I made a decision today.
In summer 2013? I'm going to Europe, dammit. It's something I've wanted to do since my senior year of college 3 years ago. And it's high time I start putting it off and start putting it on a calendar and dropping pennies into the piggy bank.
My good friend Kelsey desperately wants to go to Europe this summer, and I'm dying to join her, but it's just not financially possible, and I'm tapped out on my vacation time from the office.
It's also not financially possible summer 2012 either, since we're moving to either A) San Diego or B) Washington D.C. ... and I know we're going to invest in our very own washer and dryer, as well as a bigger bedroom set as a Queen size is just not large enough for the both of us.
But summer 2013? Bring it on.
I'm choosing to go with Contiki, a tour group geared for travelers ages 18-35. I've heard very good things about this company, and I found it a few years ago when I was searching for tour groups for students. I like that the lodging and 2 meals are covered in the cost of the tour, but that there are some expenses I'm still responsible for.
But most of all? I've never been anywhere internationally. I went to Vancouver, Canada with my best friends from high school in 2004 (and oh my god, did we have fun. I think we survived most of the trip on Pixie Stix and Pez...) and now I'm itching to be a globetrotter.
Since this trip has been a long time coming, I want it to be epic. I'm looking at a 23 day trip (to the tune of $3,000 excluding airfare) that starts in London and ends in Athens, with France, Spain and Italy in between.
I do worry that this is going to start a trend of me constantly wanting to go globetrotting over the summers, but you know? I don't have children. Maybe one day, I'll work up the gall to head to Germany for a few months and train at one of the *Landgestüt's.
(** A Landgestüt is a stud farm for horses in Germany; some are private while others are owned by the government. I ride dressage, which is kind of like ballet for horses. Some of the best dressage riders and horses come from Germany... and I would love an opportunity for an extended stay to work with some of the best riders and trainers in the world to truly improve my riding. I had a unique opportunity to work with Peter Borggreve, master trainer at the Warendorf Landgestüt for a few days ... and the accomplishments that were made in such a short period of time were astounding.)