Five days ago I realized it was time to either plan a spring trip or not do one. Things were looking grim until I found a direct flight to a city I’d love for a layover on the way home. Not much got done in the last 5 days except a rough route plan, deciding when to go based on climate norms and buying tickets.
The yet as unnamed trip will be Bangkok – Amsterdam – Madrid – Granada by plane, then wandering Spain until it’s time to fly to Stuttgart, Germany. I’ll stay in Stuttgart until the pull of Amsterdam wins.
Why Spain? Last year was an appetizer. This time will be a multi course meal of highlights in Andalusia province and on the central plateau centered on Madrid, interspersed with short bus hops stopping somewhere simply because there are places to sleep, goodies to eat and people to practice speaking Spanish with.
Why Granada? The Alhambra.
Why Stuttgart? Both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have world-class museums. I can also reach Amsterdam in half a day by bus or train, which appeals more than picking a date to fly months beforehand.
Why Amsterdam? The old center is storybook beautiful. It has more canals than Venice, more Rembrandts than anywhere else. One+ parks will be a dazzle of flowers, though outside the city, millions of farmed tulips will be headless stalks before I arrive.
Why 6 weeks? My health insurance covers emergencies and hospitalization for less than 7 weeks outside of SE Asia. It also lowers the average cost of day by spreading the airfare cost.
Decades ago I first read the quote ‘A luxury once sampled becomes a necessity.’ Not so much for me. When I did splurge it balanced the pervasive living beneath my means.
For me, the worst routine part of travel is enjoyment lessened or prevented by fatigue. Last September’s flying business class experiment reduced fatigue and jet lag way beyond what I thought possible. I could claim taking business class on the Bangkok – Amsterdam legs of this trip will be to retest my findings. Nope. Oh, it will, but the real reasons are I can afford it, and a luxury once sampled is in danger of becoming a necessity – at least for my looong flights.