The perfect vacation for a single thirty-something?

I’ve been trying to figure out where to go on holiday for a while now. Yes, there’s that cooking trip around India in January I’ve got my eye on, but that’s AGES away, and I need a break ASAP. I want to go somewhere I’ve  not been before; somewhere a little exotic; not too far (i.e. 18 hour flights are not my cup of tea); and the kind of place where there will be plenty to occupy me (i.e. Zanzibar would be nice but I will get bored and quite possibly lonely sitting around the pool/on the beach (I don’t do sun anyway) for a week).

I spotted some great deals from Emirates in a travel newsletter I subscribe to and in a flash, inspiration hit me. So this week I will be booking a trip in early October to Istanbul, via Dubai. A good friend moved to Dubai earlier this year with her fiance who I haven’t met yet, so I am really looking forward to spending a few days with them and exploring the over-the-top weirdness that is the UAE.In an airconditioned environment, of course!

I’ve wanted to go to Istanbul for about 15 years and while I’ve been to the coastal regions of Turkey before, I’ve not been to the capital. I love the whole east-meets-west thing and the amazing history of the place. There are so many beautiful buildings (mosques, palaces, museums, etc.) to explore, and I’m looking forward to a day cruising the Bosphorous. I also can’t WAIT to hit the Grand Bazaar. I am a haggler of note and love the whole bargaining thing. It’s not about ripping off the stall holders, but engaging in friendly negotiations, all done with a smile and glass of apple tea. Stallholders will walk away from a sale – they never sell at a loss. I’ve had practice in Morocco, other parts of Turkey, Fiji and South-East Asia so I’m looking forward to practising my bargaining skills again in Istanbul.

Oh – and a few months ago I started a belly dance class (more on that in another post) so I shall be taking the opportunity of an Arabian adventure to stock up on jingly hip belts and maybe even attend a local class while I am away.

So… sights, beautiful buildings,  a touch of the exotic, jingles and shimmies, shopping and time with a good friend: doesn’t that sound like the perfect single thirty-something holiday to you? 🙂

I need a holiday – but where to go?

I used to live in London and one of the best things about being there is that it’s SO easy to travel to somewhere exotic. It doesn’t take long and it usually didn’t cost too much.

Since I moved to Cape Town, my globetrotting has been curtailed – it’s a hell of a long way to get ANYwhere and I’m earning in the local currency, which doesn’t go very far against the dollar, pound and Euro. (I’ve already travelled extensively through South Africa.)

I am well overdue a holiday (the New Year road trip does not count!) and, with itchy feet, am really keen to go somewhere exotic for two weeks.

My idea places to go to are:
– Zanzibar – seriously exotic! Stone Town, spices, beautiful beaches…
– Madagascar – I’d love to see the lemurs and the other quirky species that abound there
– Buenos Aires – I’ve never been to South America and quite fancy and Argentinian excursion
– Japan – top of my wish list! The scenery, architecture, customs, pop culture, gadgets, food…

Any suggestions?