True confession: I get grumpy and a little sick to my stomach every time I embark on a new international trip. Whether it is stress related to remembering to pack everything, making our flights without issues, or having some semblance of an itinerary developed once we arrive, I am usually a bundle of nerves as the time draws closer. Today is one of those days...
But mostly, I am really excited because... WE'RE OFF TO EUROPE FOR 5 MONTHS! **Does a little happy dance in the Denver terminal**
First stop: ICELAND! We hope to see the Aurora Borealis while soaking in the natural hot springs surrounded by winter beauty. What could be more fantastic?! We don't have a real itinerary and have not had much time over the holidays to prepare, but what we know is that it will be a wild place to explore. I hope we can return in the summer to see it in a different state, but the northern lights are really what this week-long layover is all about! We upgraded our cameras during the holidays, so hopefully we can capture a small fraction of the beauty of the landscape.
Following Iceland, we will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark on to Dusseldorf, Germany where we will meet our home for the next 5 months -- a Globecar Globescout!
Jaimie and I have always been fascinated with the tiny house movement and always thought we could manage and appreciate living in the small space, and now we'll get to try it for ourselves. Our van will be a 2014 standard diesel, equipped with a double bed, kitchen, bathroom, kitchen table, bench seat, bike racks, a small storage garage, and of course, snow tires. Due to the visa requirements, we can't spend more than 90 days within the "Schengen Zone," comprised of most of the mainland EU countries, so we'll split our time between the UK and mainland, hopefully covering 25 countries by June! Here's a rough map of our planned route.
We'll deviate routes a bit between cities, especially in the UK and France, where we plan to see as much countryside as possible. However, for the most part, we are planning on it being a solid 7000+ mile roundtrip. Traveling by campervan will significantly cut down on our costs and allow us to travel the way we prefer: slowly, cheaply, and off the beaten path. We had a difficult time finding much information about taking a motorhome across Europe in Winter, (and perhaps we will better understand why soon...) but we anticipate it being a fantastic trip full of incredible sights, history, food, and people.
Despite my nerves of what lies ahead, I am so thrilled for this season of life, recognizing in full the blessing and privilege to embark on such an ambitious and exciting adventure. I hope you'll follow along with us over the next few months!
Here's to the journey! ONWARD.