Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Plan: Take 1

I think we may have some of you confused. We keep talking about this old trip – a trip that we had planned and that has since evaporated into non-existence. We have talked about why this trip has altered and changed, but we never really explained what this original trip was. So, again for clarity’s sake, let us delve into the world of our first European Dream Summer Itinerary (just to give you an idea of how much plans alter and change, we are now on European Dream Summer Itinerary 4 which is slowly becoming 5).

Anyways. On to our original, very first ever Europe itinerary. We planned to fly into Paris, France on July 2 and spend three days seeing as much of the city as we could. On the fourth day our Global Eurail pass would kick in, allowing us to travel by train to Amsterdam. Two nights in Amsterdam and then we were on the train to Frankfurt (a random city selected for reasons unbeknownst to either of us), then into Vienna and Prague. We had a brief respite in Prague until three days later we traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia. A night or two there until we moved to Piran, Slovenia. Then Piran to Venice, Venice to Marseille, Marseille to Nice, Nice to Genoa, Genoa to Florence, Florence to San Giovanni Valdarno, San Giovanni Valdarno to Rome. Rome was the end of the line. Rome would be our final resting place (pun intended, who knew if we could manage to live through a trip like this? We would either kill ourselves or each other).

The tickets were expensive. The hostels were hard to find. We would have slept on a train three nights in a row. We would have gone to interesting places and seen touristy sites, but as our itinerary grew more and more detailed the quicker we were to realize that this trip, our so called European Dream Summer, wasn’t our dream at all. In fact it was becoming more of a nightmare (remember that European Conundrum we mentioned earlier).

The trip was too much. It was a mess. It was a pile of yarn and we were struggling to untangle it. We were na├»ve when we wrote this itinerary. We had outlandish goals and unrealistic dreams. We had done this before – jumped from one place to another without gaining a connection to the places we were in. We needed to slow down. Walk a little more, run a little less. Fully enjoy where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with.

We still don’t, yet, know all the details of the trip we hope to take. Plans are still in the works. Nothing, not even the dates, are set in stone. We do know, however, where we want to go and what we want to do, and honestly that is the most important part. Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience? And who do you want to be? Once you can answer these three questions – the three Ws of travel, so to speak, - everything else will slowly fall into place.

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