Beyond Vacation Kick-Off Itinerary Part 1
Our Beyond Vacation kick-off trip is almost here! After months of building up our savings account to start our new lifestyle, dealing with visa stresses, and planning this first trip, we’re almost ready to hit the road. Andy’s last day of work was April 19th, and we have a renter set up for our apartment while we’re gone. So where are we traveling to? Because the trip will be in two distinct areas of Europe, one in May and one in June, I thought I’d split the itinerary into part 1 and part 2.
On May 9th we will leave Freiburg and spend two nights in Luxembourg. Yes, this is a bit of list ticking for me. I’ve never been to Luxembourg, plus it’s one of the few remaining western European countries I haven’t made it to, and it’s among the smallest countries in Europe. We’ll spend some time exploring the capital Luxembourg City, and take a day trip to see Vianden Castle.
I’ve also never been to the Netherlands, so after our brief stay in Luxembourg, we’ll go check out the popular city of Amsterdam for about five days. Canals, windmills, tulips, museums, and of course local beer will all be worked into our time there. Normally mid May would be a little late to see tulips, but we’ve had such a cold long winter this year, it looks like we’ll still be able to take a day trip out of the city and see the flowers in their prime.
We’ve rented an apartment in Amsterdam so we’re looking forward to exploring the local neighborhood while still being close enough to the sights. We don’t have much planned, so we’ll just figure things out when we get there.
On May16th, we’ll leave Amsterdam and hop on a quick train to Rotterdam. This year’s TBU blogging conference is being held in Rotterdam, so when the location was announced, we ended up planning the May portion of our trip around it. After the conference, we will be on a two day tour of city. In the past we haven’t had much time to explore the cities the conferences have been in, so this should be good.
Andy and I really enjoyed our time in Brussels last summer. So when we knew we’d be so close for TBU, we decided we had to return. We’ll get there on May 22nd after our Rotterdam tour and spend seven nights. There are a few sights we didn’t get to see last time around, plus I’m sure we will be enjoying more Belgian beer, waffles and fries.
Again, we’ve rented an apartment a little outside of the center that looks like it’s in a great neighborhood, but still has easy access to public transportation. We’re thinking of doing a day trip to Bruge or Ghent, or maybe both, but we’re keeping things open. We’ll need some relaxation time after the conference, and we just want to enjoy the city.
Nice and Monaco
On May 29th we’re getting on a night train from Brussels to Nice, France. Mostly we just wanted to split up the long journey between Brussels and our next destination, and a couple days on the coast sounded inviting. We’ve both been to Nice and Monaco before, but it’s been a long time, so we’ll spend two nights there.
Stay tuned to see what our Beyond Vacation kick-off trip itinerary looks like for June! Hint: It may involve pasta. (Read here for Part 2 of the itinerary.)
April 29, 2013 @ 2:16 PM
This is the sort of travel I have always wanted to do – that is take is slow, not figure out too much in advance and leave as much as possible open to the Universe and the flow of spontaneity.
What you’re undertaking to do is what I call being a “free range human being”. Human beings weren’t made for cubicles 40 hours a week for close to 50 years of life and to then start living, wondering what on earth they have done with all those lost years. The four walls of apartments were made for shelter not for hiding nor slaving away at jobs that we hate in order to pay for mortgages most of us can’t afford and life was meant to be lived directly and not lived vicariously through others. So I coined the term “free range human beings” and I’ve tried to live it out within my own personal circumstances and encourage others to do the same.
So I say this: set sail from the safe harbor of familiarity and out into the deep waters of possibility. Hoist your masts as high as possible and catch the winds of spontaneity and excitement and sail to your hearts content. And know this: that sailors learn how to sail in the greatest of waves and storms, not in the safety of harbors. And so it is with life.
I wish you both well and look forward with excitement to reading your blog posts.
