After my retrospective on vagabonding for the cold season, we’re in Michigan for the summer. And, because we’re done traveling, I guess I have two options:
- Write about our house in Michigan as if it were a slow travel destination (which I might actually do at some point, because this is totally a place I’d slow travel)
- Go back to answering questions people ask me about slow travel.
I’m going with (2) for now. Let’s start with a fun one.
What Destinations Are on Your Wishlist?
There’s nothing quite like pining for the future, eh?
Historically, Amanda and I have limited our expeditions to roaming all over the US (with the exception of occasional forays into Mexico and Canada). Mostly, this is because we’re traveling with two cats. Throwing them in the Jeep is a lot easier than maneuvering them through customs and quarantines.
That said, we might bite the bullet next winter or in subsequent winters. We might, in fact, do all of the micro-chipping, certification and whatever else required to fly them to international destinations for six months or whatever.
So, with nothing off of the table due to logistics, here are some of the options that have interested me the most. (And I’m speaking only for myself here — not Amanda). Also please note that the pros and cons are based on my limited understanding and preconceived notions, and not all that much actual research.
First up, I’d love to go spend some time in Thailand. I’ve done quite a bit of international traveling over the years, but Southeast Asia is an area of the world I have yet to explore.
As I understand it, not only is this a warm, scenic, culturally vibrant place, but there’s also a large expat/digital nomad community there, making it a relatively gentle landing spot for a first overseas slow travel situation.
Pros: The slow travel community, easy visa situation, the digital nomad community, low cost of living, a chance to really range out in a new part of the world for me, the food (I can only assume).
Cons: I don’t deal well with sweltering weather, apparently reserving the right to euthanize pets in customs if we don’t get everything right with their paperwork.
Costa Rica is a destination I’ve long pined for. I think from the first time I became interested in slow travel, that was a place that I wanted to head.
It seems to be just the right mix of interesting culture, cosmopolitan living, mountains, sea, scenery, and temperate places to make me extremely happy. Unlike Thailand, I do have some sense of the area, having once spent a week or ten days or something in Panama, which I loved.
Pros: Climate, variety in a relatively small space, idyllic beaches, mountains, cool wildlife.
Cons: I’m not sure what we’d do about a car (and we’d want one, because we’d want to spend part of our time on the beach).
Puerto Rico is another place I’ve never been and would love to check out. I’ve been to a fair number of countries in the Caribbean, but always for a vacation week or on a cruise stop. I’d love to spend a season or two, because slow travel is a lot different than normal travel.
Just as I learned what it was like to live in the Keys, I’d like to learn that about a Caribbean island. Plus, Puerto Rico has some amazing tax incentives to entice business owners to establish residency (as in, you pay like 3% income tax total or something), so that’s probably worth scoping out.
Pros: Idyllic beaches, ease of access as a US citizen, I can only assume food is great.
Cons: Rumors of spotty internet, not sure what things are like since the hurricane.
Last up, Hawaii. This has a few things going for it in my book. First of all, it’s far, far away, but still the US, so this makes basic logistics like the mail easier. Secondly, I’ve been to 49 of 50 US states, and Hawaii would appease the set collector in me.
But, beyond those purely superficial concerns, it would be a slice of Pacific Island living, which I’d enjoy. The scenery/landscape is also fascinating, with volcanoes and impressive land and sea scapes and whatnot.
Pros: Climate, outdoor activities, access to US logistics stuff, living for a while in a place everyone goes for their honeymoon.
Cons: High cost of living, surprising difficulty bringing the cats, a timezone that would put us out of sync with everyone we work with.
Wherever life takes me, “resort casual” is as nice as I ever want to dress.
- I talked about this on the latest recording of the Freelancers Show, but if you ever have to send money overseas or receive it from overseas, check out Xoom or Transferwise to avoid high fees.
- I just installed Visual Studio 2019. (I’d been dragging my feet because of them relegating all of the plugins to a single menu.) I must say, I find its splash screen beautiful.