Saturday, June 22, 2013














We left Toronto on December 27 of last year. I can hardly believe six months have blown by. I flip through my Instagram feed every few days, anxious to revel in what we've seen, to remember the colours of each place. I'm forgetting things already, a flashbulb memory nearly as exciting as experiencing it the first time around. I'll turn to Jeff and say, "Oh my god, remember that sea turtle on the Gilis?" or "Holy shit, remember how f'ing hot it was in Cambodia!?" 

Tomorrow we'll land on another continent. And guess what: I've never been to Europe. Ever. Not to London or Paris or Berlin. I've never been to Istanbul or Barcelona. I've never smoked a joint in Amsterdam or eaten loukoudmades in Greece. I've never been to Ireland or Scotland or Italy. And we're about to do all of that. The next twelve weeks are sure to fly by and all I can hope for is the clarity (and gastrointestinal fortitude) to see and eat and drink it all.

Our first stop is Athens. I want to consume my bodyweight in feta cheese, and those honeyballs, too. After just a few days in the capital, we'll fly to Mykonos to relax on the beach and check out the legendary gay scene. Much to our surprise, the hidden gay underworld of Dubai and Bahrain will be a tough one to top (pun intended); the down-low antics of Arabs definitely rival anything we see stateside. But that's a story for another day.

Then we're off to Istanbul. You may have heard about the current unrest, but it's (so far) contained to Taksim Square and seems to be avoidable. Istanbul is the second largest city in the world, by population (behind Shanghai) which I find very surprising and/or interesting.

After several months in hotels, Europe will see our return to the AirBnB circuit. We've booked great apartments in several cities and even a houseboat on a canal in Amsterdam (!!!). After our brief stop in Turkey we'll head to Paris to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Our itinerary has been designed so, every once in a while, we'll actually stop and smell the macarons. Quick one-week spurts, followed by longer, more restful visits. So we'll hunker down and get to know Paris in a quiet way. Picnics in the park, bike rides to the Eiffel Tower, wine and cheese for dinner - that sort of thing. We've also found that sitting still for a minute allows your budget to breathe. The transfers between places are financial spikes, so it's nice to get an apartment, fill the fridge with groceries, and slow down.

See you in Europe.


MAP BY PAUL DOTEY, PART OF AN ONGOING SERIES.


THE PLAN, LOOSELY
Athens > Mykonos > Istanbul > Paris > Berlin > Amsterdam > London > Edinburgh > Dublin > Naples, Rome, Florence, Cinqe Terre, Venice, Milan > Nice, Monaco > Barcelona > Marrakech > India > Home




CURRENTLY
LOCATION: The Amwaj Islands, The Kingdom of Bahrain 
DATE AND TIME: Saturday, June 22, 2013 11:00AM Arabian Standard Time/Saturday, June 22, 2013 4:00AM EST




2 comments:

  1. I cannot believe it's been six months already!!! So jealous of the upcoming leg of your journey. I hope you have to time and space to soak up as much as you can as well. Italy changed my life and every time I go, it's wonderful in a whole new way. While you're in Naples, if you can get to Sorrento and take a ferry to Capri, DO IT. You can take a little chair lift to the top of the island and get a breathtaking view. Go to Pompeii, too, if you can. Unbelievable.
    Florence is beyond wonderful. Venice is a dream. So are all the towns and villages in-between with wonderful generous and open hearted people. Eat fresh ricotta with wild honey on crusty bread and you'll never be the same.
    Joy joy joy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Holy moly! (Can't believe I just used that expression, but, that's what I thought, so there it is.) This is so exciting and I cannot WAIT to continue drooling over your Instagram photos. It's surprising to hear you've never been to Europe; in my mind, you fit there so well. Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete