one week.

My European adventure begins in 7 days.  YIKES!  This trip has creeped up on me quickly, but I am ready for it . . . and by ready, I mean we have virtually no plans, and are prepared to fly by the seat of our pants.

As this is my second European adventure, I feel like a somewhat seasoned veteran . . . plus there is no language barrier . . . just really awesome accents.  It should be a relatively smooth trip (cross the fingers) since we’ve decided to set-up a home base in London for 9 nights.  We won’t have to deal with multiple hostels/hotels and running around city to city.  I have decided to travel with the mindset that I will go back someday, so there is no reason to cram in a gazillion things into your one itinerary.  This trip is solely to see England . . . we’re not even venturing to Scotland or Wales.  I’ll just save that for another day!  I can’t wait to leisurely walk through Hyde Park, grab a beer at a pub, and enjoy high tea.  No matter how many famous churches or museums I see, I really think it’s those everyday experiences that are my favorite part of traveling.

My latest Europe trip had me thinking about my previous experience and how much has changed since I took that trip 3 years ago.  I actually went back to my travel journal and read day by day my thoughts and feelings over the nearly 20 days I was gone.  It was an interesting look at the person I was at 21 . . . scared, complacent, and lacking any confidence.  Basically I was accompanying my ex-boyfriend on a trip . . . I did not have much say in what we did or where we went . . . and I just let him get away with that!   Hindsight is always 20/20, but when someone writes in their journal “we had good times and ugly times,” about their travel partner . . . one could probably deduct that there wasn’t going to be a fairy-tale ending.  Although, ironically, this story does have a happy ending . . . the past three years, I’ve put myself first, and I’m better for it!  I know I never would have had the confidence or drive to take this trip even a year ago.  Maybe this is the great epiphany than comes at 25?  I love the quarter-life crisis.

Bottom line . . . this is my trip.  I cannot wait!

In other news, I’m sure everyone is on pins and needles waiting for the results of my road-trip weekend with TJ.  Good news, we still like each other.  It was a LONG trip, but fun to spend 4 whole days with him and meet more of his friends.  I also enjoyed our mini-vacation to Louisville.  We went on the Louisville Slugger factory tour, the Jim Beam distillery tour, and hit up the KY State Fair (NOT as good as the Iowa State Fair . . . duh).  This was all great, but I think maybe my favorite part of the weekend was hanging out with TJ back in Iowa on Monday night.  He made a delicious supper on the grill, we sat on the deck. enjoyed the great outdoors, and just talked.

Off to bed.   Only two more days of work!