|Subject: Wow,great group....bigger intro/next trip|
Since I was only allowed 200 words in the first intro, I thought I should give a few more details. I am thrilled to find this very interesting group.
My name is Lisa (sometimes I go by WT, short for world traveler) and we are about to take off on a very slow, open ended trip around the world starting the first 2 1/2 years in Europe. We sold our beloved home and small pinot vineyard (that dh started from scratch) in the San Francisco Bay area (Santa Cruz) last summer (out at peak!) to retire early and take this trip RTW with our 5yo daughter. We are in our early 50's.
We have the tickets and bought a van in Amsterdam and will take off Sept 2. So far we mostly have the big picture mapped, so lots more research to do and I am enjoying all the other talk about areas on our itinerary. Our first 7 weeks will be focused on northern Spain (and a couple of weeks of Paris & rural France on the way). We will be based in the winter in a lovely white village from late Oct to late Mar http://www.frigilianahouses.com/Frigiliana01.shtml and have found a great rental with awesome ocean & moutain views at bargain off season (monthly)prices! We will enter our bilingual child into the public school there (just 2000 people in this village) for the immersion into the culture and language of some of her ancestors and do lots of small trips to Portugal, Morocco, Gilbralter & more of southern Spain.
In the spring we will head out to France, Italy, Greece, Crete, Turkey and a short trip to Egypt while the weather is cool. At some point we will sell back our van and purchase a 4-berth camper for the rest of the trip (lots more room, but still on a van chassis so easy to get around). We will see Croatia and focus on places like Praque an Budapest (since we have not seen them yet) & Eastern Europe, possibly a quick trip to Moscow & St Pete. (I have seen, but would like dh & dd to see) and more of EU while weather holds up. Then probably back to same village for another winter in Spain when it gets cold. The next summer we will do another tour with focus on UK (and mostly Ireland as we have done extensive UK except Ireland) and Scandanavia. We will probably do our Safari to Africa and quick trip to Tunisia from Spain base as well (maybe visit friends in Dubai as well). Later part of trip is still open & less planned as I will do more of that as we go as we will bring one or 2 laptops with us and have a 24/7 connection.
Then we will probably head to Thailand or Argentina as bases for extensive travel in those continental areas. (South America & much of the far east). We would like to do pretty extensive travel in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and central America. We are planning on ending with extensive RV travel in this country, Mexico and Canada in slow and easy way. We are not sure that we won't end up as "perpetual travelers" as other early retirees (like the Terhorsts) have and we will mostly homeschool as we go.
So I have a lot to learn and will have lots to share. I hope to start a blog and website soon and may end up writing a book when my child gets a little older about this adventure. (I have certainly been enjoying exotic travel stories from families with kids.. and not... lately.)
Looking forward to being part of the lovely community and I am grateful that I found you!
Carpe Diem! Lisa, SF area