Help! We Can’t Decide!

We have discovered an amazing program, RoadScholar.org, a non-profit organization geared toward lifelong learning. After perusing their incredible website and looking at all the amazing trips they have to offer, we decided that we just HAVE to take one!

Unfortunately, we’ve hit a snag. We can’t decide on our own which trip to take. And, yes, there has been some “heated discussion.” After WEEKS of exploring the opportunities, we’ve narrowed our choices down to three trips. Please help us decide which one to take!

Where would you go? Which would you… CONTINUE READING >>

We have discovered an amazing program, RoadScholar.org, a non-profit organization geared toward lifelong learning. After perusing their incredible website and looking at all the amazing trips they have to offer, we decided that we just HAVE to take one!

There are several places in this great wide world of ours that we don’t want to go to without an expert by our side. Road Scholar is the perfect solution for us – they provide educational travel programs with like-minded folks wanting to learn as much as they can about the area they are visiting. You’ve gotta love it!

Unfortunately, we’ve hit a snag. We can’t decide on our own which trip to take. And, yes, there has been some “heated discussion.”

After WEEKS of exploring the opportunities, we’ve narrowed our choices down to three trips. Please help us decide which one to take!

Where would you go? Which would you most like to come along on? (At least cyber travel with us as we live-blog the trip.) WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

Without further ado, here are the trips:

Africa

AFRICA! (click here to see entire trip)

This trip is called “Tanzania and the Great East African Migration” and Veronica is beside herself with excitement about this possibility! She’s already looking for a better zoom lens for her camera!

We can’t even imagine what it must feel like to ride in jeeps following lions, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras…oh, my. Sleeping in tents while listening to mating calls at night…bliss.
There’s even a chance at seeing some babies being born!

South America

SOUTH AMERICA! (click here to see entire trip)

This trip, titled “The Galapagos and Peru: From Enchanted Islands to the Lost City of the Incas,” covers two items on both of our bucket lists – Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands!

Giant tortoises, sea lions and all of those crazy, wacky Galapagos animals! A specular train ride through the Andes to Machu Picchu… are you starting to see why we can’t decide on our own?

Alaska

ALASKA! (click here to see entire trip)

Rounding out our choices is “Alaska’s Inside Passage Up Close.” This trip would get Veronica to her 48th state (David hit state number 50 a few years ago and you know how competitive we are!).

This trip is entirely aboard the good ship Admiralty Dream though three National Parks – Glacier Bay, Klondike, and Sitka – humpback whales, bald eagles and bears galore!

Please help us out by voting below!

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

YOUR TURN: Please help us decide! Which trip would you like to see us report on? Where would YOU go? Do you have any stories you’d like to share with us about any of these areas? Vote by leaving a comment – even if it’s just “Africa” “South America” or “Alaska”!



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115 thoughts on “Help! We Can’t Decide!”

  1. I think definitely South America. There is so much to see there and everyone who has been have said it was their best holiday experience. I have recently booked my trip to go to South America as well, very excited! Good luck!

  2. Although we LOVE South America and have not been to Alaska… AFRICA for sure!!! It’s one of the only places we have been that would be worth going to again (considering a limited lifespan). Have fun wherever you go! Let me know… We just got back from Antarctica, pretty amazing place. Now we are in Santa Fe, NM – also an amazing place. I’m so glad you guys are traveling the planet!

  3. I would choose Machu Pichu first. It is an amazing place to visit. Going to that altitude is such an experience and seeing the community.

  4. I have been on many Road Scholar (Elderhostel) trips and you cannot miss. I would recommend the Africa trip – absolutely a trip of a lifetime. I took 2200 pictures!! Alaska was fabulous, but it is the United States and closer and available for a longer time (age wise). I have not done your South America choice, but I am doing another SA trip this year. Machu Pichu poses altitude problems for me (but it would still be third on this list). Good luck – I don’t think there is a loser. Aim for all three.

  5. One more opinion: Of those, we have experience only with Peru/Galapagos, but it’s a winner! Of our international Road Scholar trips, it was the most physically challenging–in and out of Zodiacs, climbing stone steps with no handrails (!)–but eye-popping discoveries every day. Snorkeling was amazing. The other two enticing trips seem less intense to me, so maybe take that into account. We noticed the altitude in Cusco but only in that we were huffing and puffing on stairs and had a headache, but we didn’t feel sick. I like your site, too.

