I hope this post finds you well, and that the last month has been good to you! For this month’s post, I wanted to talk a little about my travel plans, aspirations, and ideas that are (admittedly) constantly floating around in my brain. Some of this may sound a little lofty, but they’re my aspirations…so myuh (I’m playfully sticking my tongue out at you).
First and foremost, I need to establish the fact that I am suffering from international travel withdrawal. It’s been well over a thousand days since I last stepped foot on an international flight homeward bound from Europe, so my body is in need of a change in pace. Not only that, but the joke I always say when I travel (“I need a break from America”) is just as relevant now as it was in December 2014. Between the teen consumption of Tide pods, the antics raining down from Washington, and the daily grind to be honest, a week in some place in Europe (preferably somewhere I have yet to visit) would be welcomed with open arms. But due to the fact that I am not even in sight of the stars aligning to make that happen (my wife and I have a 1-year-old, and we also have bills to pay and no travel money saved at the moment), I’ll have to settle for dreaming and planning.
I’ll get to dreaming in a second, but first I want to start with planning. The only trip in the works at the moment (and by works, I mean it’s tentatively planned for the summer of 2023) is a trip my three sisters and I brainstormed as a cool way to experience a trip to Europe together. Given that we have Scotch-Irish heritage, among other things, we thought it’d be cool to plan a trip (and hopefully see it through) to Scotland and Ireland. It was a joke at first, but then after crunching some numbers and pitching it to my sisters, the four of us agreed to start saving for it. At the time, back in 2012, we knew it to be a long ways off; but now, within a handful of years, it’s edging ever closer. As we moved forward in our thinking, we figured minimizing the trip down to just Scotland would make it more cost-efficient, and so the aim is to visit Edinburgh and Glasgow mostly, with a few days tacked onto the end to zip down to Liverpool then on to London before heading back home. This is something that I really hope comes through because it would be such a memorable experience to see new (and in my case, some old) sights with my sisters.
Now on to the dreaming. I have a running list of trip itineraries in the Notes app on my phone (what travel dreamer doesn’t?) – some that are put together by travel companies like Go Ahead Tours, some that I put together on my own. This list has been in my phone for a solid four years, and I’ve only added to it. Trip plans include potential 5-year anniversary trips for Sarah and me, trips that would be good to take our kids on, and things that we could do that are more local and cost-friendly. Sometimes I like to open that note up when I’m restless at night or waiting to pick my son up from the sitter, and I’ll scroll through the myriad of happy thoughts. Below are the three most exciting (to me) itineraries on my list:
Five Days in Florence – Anniversary Trip
Sarah and I went to Italy for our honeymoon, and we both agree that Florence was our favorite stop along the way. It had such a laidback yet lively feel to it, and our accommodation was very central to everywhere we went. We stayed on the Piazza Santo Spirito, south of the River Arno. I felt so inspired that I incorporated this city and the piazza into my fourth book, Needless. We both have said that we’d enjoy going back, even if that’s the only place we visited. There were so many sights we didn’t see, museums and exhibits we didn’t tour, restaurants we didn’t dine in. It’s definitely high on the list.
Denmark, Poland, Germany, and Luxembourg
This is an itinerary that I’ve put together (mostly just planning certain cities/countries in a certain order, connected by either trains and planes). In the spirit of seeing multiple countries – including ones I have yet to visit – this trip idea checks that box. I have not been to Denmark, Poland, or Luxembourg, and I’ll always enjoy a trip back to Germany. Denmark appeals to me because its culture is a good mixture from what I understand: some German, some Scandinavian, minor parts of other cultures, and the rest Danish. Diversity is something I enjoy while traveling. As for Poland, I’d like to see Warsaw (and if I can, take a day trip to Auschwitz) for the WWII historical value alone. I’m sure there are many engaging and interesting museums in the capital. Luxembourg appeals to me because it’s wedged between France, Belgium and Germany, yet contains its own culture and customs. I also had a professor in college from the small country who encouraged us to visit if ever we had the chance. Lastly, Germany always has a place in my heart, namely Munich and Berlin…so revisiting the central European nation is always in the back of my mind.
Croatia and Slovenia
This particular trip is actually an itinerary from Go Ahead Tours. The reason I’d choose to take this trip is because I’ve heard the scenery in these countries is absolutely breathtaking, and the local hospitality can be very charming and welcoming. It’s also a pair of countries I have not yet visited, so it would make for an adventure. I also had a friend in college whose family is Croatian, so seeing his homeland interested me.
So there you have it – some planning, some dreaming, and in time hopefully some countries getting checked off my list. But more importantly, I can add experience to my life and further round myself out as a person. Travel can be such a powerful tool, and if utilized properly can have a lasting and resounding impact on a person. My previous travels have already done this, and so I seek to gain more from future treks.
Until next month,