Galley Gossip: The people you meet, the places you want to go – Portugal, Greece, Hong Kong, Croatia, and Dubai

Though I have no idea when it will actually happen, I can’t decide where to travel on my next big vacation…

  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Croatia
  • Dubai

That’s been my list of dream places to go for the last few years. But now I’ve got a new place to add to the list, a list that just keeps growing.

  • Portugal

Man oh man, the people you meet, the places you want to go…

Alice, my hairdresser is from Portugal, and that’s what we talk about every time I see her, which is at least once a month. It was the morning of my Las Vegas trip, and while Alice worked her magic on my hair, I sat in front of the mirror on a swiveling chair catching up on the latest travel magazines that customers before me had left behind. Of course whenever I see Alice I can’t help but talk travel while flipping through all those amazing photographs of beautiful places all around the world.

While reading an interesting article about a little town in Croatia, Alice said, “You’ve got to go to Portugal. It’s beautiful.” She had just returned from a two week vacation that very week, which explained the dark tan and the honey colored streaks in her auburn hair.

Placing a copy of Travel and Leisure on my lap, I listened as she described Vilamoura, the village by the sea where she grew up, where she had just visited, and as she described the fresh food, seafood of course, I decided right then and there I wanted to go. Soon. If you’d been there with me you’d want to go too! When my curly hair had been straightened as straight as it could get, I went home, got on the computer, and started googling Portugal.

Alice was right. Portugal is beautiful. I do want to go. But with so many places to go, and not enough time to actually go, how does one decide which place to go – first?

Greece has been on my list for as long as I can remember. So long, in fact, I can’t even remember how or why Greece initially made the list in the first place, but there it is, right at the top, where it’s been for years and years now. There’s just something about all those stark white homes against a sea of blue that leaves me yearning for more. Of course the movie Mama Mia only made me realize I need to get there sooner than later.

Hong Kong made the list last year after the husband returned home from a business trip. Initially he didn’t want to go. Complained about having to go. But then, when he finally returned, all he could talk about was going back. “It’s amazing,” he kept saying as he described the buildings and the food and the tailor who eventually shipped him three custom made suits. Then, last month an old friend from an old job contacted me on Facebook to inform me she still worked for the same company, only she was now VP of the company in Hong Kong, ending the email with “Come visit me soon,” prompting the husband to exclaim, “What are we waiting for!”

Croatia made the list five years ago after viewing hundreds of gorgeous photos taken by a young man, a budding photographer, the son of a woman who works for my husband in New York. The photos were beautiful, particularly the ones of the people who lived there – his relatives. “You can stay at one of their houses,” he offered, “While they stay at a hotel.” It was a tempting offer. We came very close to spending our honeymoon in Croatia, but then the war broke out and after 9/11 I was a little nervous about flying too far away from home. We ended up in Mexico. Since then, each and every year, we come THIS CLOSE to going to Croatia, which is really really close, before someone or something inspires us to go elsewhere. Eventually we’ll make it there.

Dubai is the most recent place to make the list. I must admit, the thought of actually traveling for that long of time on an airplane does not sound like a vacation, not to me, not when you work on an airplane for a living. The last thing a flight attendant wants to do is go to the airport, get on an airplane, and be surrounded by passengers on a day off, for any length of time. But I keep meeting passengers who absolutely love Dubai. On my flight to Vegas, the British man sitting in the first row couldn’t stop talking about the airport – the airport! Apparently it’s pretty incredible. And that’s just the airport! And on my flight to Miami, if the passengers weren’t going to Dubai, they were coming back from Dubai, or had just recently been to Dubai. I even shared a cab with a flight attendant who worked for another airline who wanted to quit and become a flight attendant for Emirates, just so he could live in Dubai (and layover in five star hotels.) With all this talk about Dubai, it had to go on the list.

There are so many great places to travel and I can’t decide where to go. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help. Please! Have you been to Dubai, Croatia, Hong Kong, Greece, or Portugal? If so, take the poll below, and don’t forget to add a comment. Tell me why you love the place you choose, and make sure to share all your favorite things to do and see. I’m dying to know.