Our story!

For several years now I have had the urge to travel which has been a dream of mine before marriage and children. My husband was never keen on the idea until one afternoon in 2016 he said, "let's do this!" The next day I began to sell, donate and give away items from my home. He was a bit shocked when he got home from work. I immediately called a realtor and our home sold within 24 hours for more than we were asking. I had sold, donated and given away EVERYTHING so that the day we moved we didn't even need a truck. We were able to drive away with everything we had left in both our vehicles. We moved to a smaller place directly across from the beach to enjoy the sunrise and sunsets for the following year before taking off to travel full time!

Alerts While Traveling Europe!

This was definitely the year for “alerts” while traveling to Europe. We get them every time we travel here but this year it was “alerts on steroids!” It began earlier in the year after I had booked all the flights, Airbnb’s and hotels. I plan our European trips a year in advance so there are always a few changes and adjustments I have to make before we actually leave. Not because I want to make changes but because flights or our accommodations need to reschedule or cancel. It’s just part of traveling to be flexible because there may be scheduling changes, workers strikes or cancellations. 

The alerts began with many of our accommodations cancelling. Was there a reason for these cancellations? I have no clue! What could I really do or who could I complain to being overseas anyways. I am an eternal optimist and truly believe that God orchestrates everything better than I am able so I just make the changes. Every change always comes out better than my original plan!

A few weeks before our departure I received an alert that our train over the alps may be cancelled due to a war device found near the train tracks which would be closed down now. Getting on an Italian website to find our exact train changes proved to be challenging. Our train was now going through the alps instead of over the alps for safety and I have to say that the views did not disappoint at all.

The alert we received our first week in Europe was in Lisbon, Portugal where our apartment was 1 block from the sea. It was midnight and my phone showed that the area where we were staying was under a severe coastal event warning. They warned that the waves could be as high as 27 feet. The warning stated that it was life threatening and we had 1 hour to take action. My husband was asleep, I looked outside and the concert was still going on at the shore front. No one was clamoring for higher ground so I decided to go to sleep instead. Normally I have an extreme sense of urgency as anyone who has lived near me in Florida knows. But this isn’t Florida so I knew there was a 50/50 chance this was nothing and I didn’t have a plan B anyways. Needless to say, it was a false alarm!

Our second week in Europe also came with alerts from the United States that Italy’s travel advisory levels had increased due to it’s homegrown terrorist. We rarely ever see police presence here in Europe and according to the locals it is because most of them are undercover and all around the cities. Our trip to Italy had a lot of police, Civil Guard and Army presence all carrying machine guns. I try to avoid visiting countries where there are soldiers with machine guns walking around. Doesn’t that scream “Danger Will Robinson” to you? This was a first for us and we knew it was due to the same alert we had received from the United States. We couldn’t wait to get out of Italy!

I don’t usually write the negatives of traveling because I believe people are already afraid to travel outside their comfort zone and should be encouraged to try anyways. To me, so many things are better understood and appreciated when you travel. I never travel just to see places but instead to live like the locals and get a better understanding and knowledge of other cultures. Growing up in 5 countries and 3 different continents before the age of 10 allowed me to see and understand the world so differently than my own children. When we only see what is directly in front of us we miss out on what is all around us!

I want to encourage your sense of adventure in spite of all the alerts and enjoy your travels. Even our worst experiences with traveling have taught us so much more than had we not gone in the first place. We don’t regret the not so gone to plan journeys because they have been as much a good memory or even a more laughable memory than the perfect ones!

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