What’s your definition of an ideal vacation? A week at a five-star resort? Backpacking the Andes? Turning off your cell phone and sleeping in for three days straight? Frankly, all of those sound good to me, but when it comes to travelling, you’ll usually find me as close to a body of water as possible. Sure, there’s always a kite-surfing excursion or painting watercolor sailboats from the wharf, but I’m attempting to expand my hobby horizon. With that in mind, let’s look at a couple idyllic activities, from pleasantly touristy to total isolation…
Tricked-out mega-vessels simply scream ‘opulence’, but unless you’re in Jay Z or George Clooney’s little black book, you probably won’t be cruising along the Mediterranean on a private yacht any time soon (and that goes double for me). Even if I’ll never be besties with the heirs of Greek shipping magnates, I can still get a taste of lavish luxury. Taking a relaxing dinner cruise on a yacht is definitely up my alley. Low maintenance sight-seeing, an incredible meal and the comforts of an enormous boat? Count me in.
When I was in high school, if there was a fire, we referred to it as “camping”. Sure, we were two miles out of town and sleeping in a Dodge Neon…but we were teenagers. Now my ‘camping caveat’ is: There must be water. Waking up to a twinkling body of water and a Dutch oven breakfast is definitely my idea of the high-life, particularly if I can bring my family’s horses along for the journey. Equitrekking is hugely popular for a reason. Horseback camping can seem simultaneously ‘Wild West’ rugged and sumptuously extravagant. Frankly, I’ve seen horse trailers with living quarters that are nicer than my apartment.
I happen to live in a state with more natural, geothermal hotsprings than anywhere else in the U.S. However, even the most remote pools – ones that require three-hour drives on washed-out backwoods roads – are frequently trashed, populated by hallucinating naked people or both. I came for the therapeutic relaxation, not to pick up beer cans! Private lodging, and their accompanying pools, might be considered cheating to hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, but to me, their secluded luxury spells ‘heaven’.
One word, folks: shipwrecks. I’m obsessed. It would be fair to say my SCUBA skills leave something to be desired, but treasure hunting with a metal detector is an incentive for me to keep slugging away. I used to think you could only do an activity like that in, say, the Caribbean or something. I’ve since discovered that land-locked bodies of water, in particular the Great Lakes area, have troves of old ships lurking beneath the surface. I like to get up and close and personal with history, and playing ‘Underwater Indiana Jones” is icing the cake.