  6. I went to Africa with Road Scholar and it was the most awesome trip I have ever been on. I would cry at night because I couldn’t believe I was there and I couldn’t believe what I saw that day. Next go to Alaska, it was the most awesome trip I have been on inside America. Haven’t been to the Galápagos but it is on my Bucket List. Wherever you go you will have the best time of your life.

  7. Tanzania: The snows of Kilimanjaro are melting due to climate change. The Serengeti is threatened by the possible construction of a highway. Of the three, Tanzania is the most likely to change beyone recognition and reparation the soonest, so go there first.

    (Full disclosure: I work for Road Scholar but am not involved in any of these three programs.)

  8. I would say visit the United States first. I’m going back for my second trip, this one being a Roads Scholar trip. I plan to see the Denali National Forest-trip 1012RJ. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa for a photo safari, so I will be venturing out there through Roads Scholars within a year or two. I say, take all three, but start with Alaska–it is too beautiful to miss.

  9. I would decide using the criteria of my health and age. The cruise would require almost no energy watching. The Galapagos, etc would require ability to be in small boat, endure seasickness. Africa would require compatibility of the animals. Go for all three and save the BEST for last! Bon Voyage!

  10. If I had the chance, it would be Africa without question. Can’t explain why, but something about that great continent resonates deep in my soul.

  11. I’ve been to two of the three (Africa & Peru). We’re saving Alaska for when we get tired (hopefully never 🙂 I say go to Tanzania first (we actually went to Kenya, Rwanda & Uganda – Africa is a vast place, and once you go you will want to return and return).

  12. GO ON ALL 3. My opinion of order in which to go #1 Africa-things are changing so quickly for the natural wildlife that touring may be like taking a Disney ride in near future 🙁
    #2 South America – re: altitude sickness-Mom-in-law went to do volunteer work in her mid-60’s-had serious problems though passed grueling physical to be accepted in program. #3 Alaska – wonderful to cruise and learn! Would save for last, though.

  13. Africa first, but I would agree with other comments: take all three. I was born in Zambia, not so far from Tanzania, and there’s nothing like the African experience. You can see African animals in safari parks but it doesn’t give you the same thrill as finding them in the wild.

  14. I would love to read about your adventures to Africa or Alaska. Sadly I don’t have any tips, though, as we’ve never been to either place. I’m sure whatever you plan will be fab! 🙂

  15. Why the question..? . Sounds to me like you can eventually take all three..and more.. according to your lifestyle..!! I’m thinkimg of trying to figure out how to make all this happen for myself..

    1. Gil, we sure hope so! This is kind of a special trip for us…not our usual “low to the ground” trip. The Boy (our youngest) is graduating college in April (yay!) and we want to do a big huge celebratory “REAL empty nest” trip. Feedback from our friends is VERY important to us – as always! 🙂

  16. If you’re in good physical shape, which it appears you are, I would wait on the Alaska trip. My husband and I have been to both Africa (Kenya) and South America (Peru only – not the Galapagos) with Road Scholar and they were both awesome trips. Suzanne’s comments about altitude sickness are right on the money – I had a tough time in Cuzco myself. Tough choice but I would probably go with Africa – the animals are amazing and do take the best camera you can afford.

    1. Good stuff -thanks! For the South American altitude issue, is oxygen readily available? Does Road Scholar have it on hand or would we have to deal with that ourselves? I’d hate to miss out on anything because I’m passed out (or worse!) as I’m prone to do. 😉 -Veronica

      1. You can speak to your doctor about taking diamox for altitude issues. The good thing about mild altitude sickness is that you don’t get brain swelling, but you lose your appetite—assuming the guinea pig entree was calling your name in the first place. Our trip to Peru was the only vacation on which I actually lost weight. We were given coca tea for soroche (altitude sickness). I don’t know whether it helped. Maybe we would have felt more sick without it. In any case, it will get worse as you age, so I would put Peru at the top of the list and save the less strenuous, low altitude trips for another time. It was one of our best trips ever—-and not just because we were on our honeymoon. 😉

        1. See a doctor or travel medicine clinic to get the medication for altitude sickness. I delayed taking it and was very sorry. Won’t do that again.

