Here are my top two choices:
Here are my thoughts:
- Not worried at all about the price/length difference. I mean, $500 and 5 days? No sweat off my brow there.
- The Panorama tour includes Dublin. BONUS.
- Grand Tour includes an extra day in Amsterdam, more Italy cities, and Madrid. BONUS.
Although I still need to decide which trip I'm going to take, I think I have decided on leaving in June (22 if I choose Panorama, 24 if I choose Grand Tour). The boys will all be done with school and back home or with their host families, and I will have a few weeks to decompress and get ready for this trip. I still need to figure out which airport makes the most sense for me to leave from - but that really just comes down to price. I am comparing Madison, Chicago and Minneapolis.
The other important decision: a backpack. This isn't a rolling luggage or duffel bag kind of trip. This is a "keep-it-light-because-it-will-all-be-on-your-back" kind of trip. Yup. I get to live out of a 4lb, 4,400 cubic inch backpack. Probably this one:
I have been seriously thinking about this trip for a little over a month now. I first posted it on Facebook back in June (actually, exactly a month ago from today. that has to be a sign, right?!). At first I was met with hesitation when I would bring it up to people. The most common question: what about your job? I hadn't really thought through that detail, and really, I still haven't. But when I found this article last week, I decided that the lingering questions I had about actually taking this trip were pointless. I need to do this. And I need to do this now.
And I'll leave you with this: "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." -Christopher Columbus