It’s unseasonably cold and snowy outside my warm little house here in Regina, and I am in the full throes of spring fever. I’m restless and dreaming of upcoming trips. As I reflect on my 2012 travel plans … I am realizing it is all about destinations that start with the letter “P” this year!

My only certain destination is Penticton, BC in August. Dave is running a triathlon and I am happy to be joining him there to cheer him on. He brought me there two years ago and I feel in love with the area – fresh fruit, wineries and wine tasting, beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities, wonderful organic and fresh food everywhere and fabulous restaurants … what’s not to love?

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The rest of my travel plans are up in the air. I am landing on a couple of “P” destination decisions – Portugal in September or Peru in October?

I am traveling alone, so I enjoy taking formal small tours where I can be sure to see everything there is to see in an area, but can also wander on my own whenever the spirit for alone time hits (which is pretty often!). I also like tours because I tend to be a type “A” personality who wants to organize everything. On a tour, that completely goes away. I can just sit back, relax and take in everything that surrounds me with an open heart and clear mind. I become much more laid back.

So, that leads me to my options. Both Portugal and Peru are being offered by tour companies that provide options for all women tours. I narrow down travel options often based on where these tours are going during slower times at work for me. I enjoy these women-only tours much more than ending up on a tour with much older couples, who tend to feel sorry for me traveling on my own. I spend the entire tour trying to explain that I choose to travel this way! It’s tiresome. Most women on these women-only tours are older than me, but adventurous and also often on their own. It’s a nice mix.

The case for Peru: I have never been there. Several friends have gone in the past couple of years and raved about it – especially Machu Picchu. I have also never been to South America, and I am usually all about experiencing new locations. But something is holding me back on this, not sure what it is.

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The case for Portugal: I recently traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia with the woman leading the Portugal tour, so I know I really like her travel style and will love what she puts together. But, I have already been to Portugal – about seven years ago. I completely loved Lisbon, and only spent about two days in the country total. I remember how much I loved it (more than Spain) and am starting to think it would be great to go back and spend more time in Lisbon and experience more of the country. But, I would be breaking my usual rule of seeing a different part of the world when presented with the opportunity.

Main square in Lisbon, heading out to the sea in the distance

Main square in Lisbon, heading out to the sea in the distance

So, what to do? Peru or Portugal?  Which “P” destination will round out my 2013 travel plans?

 

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