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Winter sojourn: where to go?

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Winter sojourn: where to go?

Old 02-29-12, 04:38 PM
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Winter sojourn: where to go?

My wife and I are freelance translators in our mid-forties in Canada. We don't have kids. We're starting to toss around the idea of living somewhere else for two to four months next winter--have laptops and bikes, will travel.*

Any suggestions?

Ideal #1: Good cycling near a half-decently interesting urban centre. My wife doesn't ride.

Ideal #2: We'd probably like to be on Eastern Standard Time, as most of our work comes from New York. But Europe's only six hours ahead, and we're not early risers, so shifting the 9-to-5 over to 3-to-11 probably wouldn't be a big adjustment. Cost-of-living is a factor though, so as much as I'd love to, I can't see us staying in central London or Paris.

Ideal #3: Nice-ish weather for riding and walking around. Not necessarily hot. Anywhere from 10 to 25 degrees, I guess (not below zero--we get that here!).

I'd love to hear some ideas!




For various reasons we've never really been in a position to do this before now, so this is all new to us.*
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Old 02-29-12, 05:10 PM
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Tampa, Florida. Meets alot of your criteria. We are on Eastern Time, Weather December-March is warm not hot. Alot of good cycling. We live east of the city and do alot of riding on country roads. Pretty good Urban scene. Orlando is not far and of course you have the beach.
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Old 02-29-12, 05:17 PM
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San Diego CA.

Savannah GA

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Old 02-29-12, 05:32 PM
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Somewhere in Spain.
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Old 02-29-12, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We were thinking outside of Canada or the U.S., so most likely South America or Europe. In our experience, generally speaking South America is economically feasible but security, safety and crime are perhaps less of an after thought in comparison with other places. By contrast, Europe is a breeze on those scores, but can be expensive.

Or is there a happy medium somewhere that we don't know about?
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Old 02-29-12, 05:53 PM
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New Zealand (great place).
In South America, consider Chile.
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Old 02-29-12, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by K.Katso
Somewhere in Spain.
We've been to Spain, and liked it. At the time I didn't ride there, though.

Where in Spain? Near Girona?

Weird thing: we travelled in Spain for a month one January, when the weather was quite nice, but saw cyclists only twice: the first time, it was a urban fashionista on the bike path on a soul-stirringly sunny 20-degree day in Barcelona (where the hell were all the cyclists on a day like that?), and the second time it was a pro team of about ten riders training...on the motorway between Toledo and Madrid. Yes, on the motorway. The coach we were in politely changed lanes as we passed them. That was bizarre.

Do people in Spain actually ride bicycles? I mean, aside from the members of Euskaltel-Euskadi and whoever's training in Girona?
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Old 02-29-12, 06:22 PM
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Wife's dad lives in Brazil and absolutely loves it. Went there for military and never came back. He sends pics all the time and it is beautiful.
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Old 02-29-12, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau

Where in Spain? Near Girona?
Personally, I really like the Basque region for cycling - Bilbao and San Sebastian areas. Probably not as nice as the South during the winter months, but still not too bad. Really nice, super-clean area with lots of culture, low crime, and nice roads.


Do people in Spain actually ride bicycles? I mean, aside from the members of Euskaltel-Euskadi and whoever's training in Girona?
Yes, but it is nowhere near as popular as in other countries in Europe, and they don't have the cycling infrastructure that other countries have. The tradeoff is obviously the nice winter weather. That's why so many teams have their winter training camps there.
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Old 02-29-12, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
Thanks for the replies. We were thinking outside of Canada or the U.S., so most likely South America or Europe. In our experience, generally speaking South America is economically feasible but security, safety and crime are perhaps less of an after thought in comparison with other places. By contrast, Europe is a breeze on those scores, but can be expensive.

Or is there a happy medium somewhere that we don't know about?
Australia.

-- Some things here are a little bit more expensive, but generally, the prices aren't too bad.
-- The culture is similar to Canada.
-- Security, safety and crime are likely similar to Canada.
-- You could stay here on a Visitor Visa (ETA) for 3 months.
-- Depending where you are here, there's great cycling and beautiful scenery.
-- You'd have the option of being in the middle of large cities, or out in the middle of nowhere ... and everything in between. Whatever appeals to you.
-- Depending where you are here, if you're here between about early-November and late-March, the weather is good ... that's late spring, summer, and early autumn.
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Old 02-29-12, 11:05 PM
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Basque region, eh? I've got downloaded video of several runnings of the Clásica de San Sebastián, and I am impressed by the roads and the scenery. That's something to keep in mind.

