Just another WordPress.com site

In the Planning Stages

Just like “Real Life”, planning a virtual trip requires doing research.  For me, anyway.  Unless you go to the travel agency and say  “I want to go somewhere, tell me where”, and leave everything up to them, you do research.  

You look at the tours.  You look at airfare and accommodations.  And how to get from the airport to the hotel.  “Transfers” can be a big deal, a big problem, a big expense.  So you do research.  And what you want to do at your destination and, if you’re not with a tour group, how to get there.  

This weekend, I’m surrounding myself with travel books.  One book has a suggested itinerary that focuses on Castles and Whisky.  Chris and I are going “oooh!’  because it is mostly castles and we love castles.  

Then we read about Glasgow and Clydebuilt and the Tall Ship, and we’re going “oooh!” again.

Some photos of highland scenery, and we’re going “oooh!”  again.  Reading about the islands — the Orkneys, the Shetlands, the islands in the Firth and the Islands in the Clyde, and again, “oooh!”  Ancient remains, lots of history, beautiful scenery.  Oooh!

And realizing that we can’t do the borders and the highlands, the castles and the islands, the ancient history, the medieval history, the modern history.  We have to focus.  Just like in Real Life.  

If we’re going to do justice to the trip, we have to set limits. 

So, we’re working on the itinerary.   And, just like Real Life, it isn’t getting any easier to narrow things down.  Just like in Real Life, though, the planning stages are exciting.  

What you can do:  start reading  up on Scotland and let me know what you’d like to do.  If there is information on the web that would contribute to our trip, pass it along in the comments.  

Blog Note:  this is my first blog, and I’m still learning how to do things.  I plan to add a resource page,  an About page, links to relevant web sites, and so on.  

Advertisements

Where do you want to go?

I said I’d post the itinerary in mid-April. Until then, I’m taking suggestions.  Where in Scotland would you like to visit?

Edinburgh is a given.  But where in Edinburgh?   There’s a lot of stuff in Edinburgh besides the Castle and Holyroodhouse.  

My sister Chris has mentioned Mary King’s Close.  

There is a lovely botanical garden and nice parks but in late April or early May, it may be too cold to enjoy the outdoors.  

I’ll post links to relevant websites when the itinerary is set.

I’ll post an itinerary in mid-April, with some links and ideas for activities.  

Then you do your bit:  do some reading and research, just as you would if you were taking a real trip.

Each day of the trip, I’ll post something about where we went that day and what happened.  

Then you do your bit:  post your contributions to the ongoing story.  Write about the kinds of things you’d experience.   Doing research really helps with this.    (Like on our cruise, Chris and I were surprised by the elaborate marionettes  for sale on one of the Greek islands.  We never expected something like that, the guidebooks didn’t mention puppets, but there they were in the photos!  So we had to find out if there was a reason why, and make up a story about them.)

You don’t have to follow the itinerary exactly. 

If I plan a day trip somewhere, you don’t have to go.  You can stay in Edinburg and shop!  

Once I’ve posted about a particular day, you can go to that post anytime and add to the story.  I’ll be posting in April but if you want to add something in September, you can.  If you come in on Day 3 of the trip, you can go back to Day 1.  

Interact with each other.

On a real trip, you meet people.  If it’s a group thing, you interact with the other tour members.  Chris turns her ankle and Darlene gives her an ace bandage.  I develop a cough and someone tells me an old family recipe to treat it.  We change our money and George tells us about what it was like before they decimalized the currency.  

So write posts like that.  


Hello world!

Hello World!  Great big wonderful world full of exciting and interesting things!  Places to go!  Things to see!

And thanks to the internet, we can see a lot of it even if we can’t go home. 

Armchair travel has always been possible.  You read about other people’s travels, you listen to their stories,  you read about the places you want to go to, you get books with pictures, you use your imagination.  

But the internet adds a dimension.  Because you can get more information, more stories, more pictures.  

HOW MY VIRTUAL TRAVEL CAME ABOUT

In 2008, my sister Chris and I really needed a vacation.  We saw an ad for a cruise in the eastern Mediterranean and said how cool it would be if we could take that cruise.  It went to the Greek Islands, with stops in Egypt, Israel, and Turkey.  There were excursions from Port Said to Cairo, and from  Ashdod to Jerusalem!  

But we couldn’t get away.  

Oh, if only!

Well, let’s do an imaginary trip.  

We copied down the itinerary.  We started reading travel books.  “We could eat at this restaurant and go to this historic site.”  

Then we looked on the internet and found tons of information!  And pictures!  

We “went” to Knossos — it’s so much more real if you have pictures!  Some of the pictures were from photo-sharing websites, pictures from real people’s vacations, so they weren’t always professional quality photos, some of them looked like the ones that I take with my inexpensive little digital camera. 

And since there were people in those photos, we made up stories about them.  

Some photos from ruins on one of the islands had a dark-haired teenage boy in them.  The captions were in Spanish, so our story was that he hung around with us because he wanted to practice his English.  I speak Spanish (I really do!) so it was kind  of fun to use both languages, and I added to my vocabulary.  

We had a picture of a guy about my son’s age who was probably way too cool to hang around with us in reality but, see, he was a friend of Chris’ son.  When he was studying engineering — he was Greek, but he studied in the U.S. — he lived off campus in the same building as her son and they became friends.  So, on the first day, they kept looking at each other like “I know you” and finally figured out why.  

That was so much fun!  And then I printed out some the pictures for a photo album/scrapbook and wrote captions like I would if it were from a real trip.  “That’s Bob lying in that rock-cut tomb.  He said he was dead tired.  We all groaned.”  A picture of the pyramids has a very tiny figure of a woman with brown hair and wearing red pants, and since I have both brown hair and red pants, I drew an arrow to her and wrote, “This is me!”

REALITY-BASED FANTASY

Brown hair, red pants.  In reality, I wear red pants.  In reality, when I travel, I don’t buy lots of souvenirs, I come back with pictures and stories. 

We kept it based in our reality.  Chris is divorced so we made up a shipboard romance for her (and created a pretty detailed backstory for the guy).  I’m married so there was no shipboard romance for me.  Instead, I was obsessed about finding internet connections so I could email my husband.  Because I’m really like that.  

Most of the people who have seen the album think it is from a real trip.  (The funny thing is that I wrote under the photos the web address of where I got them!)

Tag Cloud