May 1, 2013 @ 12:50 PM
Thanks Matthew, I totally agree with you! We were not meant to trap ourselves inside our homes and confine ourselves to just work. There is so much more to life, and Andy and I are striving to make sure our lives are filled with many other things that have more value to us. Thanks for following along!
April 29, 2013 @ 8:40 PM
That’s a good itinerary. I look forward to reading about your travels.
May 1, 2013 @ 12:50 PM
April 30, 2013 @ 8:40 AM
Sounds like a fun trip. We’ll see you in Rotterdam!
May 1, 2013 @ 12:50 PM
Thanks, see you in a few weeks!
April 30, 2013 @ 11:50 AM
Ali, it sounds wonderful. And enjoy the beer 🙂
May 1, 2013 @ 12:51 PM
Thanks Kim! I’m sure we will!
Shifting Away From the Vacation Mindset - Grounded Traveler
April 30, 2013 @ 1:23 PM
[…] out, calories versus the extra walking needed. Although it still feels surreal to be leaving on the trip in a week, that trip is feeling more […]
April 30, 2013 @ 2:51 PM
May 1, 2013 @ 12:51 PM
April 30, 2013 @ 5:56 PM
Yeeee! Sounds like an awesome plan so far. I hope you have soooo much fun. By the way, those fries look ammmmaaazing!
May 1, 2013 @ 12:52 PM
Thanks! The fries were amazing! One of the reasons we’re going back to Brussels.
April 30, 2013 @ 9:41 PM
Happy travels, Ali!
May 1, 2013 @ 12:54 PM
May 1, 2013 @ 5:10 AM
While you are in Amsterdam, please try and make it to Anne Franks house. Would love to read a blog post about that.
May 1, 2013 @ 12:55 PM
That is definitely on my short list of things I want to do while in Amsterdam!
May 1, 2013 @ 7:16 AM
Sounds great – can’t wait to follow along! And you know we love the philosophy behind your new plan of action:)
May 1, 2013 @ 12:56 PM
Thanks Kent! We appreciate the inspiration (and support!) we got from you guys and your own approach to life and travel!
May 1, 2013 @ 2:07 PM
It sounds lovely Ali!! Can’t wait to hear more about it!
May 1, 2013 @ 8:37 PM
May 1, 2013 @ 6:58 PM
Fantastic trip you have planned, I really do want to visit Luxembourg as well. Great idea getting an apartment in Amsterdam. What part of town is it in? We spent all of November there housesitting and just fell in love with the city. We were a bit out of the hoopla of the innter center, so I think that helped.
May 2, 2013 @ 12:34 PM
We rented an apartment near Vondelpark, so a little out from the center but still really close to stuff. Glad to hear you liked the city so much! We’re really looking forward to it. I might hit you up for suggestions of places you liked!
May 2, 2013 @ 10:10 PM
Ok, we were off Overtoom about 20 minute walk from the Leidesplein and about 10 to the park, it was perfect, especially if you have a bike. Hit us up whenever!
May 3, 2013 @ 5:48 PM
I’ll have to look at the map, I’ve done almost no research! Sounds good though, thanks Scott!
Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
May 2, 2013 @ 1:37 PM
I’m bummed to be missing TBU this year…so difficult to get to with flight combos, costs and that pesky job I have. Enjoy!
May 2, 2013 @ 9:11 PM
Aw, that’s a shame, I wish you could go too! Hopefully we’ll run into each other again one of these days!
May 3, 2013 @ 11:36 AM
You guys are going to have the most awesome time, really soaking in these places 🙂
May 3, 2013 @ 6:00 PM
Thanks Laurence, I hope so!
May 4, 2013 @ 3:34 AM
This all sounds so exciting!!! I will definitely keep reading….so keep writing!!!
May 4, 2013 @ 3:06 PM
Thanks Beth, I really appreciate it! Glad to have you along!
May 7, 2013 @ 6:14 PM
Your trip already sounds delicious…I mean, exciting!
May 8, 2013 @ 11:53 AM