We'd love to go to Australia some time, but the length of the flight and the 12-hour time difference from Eastern Standard Time are too forbidding for our purposes, unfortunately.
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Old 03-01-12, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
We'd love to go to Australia some time, but the length of the flight and the 12-hour time difference from Eastern Standard Time are too forbidding for our purposes, unfortunately.
You'd just do the flight once at either end of your stay. And you'd always be early for any Eastern Standard deadlines (isn't it more than a 12-hour time difference?)
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Old 03-01-12, 02:16 AM
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Go to Europe now and brave the elements. You're from Southern Ontario my friend.

I wouldn't suggest any country that doesn't have a organized traffic system for safety, so Asia and South America is out of the choices now.

and btw, let me know which bike case you intend to buy and give us a review.
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Old 03-01-12, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
And you'd always be early for any Eastern Standard deadlines (isn't it more than a 12-hour time difference?)
Try organizing a conference call that fits everyone's schedule when there is a 16-hour time difference. (I have huge problems doing it with only a 9-hour time difference between CET and PST)
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Old 03-01-12, 03:48 AM
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Come here.

Lots of mountains (BIG mountains), great weather, lots of people to ride with, good food, free Wi-Fi everywhere and VERY inexpensive.

I'd suggest Taichung for a mix of urban (for the wife) and riding (for you).

For working it mixes well with EST. Your customers send you an email during their workday, you get it while they sleep and respond (and have all day to do it) and they have an answer in their inbox in the morning.

Skype calls cross over for morning for them and evening for you or visa versa so real time stuff still works.

If you want REAL urban stuff you can weekend in Hong Kong or Macau any time. Singapore is also easily doable for a weekend getaway.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Biscayne05
I wouldn't suggest any country that doesn't have a organized traffic system for safety, so Asia and South America is out of the choices now.
Rubbish.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:42 AM
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Old 03-01-12, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
Come here.
Heh heh...I lived in Taiwan for six years. My wife's Taiwanese. I translate from Chinese into English for a living.

About working from Taiwan or Australia, though: not feasible in my line of business. "My people" in New York who get a request for a translation project from their clients at 3 pm need to know within an hour or so if I can do it. They can't wait until the next business day for me to tell them if it fits my schedule, so if they don't hear back from me they'll go to the next translator on their list.

Being in Europe wouldn't be so bad, as we often work in the evenings anyway. At 9 pm in Spain I'd more often than not be sitting at my computer working, so I'd be there to field requests.
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Old 03-02-12, 04:17 PM
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Has anyone been to Portugal for riding? I love the look of Lisbon in pictures, and they say it's among the most economical countries in Europe.

Just thought I'd throw this out there before this thread disappears into the ether.
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Old 03-03-12, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
Come here.

Lots of mountains (BIG mountains), great weather, lots of people to ride with, good food, free Wi-Fi everywhere and VERY inexpensive.

I'd suggest Taichung for a mix of urban (for the wife) and riding (for you).

For working it mixes well with EST. Your customers send you an email during their workday, you get it while they sleep and respond (and have all day to do it) and they have an answer in their inbox in the morning.

Skype calls cross over for morning for them and evening for you or visa versa so real time stuff still works.

If you want REAL urban stuff you can weekend in Hong Kong or Macau any time. Singapore is also easily doable for a weekend getaway.
You've caused us to put Taiwan on our wish-list for our trip later this year. Darn it... so many places to go, so little time...
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Old 03-03-12, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
You've caused us to put Taiwan on our wish-list for our trip later this year. Darn it... so many places to go, so little time...
Let me know when you are coming. I should be able to help you with some riding and a few suggestions on things to do, places to go and stuff to eat!
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Old 03-03-12, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Rubbish.
Right...that's until you get hit by a drunken driver and he gets away with nothing.

...that's will happen in Asia at least.
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Old 03-03-12, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Biscayne05
Right...that's until you get hit by a drunken driver and he gets away with nothing.
And that doesn't happen in the US? Every day?

More rubbish.
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