Where in the World To Travel - Part 1

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Where do you go when “anywhere in the world” is an option? This is the dilemma we're facing while planning our adventure. File this one under First World Problems. Paradox of Choice

If you haven't seen psychologist Barry Schwartz's TED talk on the paradox of choice, it's definitely worth 20 minutes of your time. I'll put a link to it below. His thesis is that in modern affluent societies, we are faced with an abundance of choice. And while more choice necessarily equals more freedom, it doesn't equal more happiness. The availability of more options requires what you choose to be more perfect if you are going to be satisfied with your choice. Otherwise you'll constantly be wondering if things would have been better had you made a different choice.

Eventually Schwartz arrives at a somewhat depressing conclusion:

"The secret to happiness is......low expectations."

Admittedly, we have very high expectations for this adventure. We don't plan on lowering them in the hopes of being more satisfied. We'll take a different approach, one of appreciating each place we visit for what it has to offer.

But that isn't to say we're immune to the paradox of choice. Choosing one place over another will inevitably lead us to it. Our only consolation is in the hope that we're able to do this long enough to hit a good number of places on our combined bucket lists.

Regions of the World

Our decision-making process started with Central America. It's relatively close, inexpensive, and a place we're interested in culturally. Eight years ago we went to Guatemala for a friend's wedding and absolutely loved it. Ever since we've wanted to go to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, and Panama.

Then we thought about South America. Four years ago we went to Argentina and Brazil. Argentina will always have a soft spot in our hearts as the place we got engaged. We loved Buenos Aires and look forward to going back. But we'd also love to visit Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.

We then thought of Southeast Asia. A friend just went to Southeast Asia for 2 months and raved about it. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Singapore are all places we'd love to see.

And what about Australia and New Zealand? What about China and Japan? India?

Europe

Then we landed on Europe. We were just in Europe 2 years ago for a very quick 2 week trip through Italy, Switzerland, and France. It was arguably this trip that was the impetus for 30 Day Locals. We felt so rushed going from place to place, making sure we saw all the sights. We didn't really get to enjoy any one place without having to pick up and rush to the next. Looking back on that trip, we wish we would have been able to stay in each place for longer.

We're giving ourselves that opportunity now. So, we've decided on Europe. Now what?

Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out exactly where we'll be going first. And please like our page on Facebook.

Paradox of Choice on ted.com.

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