      2. Oxygen is available in almost every hotel in Peru. Doctors can give you meds to take with you that help with altitude sickness. Worth all the hassle…and btw, Machu Piccu is only as high as Santa Fe, NM. One of the world’s wonders. Fabulous. This is my vote…not to be missed in one’s life.

  17. Hi Guys,
    Because I know you both so well, I vote for the place you would least likely go on your own!(not a place you would ever tour.) Choose the most expensive & difficult trip to make! I suspect you will make the other trips too at some point! My son has been to Africa in the summer(Kenya & Tanzania)& can share his experiences if you’re interested. He loved it! He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro too! So you see now I have read all the comments posted here at 5:00am & I’m headed to work in an hour, & I haven’t been to any of these places. Such is my boring life! Enjoy yours! LOL

  18. Have done all. All are wonderful. Peru & Galapagos were the most physically difficult, if that is any consideration for either of you — walking/climbing in high altitudes and getting from zodiacs onto the islands, especially. Africa was not as strenuous. Alaska cruise was easiest. My personal favorite — Africa. But also, Machu Picchu should not be missed. Just start with one & plan to do them all, would be my advice.

  19. We haven’t done the S. America trip but intend to. We loved Alaska but would go back to Africa again in a minute. We visited S. Africa and loved the trip, going from the warm north to the cool south. Great trip seeing lots of animals. Enjoy whatever you do.

  20. Africa. But, this is a very personal matter and really depends on what kind of people you are and what turns you on in terms of landscape, people and climate. All 3 are different.
    I have done the Africa trip and so I feel strongly about it. It should be pretty easy to rule Alaska either IN or OUT, depending on your feelings about climate, boating, and snow/ice type scenery. If you don’t pick it, then it comes down to 2. I feel that there is no experience quite like Africa… It is just that different than the rest of the planet in my opinion… Good Luck, and would it be possible for you to email me with your thoughts on this: I am 61, male and out of work. I have no pension and an IRA that will last me about 4 years if that is all I live on and I live modestly. I love adventure and want to get a small camper and travel the USA. I would plan on working some as I move about to help with expenses. I also start getting Social Security this summer (not much as you know, but a help). Would you tell me to go for it? Can you give me some advice? Thanks!!! Rod

  21. We’ve been lucky enough to do two of these three trips. All are amazing, each in their own way. But considering the physical demands of the trips, we agree with Chris S. The South America trip is physically demanding…and you won’t want to miss a single hike or swim. Africa is demanding too, but Chris is right…riding around in a safari vehicle isn’t quite as taxing.

  22. Africa-migration season is waitlisted for this year; otherwise would be first choice due to variety. But wouldn’t go during the “dry season” -less variety, and for a “once in a lifetime” experience, would want to reserve for migration time in 2013.

    Otherwise, S America would be great. Have been on a S America and Antarctic cruise, but missed galapagos – -still on our bucket list too. That would be the one for me!!!

  23. We’ve been to all three with Road Scholar, and ALL were amazing. Plan on each of them!! I would suggest that, if stamina/agility may become future issues, you should do the Galapagos/Machu Picchu program first, because it is the most physically challenging, and should not be missed!

  24. The SA trip, for sure! It has long been on our bucket list, but we have waited too long — one has breathing problems and the other can no longer walk well enough. Do it while you can!

  25. you look young and healthy. you have a long time left for cruises and riding in safari vehicles. i’d go for the galapagos and machu pichu, which i did last year (with another company,however), and between the altitude in cusco (and i already live a mile high), tromping around machu picchu, and swimming and hiking the islands a couple time everyday in the galapagos, it’s helpful to be pretty fit and energetic. and both are amazing!

  26. I love all three trips but think you should take the Alaska trip to get closer to all 50 states. I hear the inside passage is not to be missed. Suggest summer though.

  27. Africa. It will probably change the fastest. We’ve done at least a half dozen Road Scholar trips and have never been disapointed in any of them!

  28. Alaska – I’m competitive. Hubs and I have 49 states each. If I do Alaska, I’ll win! Plus then you can review it and tell me if I want to go (ok, self-serving motives). Whatever you do, have fun!!!

  29. We did a trip to Peru for our honeymoon 30 years ago. Cuzco and Machu Picchu were beautiful and fascinating. (If you don’t do well at high altitude, you will find Cuzco uncomfortable at 11,000 feet. Machu Picchu at 8,000 is fine after Cuzco). Our trip also included a few days in the Peruvian Amazon region, but the Galapagos would certainly be a fair trade for that. Whichever you pick, I look forward to reading about your journey.

