In February or March, I start to realize that summer is right around the corner. This year, I haven't made any plans to go to seminars or schools, but I'm feeling the urge to make plans.
That's not to say I don't already have some plans. My family will be meeting in Idaho for a reunion. We'll be spending a week at a rented cabin near Yellowstone. It will be the first time all of my siblings, parents, nieces, and nephews have been in the same place since the last family wedding in 1999. We've met in smaller groups, but my school schedule, my sister-in-law's work schedule, and my other sister-in-law's family vacations have kept us from finding a common time. I still have to look into the Yellowstone days and book flights/cars out there. But that vacation feels like a done deal.
Today, three things contributed to the flair of the travel bug.
- I received the notification of my additional duties pay. I work at athletic events, sponsor two school publications, and have done a little homebound tutoring this year. The athletics, tutoring, and part of the advising stipends in my little savings account make me feel a bit flush with cash.
- As I listened to NPR while doing dishes, I heard a story about Guatemala's first female attorney general. About 6 years ago (?!), I studied for a month at Celas Maya in Xela, which was a wonderful school (one other student's 2011 account is here; my abandoned travel blog is still up, too). Earlier this week, I'd already made a couple of Internet forays to look at what it might cost to go and brush up on my Spanish in Guatemala (it's still a heck of a deal for lessons and homestays!), and that thought still tickles my mind. I'd kind of like to spend a week at Lago Atitlan if I go back. I stayed in Panajachel for two weekends, and I know I could do more exploring of the little towns and sights along the lake. Plus, my Spanish has faded in the two years since I last studied it at Personalized Spanish in Costa Rica, another wonderful, though more expensive, school.
- Travelzoo sent me their top 20 deals email. Because I'm already feeling comfortable and wondering what to do, the Costa Rica packages made me wonder about revisiting that country, too. I'd like to go back to Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. I visited each place for a weekend, and there's more to see. There are several other locations I didn't get to visit, too, like La Fortuna and Guanacaste.
I may not end up doing any of these in the end. I do like to dream, though, and Central America seems to call me back.