Pre-departure


I’m generally pretty focused on being in the moment. I’m a good planner and make time to do just that; then when I’m doing I’m in it and not thinking of much else. Planning vs. doing are two very distinct activities in my head, something I got really good at that while working on my masters as I was working full time and doing a bunch of traveling, both business and pleasure. I’ve been thinking about writing about those distinctions for me because I had to take it to a zen level to keep my sanity last year and I find it playing out in my life now in a number of ways. But that’s a different blog.

All that to say, when Dan asks things like “are you excited about xx” that’s some weeks or months away, I’m always like “uh, no, not even thinking about it.” But almost without fail when there’s a big trip coming up, I actually DO start to get excited once my official “one week away” countdown begins.

That countdown started yesterday. About this time next week I’ll be in London Heathrow waiting for my next flight. It’s been a heck of a year and I’m ready for a vacation, and am really excited about both new and familiar things on this trip.

Dan is really enjoying his work at Bayer and while his travel schedule can be rough he is committed to making it work well for both of us. He’s done 4 trips this calendar year already that were all 10-12 days – two in Raleigh/Durham and two in Europe. We’re committed to turning one of his Europe business trips a year into a vacation for us so he tries to pick one where he’ll only have to work a few days and then we can tack extra time onto that. This is the one!

I’ve also had a busy year with finishing my masters in April (yahoo!) and starting a new job in January which has been entirely satisfying, challenging and rewarding. So excited to be where I am in my career. But again, another blog entry probably.

On top of that, we’ve had some interesting real estate things going on. Won’t get into too much detail here but let’s just say it’s kept us both busy and frustrated at times. Some of you have heard our intention to move from Davis to Midtown, Sacramento. We’ve actually been in escrow on a property since December, original closing date was set for January 29. And we still haven’t closed. Short version: sellers have to address some issues the title company brought up relative to a little lien the City of Sacramento has on the property. It’s nothing we care about, but the deal can’t move forward until they fix things and it’s been painfully slow. So we wait.

We are definitely ready for some play time. Here’s the plan this year:

Dan is actually leaving from home Wednesday night. He has to work in San Francisco on Thursday, and is flying out Friday morning. He has some big work to do early part of the week and wanted an extra day to help with time lag. I wasn’t able to leave until late Saturday because I had a board meeting for my job I needed to present at. As of late this past week, that obligation has been pushed to the September board meeting. I’m relieved that I’ll have more flexibility on the day I leave, because the logistics of getting to Fremont in the morning then SFO that evening was getting tricky. Car? Public transportation? Neither was ideal. But all that worked out about the same time and I’m leaving my car in front of a friend’s house in Burlingame. So we will have a way home when we get back.

So I leave Saturday evening out of SFO to London, then will meet Dan in Cologne, which will be home base the first few days. Since he will be really busy with work Monday and Tuesday, I’m going to head out on my own and catch up on some things he’s been able to do on his weekends over there earlier in the year. Monday I will take a train to Luxembourg City and spend the night there, Tuesday move on to Trier, Germany, and spend the night there. Wednesday and Thursday morning I will hang out in Cologne. This is my 3rd time there and I’m looking forward to both something familiar yet there are still things to see and do for the first time. And I do love the cathedral and the train station! Cologne for me has turned into some kind of touchstone and I’m not quite sure why yet.

Thursday afternoon we fly to Barcelona. We’ve rented an apartment from AirBnB and will be there through Monday. Originally the idea for this trip included Madrid and Lisbon. But Dan was trying to maximize both points and efficient travel via British Airways and you had to fly through London to get to Lisbon, which didn’t make sense to him. And the train would take too much time. So he turned the question around: where you can get a direct flight to from Barcelona?

And one of the answers to that question is: Helsinki. We loved the novelty and diversity that would bring. So we’re doing 5 nights there as home base, with several day trips, including one for sure to Tallinn, Estonia.

Dan’s very excited that I’ll get to say I’ll have my feet in 5 countries on this trip: Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Finland, Estonia. I have to say I’m pretty excited, too.

The blog has become a given and such an integral part of the trip it now even factors into our choices for where we stay – ensuring there’s a desk set up of some kind so I can write somewhat comfortably every night. We enjoy the interaction and look forward to you joining us for the ride!

 

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