Q of the Week : What's your dream vacation?

I got to take a one-night cruise this weekend, something I’d never had the chance to do before!  I had a great time, and was very glad I went, but it confirmed my suspicion that cruising isn’t my dream vacation.  Perhaps I’d have a different impression if it had been a night in the tropics?  Hmm, I don’t think so.  I have pretty definite ideas about dream vacations, and have gotten to take several in the past that are still some of my best memories.  Aside from my little getaway, I think I’m asking the question this week because it’s January, and it’s a doldrum-ish time of year that needs a little dreaming!

So what’s your dream vacation?  Mine involves a different culture than my own, lots of interaction with locals, places off the beaten path, a cheap and colorful marketplace somewhere, and a few days in the middle of the trip somewhere that involve doing nothing but relaxing and staying in the same place.  I’m notorious for cramming things in to a trip, as there never seem to be anywhere near enough of them to hit all the places and people I want to see.  I need to be reminded to sit and do nothing. 

Does my dream vacation involve having my kids along?  That’s hard to be honest about.  While I wrote the above paragraph, I was thinking mostly of a trip to Thailand when I was still single.  That still appeals to me strongly … the idea of wandering off with a girlfriend for a couple weeks of responsibility-free time.  However, I don’t think that describes my dream vacation anymore. 

Douglas playing in Quito, Ecuador, on the trip he doesn’t remember anymore :(I really really want my kids to have some travel like I had as a child.  Trips that plunge you into a part of the real world as strange as the cartoons you watch, and give you a perspective on people and life that I don’t know how to get any other way.  True culture shock.  (I wrote about one trip here, for IF Magazine).  For me, travel is a way to experience the world, and not so much a way to relax.  I have trouble counting it a vacation if I don’t leave the country!  Our last trip like that was 5 years ago, when Douglas wasn’t quite two.  Alas he doesn’t remember it. 

So what’s your dream vacation?  Resorts and beaches?  Cruising?  Backpacking or camping?  Road trips?  Love to hear about it …