Guess what you guys?!
I did it! The tickets are booked! I’m outta here on the 6th of August!! Loki’s following close behind and will be flying out on the 10th, meeting me at Frankfurt airport on the 11th.
There’s still a bit left to organise, but really not much. In terms of the “big stuff” – packing up the house and organising the container to store it in and surviving the first hectic week once I land (train to Netherlands, pick up and pay for the van, drive to Stuttgart, meet Isi’s dad (without her), register myself as living in Germany (maybe?), register the van, pick up Loki from Frankfurt.
There’s little things here – changing my name on my licence, visiting a doctor, going to the dentist, cancelling some insurances and all that… but now that I’ve finished work, I have weekdays to do all those things, and about 5 weeks to do them.
There’s only 34 days before I’m getting on the plane to leave. So, because this is slightly terrifying, and because people keep asking me every 5 seconds whether I’m excited to be going*, and because I have a lot of anxiety about the trip, I thought I’d make a sort of “bucket list” of things I really want to do once I’m there.
So, here we go, in no particular order.
- Fjords in Norway. It’s funny, a while ago I wasn’t even considering Norway as one of my “must visit” destinations, but it’s jumped up to the top. Something about the country feels like it’s calling me.
- Amsterdam. Haven’t been there yet! While I’ve done some (SOME!) of the cities in Europe, Amsterdam has always been just off my radar. I figure if I’m picking up my van in the Netherlands, this would be the perfect opportunity…
- Scottish Highlands. I think the ruggedness, the wildness, of Scotland is what’s drawing me here – similar to Norway.
- Northern Lights. Interestingly, I’ve never been one of those people who HAD to see the Northern Lights. Sure, they’re cool, but it wasn’t on my bucket list before… but since I’ll be in Europe, I think I would regret the opportunity to go.
- Ice skate outside somewhere. I really like ice-skating. I like those romantic movies too where it’s Christmas and everything is all pretty and they’re skating around outside all rugged up and cosy. Here you skate circles in an indoor rink with a billion other people and try not to crash into children.
- Hike in the Alps. I don’t mind which part of the Alps, too. Swiss, Austrian, Italian… all good.
- Hikes in Slovenia. I just love Slovenia. I want to explore more, find cool trails, wander over mountains and through forests and swim in lakes and rivers.
- Cuddle Loki. Endless cuddles in the van, by a campfire, on a mountain, looking over a fjord. Being with my best and sweetest guy, having the most amazing adventures.
- Plitvice Lakes – Croatia, this one is pretty specific, but this lake park looks really cool.
- Maybe Christmas Markets? They look cute and Christmassy and snowy and cold.
- Getting Pretzels with Isi in Germany, and just generally watching Isi be German and know her way around and be in ‘her place’. It’s weird but I find that super attractive and cute. Go figure.
- Competitions & training, well duh, this one is pretty self-explanatory and obvious. Starting with a seminar in the UK with two of the most amazing trainers ever, going across to Agility World Championships, then some “intensive training” with Isabelle in Sweden (OMG), and then Norwegian Open. I’m a little afraid of making a fool of myself with the highest level competitions there but I’m going to learn SO much.
- Roman ruins, I don’t really mind where – whether in Italy or elsewhere. Just want to see some cool ruins. And castles. And ruined castles.
- Having time to write my book/s, as in, fix the beginning of the 1st book, finish the rewrite of the 2nd book, and actually get stuck into the 3rd.
- Bretagne, I’ve always wanted to get to Bretagne in France (or.. Brittany). It seems like a sort of rugged, sea-swept kind of place.
There’s plenty more, of course, and places that I’ll find just by travelling around and taking advice from people.
*I am excited, just not in the way I think people feel I should be. I am looking forward to many things. I’m looking forward to hiking and training and exploring. I’m anxious about a lot of things. I can’t picture how life is going to work once I’m there, or what our routine is going to be like, or where we’re going to be sleeping every night. I think until I’m there and we’ve spent some time on the road, the unknown-ness of it all will stop me feeling “excited” the way people think I should. I think what most people aren’t understanding is that this isn’t a normal trip where you pack a suitcase and go from hotel to hotel and wander around or whatever. Not for me, anyway.