In today’s post, I’m going to take you on a bit of a journey…..a journey into my mind when it comes to coming up with elaborate travel plans. So, please buckle up, hold on tight and I’ll let you know where my crazy thoughts are right now!
First, a tiny bit of background. My title refers to my annual solo road trip although this is only the 3rd year of going away on my own. In October 2017, I spent a week travelling around northern France which included a stay in a stunning riverside house where, late at night, I was adamant that the intermittent banging noise was a sign of a murderer coming for me…. turned out to be the American fridge freezer but, before finding out, I made an ‘OMG, I’m going to die‘ phone call to hubby! Yes, yes, he guessed it was fridge-related and, yes, he wasn’t overly surprised when I managed to make it back to the UK looking rather….alive! In May 2018, I spent a week travelling all over northern England and just about into Scotland. That was an amazing week that included my first visit to the beautiful Lake District, Harry Potter World, feeding monkeys in a monkey forest, dinner at the Alnwick Treehouse Restaurant, watching Romeo and Juliet in Stratford-upon-Avon, etc. With one exception, I stayed at different hotels each night and practically lived out of the boot of my car. I loved it though. Give me a list of carefully researched postcodes for the satnav and BBC Radio 2, and I’m happy to drive and drive and drive.
The second bit of background info is that I’ve mentioned above that I have a hubby. And a pretty amazing one at that and so you may wonder what I’m doing going away on my own. We would love nothing better than going away together and goodness we have plans to do all kinds of things one day. But, without going into the nitty-gritty, we’ve had a very challenging situation at home for 5 years and it means that one of us has to be here. I mean, it’s rare that we even get out for a meal and unfortunately no-one can really understand our reality. So, we have two options: either we put off our plans until we can go away one day (which is pretty hard to imagine right now) or we seize the moment and do our own thing for the time being. We choose the latter!
So, this is how today’s conversation with hubby went. “Huuuunnnn” (a term of endearment and puppy dog eyes over lunch are always a good way to start). “How would you feel if I went away again?“. Now, with very good reason, the response was “Mmmmm, where?” I decided that the best way to answer this was to ask which countries are ones that he wouldn’t be keen on me going away to alone. Still seeing him a little bit hesitant, I opened up Maps on my iPhone, zoomed out of the UK so most of Europe could be seen and said ‘Well, what about any of these?” He mentioned a few countries that I won’t mentioned in case any of my followers are from there….although please know that no country in Europe is on my ‘don’t go there‘ list. And after to-ing and fro-ing a little bit, he said “That’d probably be okay“. YES!!!! That’s my green light to go and ahead and book! I’m just telling myself that he didn’t really say “probably” although, in all seriousness, he has confirmed that I can book a holiday. Whoop!
Once the Christmas decorations came down, there’s been only one thing to do: plan my solo trip! And there’s a combination of things to think about: how far can I drive each day whilst not being overtired, which countries are ‘must go’ places, which countries are ones I’ve never been to before (in my ques to visit 10 new countries before I turn 50), which destinations are unusual or beautiful enough to capture my imagination, etc. Also, I looked at my bucket list to see whether I could combine some of my current goals with my travel plans, like Little Venice in Colmar (France) or Venice (Italy), visit more UNESCO sites (I’ve two more to go to in order to reach 10), etc. If only there was somewhere within reach where I could visit a rainforest or desert! And perhaps I’ll go through the Eurotunnel which is on my bucket list. And then there’s Ljubljana in Slovenia which is one of the top destinations I’d love to go. Just think how I can add to my photography bucket list! I’ve spent quite a while looking today at how long it takes to get from place A to place B and am finding myself thinking ‘Oh, it’s just a 7 hour drive that day, 4 hours the next”, etc. Is that normal?! That said, I’ve had a look on the P&O Cruises website too in case there’s anything that takes my fancy instead of a road trip but any of the cruises I’d love to go are at least 12 days long and that’s a bit too long to be away from here. So, I think it’s the road trip this June and you’ll find out over the next few months exactly where as I research some fabulous places and bring together my final plans.
In the meantime, let me share some photos from the internet of Ljubljana, Liechtenstein and Colmar that are looking FABULOUSLY attractive.
I’d love to hear your ideas too……basically places in Europe that I can drive to start in Calais, France. I’ll go anywhere!