Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Developments

My Europe trip is something that I think about several times a day. It seems so far away and at the same time like it will be here before I know it. A few things have changed since I first posted.

New Country
We have decided to visit the Netherlands. Just from talking to friends and other travelers, the experience is a can’t miss. It’s very close to France and the atmosphere/scenery outway the additional cost. We haven’t decided where exactly we will visit, but have some good ideas from friends and fellow travelers. If you have any other places we HAVE to visit please post them in the comments below.

The Experience
What I think about the most is how the experience will change me. Travel does something special to us. When we go somewhere new, the only thing that we keep with us is ourselves. That is why traveling is such a great experience. When you remove the job, home, family, and friends and it’s just you; the inner voice that is you has nothing else vying for your attention. So that is what I want most from this trip is a greater understanding of where I want to go and what I want to do. These last few months have given me direction and new goals. My trip should give me even more clarity.

A Choice
I have debated on learning Spanish for the trip or at least some conversational dialogue. I believe that learning the language would enrich the experience. Tim Ferriss has a great article on how to learn language and has put a lot of time into mastering not only other languages, but the best method of learning them. It’s a big task and if I take the leap I am going to want to complete the task. Maybe I need a cute Spanish girl to motivate me haha. It would be amazing though to go salsa dancing in Spain.

As the trip gets closer I will post more articles. I’m probably going to get some gear over Christmas for the trip. I haven’t decided if I will get a cot for sleeping or not. Right now I’m leaning on no. What I do need most now though is pants and underwear. I have a decent though not great fleece. I’ll have to check out average temperatures before I decide to upgrade. Until next time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why Europe, Why a month?

As I sat there reading four hour work week by Tim Ferriss the idea of a mini retirement sounded too good to be true. Could I really do this? Tim talks about really experiencing a culture not just doing a 5 day or 2 week stay, but really experiencing a city.

I’ve never been one to buy the latest gadget, but as I’ve grown in the last year I’ve become attracted to the idea of collecting experiences. How long would I need to be away to really reflect and assess my life. How long would I need to stay unplugged? How long was possible? I researched the idea and realized that for me a month would be a really long time to be away and doable given my vacation allotment. I’ve wanted to go down to Australia/New Zealand for quite some time and that was the area I was first attracted too. Europe had always seemed too expensive. I did some research on both because either one would be a blast. Europe’s plane ticket was significantly cheaper (about $400+) and not only that for the same price we could fly into Barcelona and out of Rome. That was enough to convince me. I’ve always been drawn to the Renaissance period and old world art and intellectualism. There are several places I know I want to visit (Barcelona, Madrid, Normandy, Paris, Versailles, Florence, Vatican, Rome, and Venice), and several other great cities we have heard about. A month gives us enough time to explore the people, food, and culture perhaps a little more sincerely then a quick stopover could. It’s early, but I’ve already started acquiring some of the gear.
The plan is to circumnavigate Europe with only a 10 pound backpack. I bought the pack last month and it’s awesome. In fact, most of the stuff I’m going to by is used by one of my favorite bloggers, Tynan The guy lives around the world as a hobby and has field tested more gear then anyone I know. Check out how much gear he fits into his bag.

What I want to get out of the trip is a moment to reflect and reconnect with who I am and where I am going with my life. Tim Ferriss talks about it extensively in his book. How empowering it is to see that your world doesn’t collapse when you leave it. You unattach yourself from your “life” and find out who you truly are. I actually feel I’m in a great place in life right now, but a vacation of this scale should really allow me to gain some new insights and perspective. Not to mention experience new cultures and people.

The date of the trip will be April 22 through May 20 of 2010. If you have an interest of joining us or meeting us for a leg of our trip let me know. The more the merrier. If you have any great suggestions of places we need to see or things we should do let us know.