Because we often travel during winter break, our relatively mild winters in the Southeastern US seem even shorter. We're fortunate to be able to travel in December; without family obligations (our families are far-flung and independent at this point), it's an excellent time to visit many parts of the world as we can.

During our academic winter break from early December to early January, we've traveled to Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica in the Americas, Thailand, Laos, Northern Vietnam, and India in Asia, and Tanzania and Zanzibar in Africa, as well as going to Italy, France and Great Britain, over the years.

All have been wonderful trips and we're grateful that we were able to take them.

But one of the non-traveling pluses has been that we leave just as winter descends (not very heavily in our part of the world), return in early January, and by February and March have quite a few periodic mild days, which are really quite spring-like, and we're back to warm weather.

So, we're fortunate to escape the 'worst' of what our Southeastern winters offer; we're totally wimpy compared to so many of you that have much more harsh winters to cope with!


  1. Lisa, I grew up in a zone 5 part of the world and after 30+ yrs in the milder SE...add me to the wimp list. I plan on sending this post to my son in RI. He just passed his comprehensive exams and is officially a doc candidate. Not that he needs a reminder, but, having an academic calendar is a reward for the hard work he's done and has yet to do!

    So where are you off to this year?


  2. Gail, I know I'd not be happy in Zone 5! But lots of people thrive in colder climates than ours.

    Congratulations on your son's passing his comps! But, oh, dear, I didn't mean to imply that an academic schedule translates into gobs of time 'off'! The academic enterprise never really stops. But it is flexible time to be sure, but 'time off' is also a time that you get lots of work done, too, without teaching responsibilities.

    In our case, we very consciously made a choice in mid-life (turning fifty) to step up our traveling and are grateful to be able to do so - but it sure wouldn't have been something we'd have done in early or mid-career. So it IS something to look forward to over the long haul!


    P.S. This year we're returning to Asia (Southern Vietnam) and are really looking forward to it.

  3. I envy your far flung travel. We go to the Yucatan area - Cancun and Playa Del Carmen every spring, but keep it simple at the one location for now. And we don't go until March. It's horrid to return home to Chicagoland weather and have it still be -20 degrees through January and February.

    Your fans would love to see photos of your travel!

    Take care and enjoy!

    Best wishes,

    Shawna Coronado

  4. Glad Gail asked where you were off to, safe travels to you. Having lived in many places that receive a lot of snow to places that have almost none....I like the 'almost none' places better!

  5. Shawna,
    It sounds going to Playa del Carmen and the Yucatan in March would be a wonderful thing to look forward to in your long winter! That's a great part of the world.

    Thanks for your interest in our travels (and nice comments)!

    We normally try to travel light -- with carry-on in places that we'll be on buses, etc., so photo posting usually needs to wait, depending on computer access and time available while traveling. But, I will be doing some combination of posts and photo gallery when we return. If you're interested in previous travels, if you click through on my website, there are some photo galleries from previous travels...


  6. Janet-
    It's nice to have a short snow, but I'm with you about being in milder climates. Rainy, wet winters (such as in the Pacific NW) wouldn't be much to my liking either, nor would year-round sun. So the SE is perfect with four seasons, with summer heat (and sometimes drought) being the main challenge. And in the Piedmont, we don't have to worry about the hurricanes and storms on the coast. You'll enjoy Lake Greenwood, I'm sure.

    We still have a bit of time before we leave, so I'll probably describe a bit more about our trip and why we decided to go there this year. We have a serendipitous method of deciding in late August or so.



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