So, you know I won the trip to London for the Royal Wedding with HomeAway Vacation Rentals, but did you know I decided to extend my trip for 8 weeks?!
If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know about my plans to go to Europe anyway this spring/ summer because of Photography Getaways. I had been asking for a sign the past month ever since quitting my job to pursue my dreams. Trying to budget everything and wondering to myself do I have the nerve to take on everything and pull off my dream trip to Europe. For longer than I can recall, I've stayed up late watching House Hunters, browsing the internet for French country farm homes, daydreamed about patisseries in Paris, absorbing the world's history in museums, lazy lunches in parks gazing at the clouds, bicycling through the country, admiring architecture centuries old, dining on regional cuisine particularily touring my way through Europe by way of cheese... these have been the thoughts running through my mind as I stared at my computer screen in my cubicle the past few years.
The time had come, the money had been saved, (sacrificing a nicer home for a modest roof, never owning a piece of furniture like my lusted-after white couch from Pottery Barn) because I'd hoped and saved for this day and opportunity, knowing my turn to settle down will happen eventually, but before, this trip must happen.
So when I finally tried to book my ticket three weeks ago (before I knew about the BlogAway contest) for a duration of 6 weeks, and after entering all my information online, I took a deep breath before hitting Confirm... pressed the button and the website replied with: We're sorry we're unable to process your request at this time. WHAT?
Did it book? I checked my email for a confirmation. Nothing. Ok. Maybe I should try again. This had never happened to me before. Same thing. We're sorry we're unable to process your request at this time.
Ok. Another deep breath. This had to be a sign, which appeared to be a bad one, very bad at the time. Thoughts raced through my mind, maybe I'm overextending myself. Maybe I'm not supposed to go. Maybe something bad will happen on those particular days. So I let it go for a day. More praying. (p.s. - the travel booking site had pended 2 authorizations on my card tying up the funds for a week before it finally corrected - frustrating - i really wasn't sure if I had a flight or not for a few days!)
The next day after lunching with my former co-workers/ friends on a Thursday. I checked my email before prepping my Travel Thursday post, I had an email from HomeAway, they had seen my previous week's post on the French rentals in the Dordogne region, and I learned of the HomeAway BlogAway contest. So I posted my entry... and I can't believe how sometimes when you really need a sign. It will present itself. Turns out it was a very positive one, the universe telling me this is what you've waited for and obsessed over... now is the time. I can't tell you how many times I said out loud: pleeeease give me sign.
So, here is my map for my plans for the first 6 weeks of my trip!
View Trip Weeks 1 - 6 in a larger map
Week 1. London in the HomeAway apartment.
Week 2. Birmingham, Great Britian - visiting my friend Sheila.
Week 3 & 4. Paris.
Week 5. Loire Valley.
Week 6. Dordogne, Provence & French Riveria
Week 7. Italy. (Cinque Terre & Rome)
Week 8. Tuscany, Italian Lakes, & Switzerland.
Subject to change.
I will be posting lots of travel journaling by writing, of course lots of photos, and videos too! I hope you are as excited to follow and read along, as I am to blog about it. I will be keeping my diversity with food, photography, some fashion, all things related to my adventures so you will feel like you are on the trip with me, even some guest bloggers too! My dates of travel are April 23 - June 22nd!
So get ready... because Simply Colette will become Simply Colette in Europe blog for 2 months!