A few years ago I was given an inheritance – just enough money to take me, myself and I on a 5 week trip around Europe. Of course I thought long and hard about what I wanted to spend the money on and I could have spent it on so many more sensible things like a few years worth of school fees, things for the house that we were going to be building, a new car etc etc. But I wanted to spend it on something different – something that I wouldn’t normally be able to have, something that I had always dreamed of. Since as long as I could remember I had dreamed of going to Europe and having the adventure of a lifetime…..
I remember when I was very young saying to my mum that one day I would like to go to Greece – she said “that’s nice dear”. I would have liked to have travelled to Europe with my husband years ago pre children but he didn’t want to. We did go on an amazing trip to Canada, LA and Hawaii plus Fiji and a couple of trips to Australia, but not to Europe. The dream never went away and was the perfect way to spend my money. But what about the rest of the family? We talked about putting it on the mortgage and all going but my husband really wasn’t keen. Of course I wanted to do all the touristy things like see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, Vatican City etc etc plus The Sound of Music tour. All of these things didn’t interest him remotely and it would have been a complete waste of money taking him so we agreed that he wouldn’t come this time and I would go and get it out of my system. The plan was that one day we would go back together and do a different type of holiday, something that wouldn’t mean rushing around so much. It just so happened that the school my girls went to needed a family to host a homestay student for the next 2 years and the money she world pay in board over 2 years would be enough to pay for the girls to come to Europe with me. So it was settled – it was to be a mother and daughter trip.
So the planning began……
I literally spent 2 years planning the adventure of a lifetime. It was so much fun. I pored over websites, watched travel videos on youtube, became an avid fan of Rick Steves, talked to everyone I knew who had travelled to Europe, made up a very detailed spreadsheet and priced up everything down to the smallest details, researched train routes, Airbnb places, tours etc etc etc. I made up an itinerary and then when the time came closer booked everything myself except for the flights which I booked through a travel agent. I know I drove my friends and family mad talking about it. Oh well.
Where did we go?
We flew from Auckland to London and then caught trains to Paris, Semur en Auxois, Zurich, Salzberg, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome, flew to Santorini, back to Zurich, Singapore and home. If any of these places are of interest to you, I will eventually write blogs about all of them so watch this space….
Our mother daughter trip…..
It was so much fun going with my daughters. What an amazing opportunity! I still pinch myself that it actually happened. My girls were 18 and 14 at the time and were the best travel buddies. I had booked most of our accommodation within walking distance from the train stations and my 18 year old was really good at navigating and getting us around. It was absolutely the adventure of a lifetime and something that I will always remember with such fondness as it 100% added to the joy in life for me (and I hope for my girls).
My dream is to one day go back to Europe – hopefully more than once. We would love to go back to the Greek Isles (all 4 of us) and spend more time and see more islands, and my husband and I would like to go on a Rhine River Christmas cruise that goes from Amsterdam to Basel stopping off and going to Christmas markets on the way down. The plan is to meet our girls in Basel and spend some time in Switzerland and have Christmas day in the Alps and then finish with New Years in Montmartre, Paris. I also want to one day go to the UK and spend a bit of time travelling around England, Ireland and Scotland. But everything is on hold right now due to a couple of issues called Covid 19 and unemployment! Oh well, dreams are free and one day hopefully it will happen. It will take some serious planning and saving but where there’s a will there’s a way! For now I shall just look through my Europe 2016 photos and relive my adventure of a lifetime.