We handed over our credit card and it was done! Five months of Europe travel booked and paid for. We started out planning for four months but Brodie said “What ever you do make it as long as you can. Even grabbing a few days before and a few days after the end date will make a difference.” Then we found out Gilbert’s cousin is a travel agent so met with her and started TE PLAN.
We kept sneaking the leaving date forward and the end date back (like Brodie said) and before we knew, it was another month long…but now its done, and it’s a pretty good feeling. The next seventeen weeks will fly I’m sure. We’ve planned the outline and now some research is needed to decide about the middle bits.
We fly to Amsterdam to spend around ten days with Tanja. Then across to Ireland to explore where Mums family came from for two weeks. Some time allowed after this to visit Scotland and Wales, and a couple of friends to visit in London before heading to Croatia. We stay with my Dad’s family on the beautiful Island of Brac for a couple of weeks where we meet up with Tony, Duane and Lindy with her two girls, Marinka and Holly. We have another couple of weeks to explore other parts of Croatia, say goodbye to the whanau and make our way to Italy and perhaps train into France. We hope to pick up a car to drive across Southern France where we’ve been invited to stay with Marco and his family in a French Village.
If all goes well from there into Spain and perhaps Morocco from where we will fly back to London to pick up a connecting flight to Malaysia before dipping our toes into the beautiful Island of Langkawi where we holidayed ten years ago. This is the compulsory weeks rest and relaxation that we scheduled in at the end, before we return to the real world in Mid November.
We have planned to do this with no checked in luggage, bringing home only memories. I don’t know if this is possible but we will see. I plan to lose 8 kilos before we leave, so I can eat my way around Europe and come back no fatter than I was last month. I don’t know if this is possible either, losing weight and coming back no fatter I mean, but we’ll see about that too. There is much to do and more to have everything sorted at work, in the garden, and for the trip plans, but they tell me this is half the fun?
I have been running through the French I once knew. It will be amazing to hone those skills again. Lindy keeps coming up to me at work with Croatian words for me to guess as she is practising too. The sheer excitement bubbles up in us all from time to time when we think about it. Every time we mention something at work or catch up for dinner Tony, Duane, Lindy, Gilbert & I share some new bit we have gleaned from somewhere. We will be together discovering Brac, where Grandpa was born and left over a 100 years ago with his brothers for a better life. Somewhere he never returned to, so never saw his sisters or parents again. I hope we can return something of him on our trip. It sounds amazing to me reading this now, that it is actually going to happen. Au Revoir! Hmm I shall ask Lindy today how to say that in Croatian…