  30. I vote Africa, too. The only place of the three that I have been. Was in Kenya when I was about 10 — on a round the world trip that I didn’t properly appreciate at the time. The wonderful camera safari that we took is still a cherished memory.

  31. We’ve taken 4 Road Scholar programs with another planned this summer. They are fantastic! No worries. Good food. Interesting company. Learn lots! We’ve also done the Inside passage on our own and plan to go again this summer. That being said, it’s hard to beat the uniqueness of Africa. Do one this year and save your pennies for the others!

      1. We’ve taken two on the Oregon coast, our favorite place to be and one on art glass in Seattle. Behind the scene at Disney World was amazing! This summer we plan to take one on the victorian homes Cape May, NJ. Our trip to Alaska will be on the Alaska marine highway ferry from Bellingham, WA through the Inside Passage and on to the Kenai Penninsula. Happy traveling!

          1. Traveling was our goal upon retirement and we have really enjoyed our last four years. Still have our home, plus motorhome and a small camping spot in central WA. Enjoying life after our “kid years” are done. I figure it is god’s gift for getting them raised! lol

  32. I’m already tired of cold and miss playing outside more with the grandkids – so I vote for Africa – think of the fun pix you could get! 🙂

  33. Stay in the U.S.A.! Visit Alaska! I here it is as beautiful and breathtaking as anyone can imagine and more!! Thank You!!

  34. go to the place that is physically the hardest terrain and flight as you arent getting any younger..Africa hands down…before the continent isnt safe for american travelers which is coming up quickly

  35. WE spent 4 months on the roads of Alaska in our coach mid May through Sept 2008…AMAZING…followed the Milepost every step of the way. Watched a large female moose GIVE BIRTH in the middle of the road, and then lead her tiny bright red furry calf into the tree line….. Took numerous overnight and day cruises at every port we stopped at…and we stopped everywhere…saw whales bubble feeding..saw Beluga, Humpback, and Killer whales, we thought we were part of a National Geographic program. Saw MT McKinley (uncovered), flew around it, landed on it, walked on glaciers..soaked in hot springs while wild moose grazed beside us..Saw more varieties of grizzly than we knew existed…fished AND ate salmon til we were sick..so much more than we have room to write about..we say go to Alaska….but not on a cruise, in your coach.

  36. I would go for Africa or South America. The Galapagos was the one place we didn’t get to in our year in South America and we really regret it – everyone raves about it. We have a free ebook being launched later today called South America Highlights that might sway you in that direction!

  37. I haven’t been to Africa, but I have been to the other two. Alaska is beautiful, but South America has an AMAZING range of landscapes and cultures and wildlife. Just between the Galapagos and Machu Picchu you’d be covering a lot of really amazing history and ecology (and then you’d already be in South America, so you could keep on traveling!).

  38. As an Alaskan, I would vote against the Inside Passage trip, only because it sounds like you’d be on the cruise ship the whole time. I think you should come to AK sometime, but you should travel independently! (You can always do a day cruise to see glaciers and whales). Between the other two . . . tough call. Tanzania would probably be amazing, but Machu Pichu AND the Galapagos?? That’s huge.

    1. I agree with Matt. Having travelled professionally in Alaska for almost 17 years I’d also say it would be a pity to miss all the beautiful hinterland of Alaska, although the coast ist breathtaking as well. I don’t know South America, but I know the African wildlife and that is simply GREAT to watch. Go for Africa.

      1. I agree with Monika & Matt about Alaska; you should extend the inside passage cruise to something on dry land as well. You’ll be surprised at what you find in this underappreciated frontier. And as a bonus, you’ll always have some delicious, fresh seafood readily available. I say take a trailer and do a long road trip. My vote definitely goes to Alaska.

  39. Yipes! Do you really have to choose? Can you take all of them at different times? Each one sounds fabulous. I guess if I had to choose, I would go to Africa. No, on second thought, I’d go to the Galapagos. I have always wanted to go there ever since I had to read Beak Of The Finch by Jonathan Weiner. But, then again, nothing beats whales and bears. So sorry! I think you should go to all three places and start with Africa.

