Our time living in Ireland is very quickly approaching its end. A fact we aren’t remotely prepared for. It feels like we just moved to Dublin, and this city has become home. There are many things we’ll miss (affordable healthcare?!), but the biggest is easily access to travel. We’ve explored more of the world from our home base here then we could have even fathomed from the US. From short, cheap Ryan Air hops to nearby European countries, to longer haul but still reasonable trips to Africa and the Middle East we’ve loved the opportunity to explore.
At the end of April, once Alex finishes his exams and I’m (ideally) recovered from my marathon we’ll set out for six weeks of travel before his graduation and the inevitable move back to the States. There is so much left to explore in Europe, and it was incredibly hard narrowing our options down. But after much back and forth, and a few fortutious flight finds we finally decided.
End of April we’ll head to Norway. Alex wanted to run a 5k, speedy runner he is, and I wanted to try my hand at short distance racing (I’ve never run a race under 10k and those were technically just training runs, not all out efforts). That weekend happens to be Bergen’s Marathon weekend, and they offer a 5k. We’ve never been to Norway, always wanted to hike some fjords, and with cheap SAS flights (who serve Mikkeller beer, have to love Northern Europe) we pinned down our first country. From there we’ll be hopping over to Finland (our last Scandinavian country) as well as dipping into Estonia, having never been to the Baltic region.
We thought about then spending time in Latvia and Lithuania. But we decided the most reasonable thing would clearly be to fly to Jordan. Last winter we were supposed to go to Jordan, but instead went stateside. A decision we don’t regret, but Jordan has topped the list of destinations to visit ever since. So, Jordan (and a bit of Israel) it is. From there we’ll head to Croatia (and Montenegro) and work our way north from Dubrovnik to Istria where we’ll meet the family for a week on the coast, with a side trip to Slovenia. And then back to Dublin and home.
We are SO EXCITED. We may have been poor Ireland/UK tourists, never made it to most of Ireland or stepped foot in Scotland (whoops), but we’ve done a decent job of exploring Europe while it was so easy to access. Plus, long, slow, inexpensive and independent travel is my absolute favorite. I don’t know when the opportunity to do something like this will come up again. Thanks America for pathetic at best vacation time. While we do plan to move overseas again in our lives, that won’t be for at least a decade, so this very much feels like a last hurrah before joining the ranks of 1-2 week vacations and weekend trips for awhile. Did I mention we’re going to miss Europe?
Until then, we have nine weeks left to enjoy our city before we leave!