If I could have a euro for every time someone said, "Will you pack me in your bag and take me with you?" I'd have about fifteen euros ($20.32).
Sadly, we can't pack you up and take you with us. But through the power of the internet, we can share parts our journey right here!
I haven't taken three weeks off of anything since I was 18 years old. Back then, I went to China. I overpacked, over-worried, and underprepared for the ways the travel would change me. I sent home introspective e-mails about what I was learning, and in the end, I realized the more I know, the more I know I don't know.
I hope I will rediscover that humility on this trip. So—are you coming along?
- London — October 3 - 6
- Amsterdam — October 6 - 8
- Paris — October 8 - 11
- Lyon — October 11 - 13
- Chamonix — October 13 - 15
- Lake Como — October 15 - 17
- Cinque Terre — October 17 - 20
- Florence — October 20 - 23
- Rome — October 23 - 25
Since Patrick and I are both pretty "type A" we also prepared a long document of all of our travel ideas. Check out EUROPE 2013, if you're curious.
Patrick and I have tried to pack light for this trip. Thanks to some close friends—I whittled down my needs to the basics: Jeans, a nice pair of black slacks, one (or two) dresses, comfortable shoes, socks, and a few shirts. I threw in an old thin jacket and rain shell for good measure. My Osprey Convertible pack and Patrick's borrowed Osprey Meridian bag can convert to backpacks or roll like suitcases, and they can be carried on a plane. Brilliant!
And also: Some vitamins, medicine, and sleeping pills for the plane.
What I'm not bringing: Laptops. Work. Writing.
Perhaps more important to me than what I'll wear while we're gone is what I'll read. After culling through a long list of suggested reading, I chose three (ish) books.
1) The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank. Patrick and I hope to go to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Somehow, I've never read her diary. I know that reading it will give me a better understanding of what she endured in that place.
2) A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway. Again, despite how much I love writing and reading—Hemingway hasn't made it to the top of my list in a long time. But this book, about his early twenties living in Paris, just makes sense for this trip. I've already read the first three paragraphs and I want to devour the whole thing.
3) Rick Steve's Paris, Italy, and TV episodes. Okay, so we have to take some travel books. PLUS if you go to iTunes, you can purchase $1.99 episodes of Rick Steve's television show. They are 30 minute segments, and give you a great overview of a place. I know it's not "reading," but I'm looking forward to watching an episode while we train to the next location.
One of the great things about our trip is that we are going to visit some old friends—and one of them is very old indeed! It was important to me to bring each of our friends that is giving us a meal and a place to stay something special from the states.
Thanks to Pangea in Hillsboro Village, I think I came up with just the right gifts. (More on this later!)
Cleaning the house for our super awesome house-sitters, clearing out the refrigerator so things don't go bad, finishing laundry, and getting one final hair trim before we leave... TOMORROW.
I can't believe it's here! Please check back here as we travel. We'll try to update a few times a week!