  40. We’ve been on an Alaskan cruise and I grew up in Peru so my vote is for Africa. Never been there, but our travel agent said it was the most memorable trip she’s ever been on and longs to return. Good luck. I’m a new reader and will be eager to see where you guys end up!

  41. Of the 3, I have only been to Tanzania. But I fell deeply and utterly in love. Have been back to the African continent a few times and each time it’s magic. Cannot say enough good about it. The travel can be rough, but the energy, the sights and sounds, and the amazing people I met were just… beyond words. AFRICA, DEFINITELY!

  42. We would pick South America and the Galapagos. To us, it seems like the most amazing place in the world.
    Good luck with your decision

  43. Africa ~ and visit the OPEN ARMS orphanage and do some community service on your travels. A great cause to get involved with.

  44. Alaska is my #1 choice for you two.
    It is clearly the most luxurious of the trips, making it almost another honeymoon!
    :~)<3(-:
    In full disclosure, I didn't even read the other two before deciding on Alaska. I guess I understand how exciting the Safari might seem, though… maybe.
    …and I'm fascinated to learn more about South America, but c'mon!
    Keep your 50 state goal in your crosshairs as you explore the most adventurous, enormous and ruggedly beautiful of the contiguous states!
    (From aboard a comfortable cruise cabin you say? Yes, please!)
    You may recall that Alaska is the home state of my beautiful wife, Valerie. I haven't had the opportunity to visit yet, and Val hasn't seen the state since she was a baby on Kodiak Island, so please allow us to see it through your eyes, or you could take us with you!
    In closing, a vote for Alaska is a Vote for America.
    Vote for Alaska 2012!

    @DevinHennessy

  45. I’m sure you know I’d pick Alaska because that’s where we were married and we love cruising. Our favorite cruise being Alaska:-)

  46. I would choose the Africa trip. I have been to Tanzania, Zambia, So. Africa and a few other African countries, but I am fascinated with wild animals and would love to go again. Peru is second because I have been there (Cusco & Machu Picchu) twice. Not interested in Alaska or any other cold place.

  47. I agree! Africa would be my pick!!! I have never been to any of them and will never have the chance to go there, so please….. pick Africa and let us all enjoy the trip with you! I’ll get to Alaska someday!

  48. I’ve not been to any of these adventurous places, but I know people who have been to each of them and all three got rave reviews and resulted in some beautiful photos. Personally, South America would be my choice. There is something mystical and alluring about Machu Picchu.

  49. I have been to Africa and did the east African Safari. It is my favourite trip by far. I felt as though I was in Jurassic park with Animals not dinosaurs. They were so close to us. It was their spring and saw lots of babies no births, adorable. We saw the big 5. It was the tale end of the migration, amazing. Our trip started from Nairobi. Then went onto Zanzibar and had 5 wonderful days there.
    I have also been to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip but it is close to home so can be done any time. If you want to do Alaska properly, do the inside passage but also go into the interrior.
    Your trip to Machu Piccu and Galapagos are also on my list.
    This time I would either choose between Africa or South America.
    Both trips are about animals and civilization.
    Toss a coin if you can’t decide. I doubt you will be disappointed either way.

  50. South America, as I’ve never been there and would love to go to the Galapagos (and drink wine in Chile and do the “foodie” thing w/my chef hubs…) We have both been to Alaska (hubs lived there while in US Army & me as a US Coast Guard Artist), loved it and are planning to return to hunt and fish ASAP; it’s a totally AMAZING place! One of THE “great good places”, not only because of its spectacular beauty, but because the people are so great…

  51. Can I vote that you do all three? Ah come on, y’all ARE adventurers! If I have to vote for one, I’d vote South America.

  52. I’ve been to Machu Picchu, as well as many other sites in SA, and loved it. It’s a magical place. Was booked for the Galápagos Islands but didn’t make it because of weather. I’m sure the Alaska cruise is wonderful, but I tend toward warm weather trips. Machu Picchu is not to be missed, but I’d like to have you report on Africa.

  53. also thanks for the tip on a great site. Have been searching it and what great trips. If you haven’t been to southern Utah Zion Nat. Park, it’s a must see. but if you drove to Vegas, you must have made that one of your stops.

  54. Good luck, We have only been to Alaska. It is wonderful. loved every minute. Yet, really want to go to South America. We will be taking a trip to Africa in the about 18 months. So I haven’t been much help, but sure can attest to Alaska. Can’t wait to hear what you choose.

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