To be fair, Jonathan won’t be granted ‘ex-pat’ vacation time until 2013 which means we are coasting on just 10 days right now, 5 of which will be used for our October trip to the states. It’s more economical for us to pair a side trip with a business vacation since his company pays for his roundtrip airfare and we don’t have to waste a vacation day on travel.
It’s just that we’ve been so busy with work trips that we haven’t had much time or the energy for personal trips. It all feels very chaotic and haphazard and I’m ready to start deliberately traveling. Does that make any sense? We’re just overwhelmed with all of the options Europe has to offer, that we’re not deliberately choosing where to go- we’re just saying yes to any chance thrown our way. I worry that if we keep going like this, we’ll end up three years down the road missing out on all those things that we really had our hearts set on.
And there’s also the issue of starting a family, which was one of our goals while positioned in the UK. Our next assignment may not be in first world country and so family planning would get a whole heck of a lot more complicated if we waited until then. However, I feel like there is so much travelling we have left to do before we take that step.
A friend of mine suggested that Jonathan and I sit down and make a list of all the things we want to do while in Europe, and then prioritize the ones that we want to do before pregnancy/having kids and save the ones that we wouldn’t mind doing during pregnancy/with kids for the backend of our time here. So that’s exactly what we did.
Living in Europe Bucket List:
In the U.K.:
Golfing at St. Andrews Old Course (Jonathan specific)
Golfing at Gleneagles (Jonathan specific)
Hiking the West Highland Way
Visiting the Orkney Islands
Photographing Highland Cows (Laine Specific)
Visiting the Isle of Skye
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Climbing Ben Nevis
Whisky Tasting at the MacAllan Distillery
In Mainland Europe:
Skiing in the Alps
Spanish or Italian Wine Country
Cinque Terre, Italy
French Road Trip
Brittany Region of France
Things we’ve already crossed off of our lists:
English Lake District (wowza!)
Hiking Loch Muick
We’ve already got a pretty hefty list here and with trips back home and work destinations sprinkled in, it’s unlikely that we’ll cross every item off of the list before our time in Scotland is over. We were all set to visit Auschwitz with a September trip to Krakow, Poland, but it turns out that Jonathan has the opportunity to travel to one of his major lifelong bucket list destinations instead: Australia!
And since his business trip is only for 2 days, and he’s not traveling all the way to Australia without scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, he’s going to use up a few of our Christmas vacation days on that. But plans are in the works for an Alpine ski trip in Spring of 2013, so hopefully that item will be crossed off the list soon enough. And my parents wanted to meet us in Europe for a couple’s trip next Spring as well, so a little trip to Lake Como and the Italian wine region might be in order.
Are there any European items on your bucket list? Any that you think should be added to ours?