Looking ahead and looking back.
August 12, 2018
As we enter the beginning stages of planning our next adventure, I can’t help but reflect back on our whirlwind trip to Europe last year. I wish I had written more about it then, but since our time machine is in the shop, I figured I might as well try to recap some of our adventures while I still have a good memory of them.
I guess a good place to start is how we actually ended up traversing Europe for nearly 4 months.
Michael and I were both working 100% remotely in 2017. In June, the company he worked for was talking about sending him to their offices in London, Paris, and Brussels. Long story short, they ended up deciding not to send him, at that point. But…what if we went? We could do the work we needed to do from anywhere and our lease was ending in a few months. Our only loose end was what to do with our dog, Milo.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were amazing enough to agree to take Milo for roughly four months — on top of their 2 (of 3) girls still living at home and their two dogs.
The ball started really rolling at this point. Michael agreed to visit a few of the Europe offices for a day or two, but we were otherwise free to go wherever we wanted. Originally, we had planned on only visiting a 4 – 5 places and staying longer in each place. This evolved into trying to see as much as we could.
In the middle of July, we bought our plane tickets for our first stop – London! We knew that we wanted to go to Scotland and Germany for sure, but didn’t have much of a plan otherwise.
Michael had his passport, but I needed to get mine. I was worried that I would have some trouble getting it in Denver since I still had my Texas drivers license, but evidently, I just needed a second form of picture ID (not sure if this is the same in all states, so check your local guidelines). Funnily enough, a Costco membership card was an acceptable form of ID — I’d been wanting to renew our membership anyway, so it worked out!
We found a storage facility with great prices that we could store all of our worldly possessions AND park our cars at (shoutout to Wadsworth Self Storage. We felt great about leaving our stuff under Patricia’s watchful eye for 4 months). Over the next few months, we packed up all of our worldly possessions, (in an ironic twist) acquired yet more stuff for the trip, tried to get our giant ass suitcases under 50 lbs of weight (this means I packed, overpacked, unpacked and repacked…more than a few times) and tried to keep our excitement contained.
We had to get Milo to Dallas to stay with Michael’s family, so the weekend before our trip, I flew with Milo to Dallas (not recommended if you don’t have to do it) and dropped him off with family and did a little visiting just in case we got stuck (or killed) in Europe and this was the last time I would see any of them.
The next week we discovered just how insanely hard it is to continue work as normal while moving all of your possessions out of your house, into a storage unit, make sure you didn’t actually put something in the storage unit that you need to bring (for me, this was my iPad charger), clean the house you just moved out of and not feel super weird about an Uber picking you up outside of a storage facility on a dirt road (awkward).
Our next installment finds us at the airport for our first international flight…where the zipper on my new duffel bag breaks and I have to buy a $45.00 backpack from one of the airport shops.