I was very lucky. In the midst of multiple snow storms in the US, my flights managed to dodge them all and I made it home on time and unscathed.
With what seems to be signs of increased extreme world weather "getting there" and "getting home" can't be taken for granted necessarily anymore. It has made me reconsider whether I would travel during the winters in the future.
Having said that, I enjoyed just glorious weather on my trip. It was nice to spend the day outside in shorts again.
One glaring thing I noticed this time around, revisiting some old haunts was the cost of things in Miami and Nassau. Food was significantly more expensive than 3 yrs ago when I was there last. And I am not talking about tourist traps.
I spent more of my cash than I ever did before there. When things are $5 more expensive on average, a few items later, it adds up each day. I also tipped more this time around so that was part of it too.
The spirit of the people I met were "dampened". It could be the recession has taken a toll on peoples' enthusiasm. There was a consistent base level of desperation exuded from the various salespeople I encountered. It made me sad to experience it amongst a backdrop of light hearted winter vacationers' celebrations.
I'm one of those people who cannot turn a blind eye to the realities of life. One of the main reasons why I've never been to an "all inclusive" vacation. Most of the resorts I hear about are compounds where you are separated from the reality of the rest of the island which most of the time are very poor.
I'd want to interact with locals and depending on where you go, it may not be advisable due to crime. I also wonder what the locals must think of the people they see bused in from the airport who spend their week drinking and eating up a storm getting all red from the strong sun?
I never tell my clients where I go when I take time off. Because most of them have either lost their job or are feeling the fall out in their line of work, it doesn't seem kind for me talk about my vacation plans as I tend to travel more than most people I know. Plus it would not be considered professional for me to do so.
I'm not saying that they wouldn't be happy for me, I just feel my news may act like salt on a wound as I'm sure they would like to be able to go too but maybe can't right now.