Satisfying Our Wanderlust: Our Bhutan Replacement Trip is Booked!

Foreign Service LifeSouth AmericaTravel
August 12, 2011

As some of you may remember, we had booked our dream trip to Bhutan back in early 2011, about 2 weeks before we found out we were pregnant.  Unfortunately, the altitude of Bhutan is such that they do not want pregnant women visiting there, so when the pregnancy test came back positive, the Bhutan trip went bye-bye.  Since that was supposed to be our last big ‘hurrah’ before we got pregnant, we suddenly saw our visions of child-free travel slipping away.

We continued to go about our lives, packing up from Manila and starting home leave in the States.  The thing we noticed though is that despite all the domestic travel, the thought of not having an international trip on the calendar to look forward to left us feeling a bit glum.  So we started talking about it one night, playing with the idea of still doing an all-out Babymoon trip for just the two of us, despite the fact that we would have a baby by that point.  The more we talked about it, the more excited we got.

The thing is, since Bhutan was larger-than-life in our minds, this replacement trip had to match it in worthiness.  There are very few places on earth that hold that same kind of awe for us, but it just so happened that one of them would be quite near to us in Peru.  And what mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime location would that be, you ask?

Well, none other than the Galapagos Islands!

Named as the first World Heritage Site back in 1978, these beautiful islands are a photographer’s paradise with hundreds of exotic species found nowhere else on earth.  The strange thing is, because of the absence of natural predators, the animals are fearless; allowing you to get right up close and personal with them.  While neither of us know much about wildlife, it seems like the perfect way to immerse ourselves in something new and different!

Best of all, we get to balance all our outdoorsy time with pampering on the luxury cruise ship that we’ll be staying on.  The Celebrity Xpedition is one of a handful of ships that have permission to bring in cruisers, with only 100 people aboard each ship.  A typical day includes a morning and afternoon outing with a naturalist (2 different stops each day) and an evening briefing on what we’ll see the next day.  It includes all the typical amenities of a cruise ship, just with a much smaller number of guests.

We booked it yesterday and have been absolutely giddy ever since.  Never mind that it’s not until the end of 2012 or that we’re not quite sure who’s going to watch our baby…. I trust that it’ll all come together.  The cool thing is, now we have another fun place to add to our research list.  And with a year to study up, I’m pretty sure we’ll be quite knowledgeable by the time we go (or at least Nick will!)

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

600 Miles West of Ecuador

Animals of the Galapagos

All photos taken from Flickr with permission from R Alba.  Click here for the full gallery.

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  1. allie says:

    Warning: After having been on a luxury liner, you’ll never want to go on another cruise if you can’t have the same type of ship again. Went on a cruise with a ship of about 500 a few years ago, where every room had a balcony, and the thought of wasting money on a giant 5000+ liner makes me sort of ill now. Ah, such problems to have…!

  2. Sarah Novak says:

    I know you’re right. We’re not huge cruisers though, this just happens to be the best and most efficient way to see the islands. Perhaps we’ll have to take a long cruising break after it! Where was your cruise to?

  3. This is my dream trip! SO MUCH FUN!!!

    I think it’s a good time to pay for one of the parents (or siblings) to hang out in Lima during the time you’re gone for some baby-bonding time (at least that’s what you tell them!)

  4. Sarah Novak says:

    That’s what we’re hoping for Carla! I can guarantee you one thing – that I’ll have lots and lots of pictures for you to see from the trip! Congrats on the scuba weekend. Very brave of you, I didn’t make it through training… :)

  5. Chris says:

    Have had many friends that have taken this trip – they LOVED it. Sounds awesome!

  6. Sarah Novak says:

    Ooh, excellent! It’s a different type of trip than we’ve ever taken, but it looks extraordinary!

  7. Sunny says:

    After having cruised with my kiddos and not really knowing what type of cruise you are in for (100 people probably means no kid things on the boat), that being said if you find yourself uncomfortable leaving the kiddo or the universe doesn’t come together and you get family to watch, you COULD bring the baby. We have taken our kids all over tarnation and while it isn’t relaxing like it could be it is what it is and at the end of the day it I love knowing that it is my own little family. The cruise was a good time with the babes and I would totally do it again (I would also give my right arm to go sans enfants but thats wasn’t in the cards this time).

  8. Sarah Novak says:

    I appreciate hearing about your experience Sunny. It’s always good to have back-up plans in this life, isn’t it?

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