ve been thinking of flights and reminiscing about past adventures. The only problem is, you don’t know where to go. Do you visit a new country you’ve never seen before? Do you head back to your favourite resort in Mexico? Certainly, you could spin your finger on a globe and call the decision made, but if you have the same luck I did when I tried that, you’ll end up in the middle of the ocean. So then, how do you make that all-important decision?

I’m no stranger to the tough decision-making process of travel and the older I get, the harder the decision becomes. Restrictions and responsibilities put more pressure on the decision of where to go. And unfortunately for those of us who hate making decisions, it’s an unavoidable and rather important detail if you ever want to get away.  

Here’s the thing; I’m not the most easygoing person when it comes to deciding on a holiday. I need to have an idea in my mind of the things I want to see and the type of holiday I want to have. I’m not getting on a flight to Tokyo because a friend of mine said it was cool. I have a bucket list and it’s a long one. So, how do I decide which things to cross off first? How do I decide what kind of holiday I want to have?

I used to spend a lot of time researching different cities, countries and famous monuments, organizing trips to hit as many as I could. However, the limited cash flow kept me contained and made sure each holiday I did go on was carefully considered.

As you probably know from my past articles, I am getting married this year which means there will certainly be a honeymoon to follow. My fiancé and I had been discussing the various options of where to go. The conversation assumed a location of tropical beaches and lounge chairs. I assumed we’d stay at a nice resort – maybe Sandals – and spend the week relaxing. But then I realized something. Scott isn’t a world traveler. The few holidays he’s been on are all-inclusives in the islands. Heck, we met at an all-inclusive in Cuba. So, why not expand our horizons. Why not get a little adventure in our bones?

Making the decision where to travel and what sort of holiday you want to have comes down to a few key points. What is your budget, what is your desire, and which of those do you value most? Last year I was tossing up the idea of going to the Galapagos Islands. If you are familiar with my articles, you’ll know that I did end up making the journey down to South America and seeing the famous string of islands off the coast of Ecuador. But in deciding to go on this trip, I also decided my budget wasn’t nearly as important as my desire. 

The Galapagos Islands are changing. The serene beauty and unique species are being affected by time and populations, which is a reason this trip was bumped to the top of my list. I couldn’t risk missing it. The world of travel is constantly changing and there are many restrictions being put on the way we travel and where we travel. These restrictions have a way of making a bucket list much more urgent.

Venice is sinking, Madagascar is being logged and grazed, the rainforest is being cut down, invasive species are threatening Micronesia and Polynesia, Hydroelectric dams threaten the Andes, Antarctica is melting. I can go on, but I really don’t want to. This is an important list that could help you decide the kind of trip you want to take. There are conservation projects around the world that you can volunteer for to help save these wonders. You can work to educate people on the dangers that our careless and selfish behavior have on the world. You can labor in the Galapagos Islands and help get rid of invasive plant species. You can go down to the Amazon and help forest conservation. Head over to the Seychelles and educate people on ocean conservation. There are many places that need your help. So, maybe you make the decision to help preserve the world of travel, so our bucket lists don’t have to be so urgent.

Urgency is one way to decide on your holiday but it certainly isn’t the only one. Like I said, when my fiancé and I were planning our honeymoon it hit us that a beach vacation, although nice, wasn’t the sort of trip we were after. We wanted adventure, mixed with relaxation. It was then that I realized, how amazing would it be to return to Australia and show Scott the country I fell in love with? We added New Zealand to the trip as it will be a new destination for both of us. Just like that we had our trip decided.

To be honest, I’ve drawn up dozens of holidays that have yet to come to fruition. I have itineraries for Africa, Europe, Asia and South America that were planned holidays that never got booked. Expense, time, safety – they are all considerations I have when deciding on the ultimate holiday. But the itineraries stay saved on my computer, waiting for the day I pull them from the archives and make the decision to cross something else off my bucket list. Whether it be a long plane trip to experience exotic cultures or a road trip to a famous landscape, the most important decision isn’t where to go, but simply to go.  


Emily Wilson is still relatively new to the wonderful city of Medicine Hat, having moved here in May 2016. She was born and raised in Ontario and lived in Australia for a year and a half. Emily has visited 33 countries and will share some of her experiences and advice for globetrotters of all ages.