We’ve Made a Major Decision – Thanks for Your Help!

A couple of weeks ago, we asked for your help – and, boy, did we get it! We are truly overwhelmed by the response we received! Thank you so much!

We had a bit of a joyous dilemma: Where would we go on our “real empty nest” trip? You see, The Boy graduates college this Spring and we want to celebrate by going somewhere really special – no more tuition payments! We found a program, RoadScholar.org, that fit our ideals perfectly – but after narrowing our dream trips down to three, we couldn’t land on just one. Yes, there was “heated discussion” involved.

With a little help from our friends (okay, a LOT of help), we’ve made our decision! Of course, it was agonizing. We really need to win the lottery so we can go on all three of these amazing trips. They are all fantastic.

Here’s a bit of our process and some of the tips and votes we received:


AFRICA! (click here to see entire trip)

This trip is called “Tanzania and the Great East African Migration.”

To be honest, Veronica was rooting for this trip all along.
So exotic, so wondrous. And here are some of the comments that made her want to go even more:

Carole: 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).

Rita: 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 Galapagos but it is on my Bucket List. Wherever you go you will have the best time of your life.

simon: South America is beautiful but I would choose… AFRICA! There’s something unique that goes beyond words

Natasha: You mean which trip to take first?! It’s pretty hard to beat the buzz of seeing wild African animals in African scenery…

Katrina: 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!

Rhonda: 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.

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!

This is the trip that started all of the trouble. Every mode of transportation, including a week long small ship cruise through the Galapagos and a specular train ride through the Andes is represented. David went NUTS over this trip and Veronica began a terrible toggle between South America and Africa.

Here are some of the comments we received in favor South America:

Iris: Personally, South America would be my choice. There is something mystical and alluring about Machu Picchu.

Pat and Sandi: We would pick South America and the Galapagos. To us, it seems like the most amazing place in the world.

Chris S: 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!

TravelingWoman: 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.

Mary Ann: 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!


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!).

Good grief – another once in a lifetime trip? We have heard amazing things about Alaska and cruising there in particular – and Veronica REALLY wants to get to Alaska, so she’s one step closer to shutting David up about “winning” the states race. Oh, and whales!

Here are some of the Pro-Alaska votes:

Michelle: 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…..

Devin: Alaska is my #1 choice for you two.
It is clearly the most luxurious of the trips, making it almost another honeymoon!

Kay: 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!!!

Arlene: I would choose Alaska. So beautiful and besides you need to finish the U.S. first. Look forward to what you decide.

John: I would go for Alaska. Possibility of seeing the northern lights and the whales, yep, that would be me :-)

And the trip we’re taking is…SOUTH AMERICA! Since there wasn’t a clear favorite among our our friends’ recommendations, obviously all three trips are just as wonderful as we initially thought! We were swayed by several people pointing out the physical aspects of this choice. It’s a really active trip and we want to get the most out of it, so the younger we are the better. The thought of climbing around ruins at 11,000 feet above sea level got our attention. David, having been raised in the Rockies has the lung capacity of a Sasquatch, but Veronica is a sea level gal. She’s going to need every bit of her relative youth for a trip like this!

We can hardly wait to share this extraordinary expedition with you… stay tuned!

We’d also like to thank Road Scholar! We asked them to put out some feelers for us… to get some scoopage from folks that have taken some of these trips – and they were wonderful enough to send out some Facebook and Twitter posts. We’re smelling the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Here’s to us winning the lottery – we’ve GOT to do Africa and Alaska – and soon!

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

YOUR TURN: Did we pick the right trip? No, on second thought – don’t make us second guess ourselves!

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12 thoughts on “We’ve Made a Major Decision – Thanks for Your Help!”

  1. You should thoroughly enjoy yourself. My parents went on several of their trips and enjoyed them all. They even took my daughter along on an inter-generational trip called The Ecosystem of Denali National Park and she learned so much and had so much fun. I love the company!

  2. Oh, how I wish we could join you and re-experience the wonderful adventure we had. But the bucket list is too long, so it’s on to Costa Rica for us. Can’t wait to see your blog!!

  3. I am sure that the trip will be amazing! I’ve never been to any of the choices that you had, but there is something about the ruins…

    Africa would be amazing too. I’m sure making a final choice was difficult! Have a great time…please post pictures after the trip. I can’t wait to see them. 🙂

  4. Everyone I know who has been on any of the three trips, raves and raves about how special they were. You really just could not go wrong. I hope your trip is everything you want and more, and congrats to your upcoming graduate!

  5. Sounds like you put a lot of thought into the decision, and making the South America trip while still young (especially if you’re hiking the Inca Trail) is a good idea. Have fun, and I can’t wait to read the reports!

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