“Where Should I Go?” Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am thrilled to report that I actually feel like I see a light at the end of the PhD/Dissertation tunnel. Having been buried in the belly of revisions the past few weeks really started to eat away at me emotionally. I was becoming less and less capable of handling my stress, and my self-worth was at an all-time low. I was literally in tears at least once a day. : (

My forced-break this past weekend at the wedding was incredibly rejuvenating. I was stressed about taking time away from work, but after two full days off on Saturday and Sunday (I was typing in the passenger seat of the car on the drive there on Friday), I felt so restored. Getting back to work on Monday was tough, but I was so much more productive than usual. And by Tuesday I had wrapped up a set of revisions that I didn’t think I was going to get done until the end of the week.

At this point, I am over the worst of the revisions, and should, from this point on, have only light edits and formatting to worry about (!!!!!!!!!!!!!). This is a huge relief. And it comes at a good time too because I am technically “graduating” this weekend. The commencement ceremony for PhD students is on Friday, but I won’t be defending my dissertation for another month or so, and I’m not a “Dr.” until after I pass my defense. However, I was looking forward to half-celebrating this weekend, especially because my mom and uncle are coming to town. Having this batch of revisions out of the way is making it a lot easier to be in at least quasi celebration mode. Yay!

Anyway, getting over this next hurdle has let me, for the first time, start seriously thinking about post-dissertation celebrating. Mike and I have previously discussed taking a “Holy F***, I’m a “Doctor”!” trip, but, like I said, I was loath to let myself feel any sense of excitement until I was closer to the end. (Not saying that’s a good thing. It’s just what grad school has done to me). Now that I am closer to the end, however, I am ready to start thinking about the aforementioned “HFIaD!” vay-cay.

Here’s where you come in. I need advice! Where should I go?!


Here are some guidelines:

  • I love big cities, but I am also feeling a pull towards the beach, so preferably something that can offer me the best of both worlds. Water is a must, preferably an ocean.
  • Someplace I can eat! Vegan options (or “happens-to-be-vegan” options) required, and strongly preferred if there is also a chance I can eat mostly whole food, fruit and veggie-based meals.
  • Relatively affordable. We haven’t gone on a big vacation really ever (our trips have usually been three-day weekends when we travel for weddings, but those have been pretty inexpensive), so we’re willing to splurge more than usual. That said, I am coming off a grad student income, which is a very very tiny income. So, if it’s a pricey flight, we’d want to make sure that lodging was cheap, for example.
  • We’ll probably be going in July, so hopefully wherever it is will have decent weather conditions at the time of the year.
  • I’d rather not be on a flight for any more than 8ish hours.
  • Someplace that we can avoid exploitation/tourist colonialism as much as possible.

So far, I’ve considered: Paris (with a couple days in Nice), Montreal (are there any beaches there, Canada friends?), Puerto Rico, Mexico (need city recommendations), San Francisco.

Please share your insight with me! I know I have readers from across the globe (how cool is that, bee-tee-dubs?), so pitch your home to me! Or tell me your favorite place to travel, then tell me what I have to do/eat/see when I get there.

I travel a lot for conferences, and to visit friends and family in Chicago and Cleveland, but I actually don’t have a ton of experiencing traveling for actual vacation. I would appreciate any wisdom from you globetrotters!

Thanks, friends! Have a great day!

31 thoughts on ““Where Should I Go?” Wednesday

  1. Jess says:

    Congrats! That is so exciting! I think a vacation is a wonderful way to celebrate. I spent a few days in southern Italy a few summers ago and had the most wonderful, relaxing time by the sea. If you’re looking to stay Stateside, though, Newport, RI is really nice that time of year.

  2. julia says:

    I agree, Paris is great…. though most of it’s most delicious food is not vegan. I’ve heard wonderful things about St. Lucia, but have not been myself.

  3. frugalveganmom says:

    I think anything in the caribbean would be too hot in July. We went to Puerto Rico one March and the humidity was overwhelming. Stayed in San Juan and did not like the city much. Go to France if you can, or Italy as the other commenter said, and make your vacation as long as possible!

  4. Natalia says:

    Id say NZ but itll be winter, so… Barcelona!! It is such a wonderful city – the people, the atmosphere, the crazy gaudi houses. Also, the huge selection of tapas include vegan options!

    Wherever you end up going, I hope you have an amazing time – you deserve it!!

  5. Kibby@Kibby's Blended Life says:

    Well, you know I’d say come see me – it’s the mountains though, no beach, but beautiful and I would cook for you and Mike (Vegan and GF). Paris sounds lovely. Definitely. Yay, you! A F—– Doctor! So proud of you for your dedication and perseverance. I haven’t traveled much and am actually in Orlando, FL right now for a LONG weekend attending a seminar. I traveled by myself and drove 10 hours to get here. It’s a lovely town – very friendly and accommodating. I plan on traveling more myself. We’ll see where life takes us both. XO

  6. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    I’m so glad you’re nearly at the end! Any of the places you mention sound great – if you got to Paris I’m sure that would be amazing – and I’ve got South America on my bucket list too. I’m sure just being finished and on vacation would be wonderful regardless of where you end up :)

  7. nikki says:

    The San Juan Islands off of Washington are really nice during July. I’ve had my eye on this: http://doebay.com/ . There’s a vegetarian cafe there. I think it looks relaxing.

    Also, congratulations on the light at the end of the tunnel :)

  8. Arv says:

    You know I’m a sucker for Parisian things, so my vote goes there…the Pacific Northwest, Portland/Seattle/Vancouver, are also to-die-for food cities, especially for vegans!! Plus there equally accessible city-scapes and natural wonders, like mountains and forests. Did you know Olympic National Park near Seattle has the only rainforest in the US? Fact. :)

    Glad you’re nearing the end. xo.

  9. Gabby @ the veggie nook says:

    I am going to have to jump on the Paris train. I am in love with all things French so I definitely think Paris and the south of France are MUSTS. I actually hear Paris has some amazing vegan fare so make sure to scope that out!

  10. Sara.Jordan24 says:

    Come to Canada!! I haven’t been to Montreal, aside from passing through but Vancouver is awesome! Beautiful beaches, parks, giant trees. Plus there is a huge vegan/vegetarian influence! You’d be hard to not find something amazing to eat! Plus if your feeling adventurous, you can hop on the ferry to Vancouver Island and check out Victoria (another beautiful city), go kayaking or whale watching. I just love British Columbia in general, it’s got such a chill, hippy vibe :) Mountains and the ocean, heaven! <3

  11. Rachael says:

    San Francisco is a great city for vegans – lots of restaurants, bars, museums and sightseeing in the city. There are lots of lodging options, from hostels to hotels, so it is easy to find something in your budget. I also recommend Santa Cruz, CA for some of the most beautiful beaches and cliffs I’ve ever seen.

    • raechel says:

      Ooo, I would like to go to Santa Cruz someday. And definitely want to go back to San Fran (I’ve only been there for conferences, never got to see much of the city).

    • raechel says:

      A friend of mine said Prauge over Paris because it’s less snooty…Hmmm, decisions decisions….

      And I”m back in Chicago all the time. Couldn’t stand not to visit regularly. : )

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