And so it is that we find ourselves embarking on an extended journey. After months of preparations, my wife and I are setting out to explore a new corner of the world. This time, it’s Europe.
Although we were very happy to return from our last big trip in 2009 (ten months through the Middle East, Africa,India, andSouth East Asia), we knew almost right away that we’d like to travel again. This time, a terrific option presented itself, an offer from friends to borrow their motorhome in Europe. This would make seeing a lot of Europe feasible at a manageable cost. And since neither of us has ever been to Europe before, other than a few days in London last trip and two days for Patrick in port on an educational cruise when he was in high school, it was an offer so generous and too good to turn down.
We flew out of Vancouveron Saturday, September 3rd, arriving in Vienna, Austria via Frankfurt. We almost missed our connecting flight in Frankfurt, scrambling to collect our checked bags, then check-in again on Berlin Air, one of the many European discount airlines, before racing to our gate where everyone else had already boarded. This was similar to our experience in Qatar two years ago when an over-zealous security agent , insistent on reclaiming the tweezers from the bottom of Patrick’s backpack, instigated a mad dash through the airport.
We’ve wanted to travel in Europe for many years. I’ve always wanted to see the great cities ofEurope, home of the characters of yore. The grand cathedrals, the brooding castles, and the historic battlegrounds patrolled by the spirits of the fallen. The great works of art and architecture. I’ve longed to meet the people, and experience the rich and varied cultures. My wife has an incessant desire to see Paris, something she reminds me of regularly. She’s also really looking forward to experiencing the food of Europe, including extravagant repasts, regional specialities, and humble (and often most desirable) street foods.
The logistical requirements of leaving on a long trip are not trivial. We arrived exhausted after months of preparation, including the frenzied last month when we packed our entire house and moved it to storage, rented this house to a nice couple from Texas, and arranged and packed for our trip, all while preparing for and completing the Ironman triathlon on August 28th, 2011. Despite having traveled before, our life continues to evolve and every trip is different, and it ended up being more work than anticipated. The support of family and friends was invaluable and greatly appreciated. As a result, we’re now here recovering, with little idea of where we’re going or what we’ll be doing. Sometimes this is the best way to begin.
We will share our journey with you on DreamBigLiveBoldly.com. We welcome your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions as we progress. We hope that you enjoy yourselves and thank-you for participating.