Wednesday, 10 April 2013

New Travel Plans

Well I have some very exciting news – for me, anyway :)  In a few weeks, I GET MY HUSBAND BACK!! (If only for 2 weeks…)

He is currently working abroad. I was due to be doing the same, but a health scare the week before I was due to leave meant that I had to miss my flight, meaning I my role was given to someone else and I remained at home instead. My husband had already left back in January this year, so after everything I’ve been through over the last few weeks then I am so glad that I will finally get to see him again for a bit.

We will spend some of the time in this country, and I have real longing to get out into the countryside some more, do some nice long walks. I am very much a fair weather walker, so the cold, rain and general miserableness of our weather here over the last several months has put me off, but hopefully there will be some reasonable days so we can make use of my old faithful Rough Guide and one of my new walking books.

It also means that we can plan a trip somewhere abroad – how exciting!!  We’ll probably use about 4 or 5 days for the trip, so we don’t want to do any long flights. We can’t plan together, but in a way that’s nice – we can both create our own plans, and then see which one we like the best.  But how to decide? There is so much world, and not enough time (or money!)

This seems like a perfect opportunity to leaf back through the year’s supply of National Geographic Traveller magazines that we have:

Look at them all there. Inspiring wistful thinking and envy in equal measures, with a little bit of smugness thrown in whenever I spot an article about a wonderful new place to visit and I have already been!

A lot of the articles include ideas for things of a slightly (ok, much) higher budget than I travel with, but I find photographs such fantastic inspiration for choosing places to visit, along with an insight into the culture, history and food available.

There are lots of places in Northern Europe that I fancy. I recently went to Germany and there are more places there that I would like to visit. An appealing aspect of Germany is that I can speak a little German, and I always think it’s great to know some of the language when you go away. It’s respectful to the local people, and it really enhances your experience. Belgium would also be really great – Bruges, Ghent, Brussels etc. I have a couple of friends there, and local knowledge is also a bonus.

But what about Scandinavia? I have never been there, but I really fancied going to Copenhagen earlier this year (I left booking flights too late and they got too expensive so I went to Germany instead). Or to Stockholm. I read Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy recently, it left me with a massive craving for open sandwiches and Ikea, and made me think about visiting Sweden.

Or further east in Europe, so many possibilities there: I have been to Croatia before and it was beautiful. I didn’t do so many of the things I was interested in as I was there with a girl friend who had totally different tastes to me, so it would be great to go back and see the place from a different perspective (and without getting sunburned and prickly heat!) My husband, A, didn’t go on that trip and I know he would love it there too. Some Canadian girls I met in a hostel in Edinburgh also recommended Slovenia as a fantastic place to visit. Or what about Belgrade, Bucharest, Talinn, Riga, Sofia…

Or back west again for the Iberian Peninsula? I love Barcelona. I spent 8 days there a few years ago, before I met A. It was beautiful and vibrant with so much to see and do (and eat and drink…) and I would love to show it to A. I’d also love to see the Alhambra down in the south of Spain. Or Lisbon. We visited Porto together a year or so ago, but neither of us have been to Lisbon. So much to choose from!!

I see my short-term future filled with internet searches for flight prices and train fares, image searches of various cityscapes and splendid architecture, and relevant books making their way off my shelves to be perused…


  1. How lucky you guys are to be so (relatively) close to so many different interesting cities. I can't recall - have you ever been to Canada or the US?

    1. Definitely - after our chat in the hostel in Germany, I now regularly chat to people about how lucky we are in Europe to have such variety so nearby. Before then, I hadn't fully realised just HOW large the US and Canada are! It's definitely changed my perspective. I have been to the US before, I visited family in Ohio, and I also took the Greyhound from there to Buffalo NY where I stayed for a couple of nights. I visited American and Canadian Niagra from there, but I don't think a few hours in Niagra properly counts as visiting Canada!

    2. Yeah, I have always thought Europeans are very lucky, in terms of travel. Now, a girl from Bavaria reminded me that even though Canada is "just" one big country, every part of it has its own unique culture and landscapes, which is very true. But you don't get so many stamps in your passport! I think it is a different perspective for sure - I grew up with the US just a few hours away (right now my parents live on the border with Michigan), but other than Iceland or Greenland, it is the only country even relatively close. Lots of Canadians go to the Caribbean and Mexico too though.