So the backstory to my sudden, radical decision to travel alone to Europe is a good one.
Back in December, my younger sister and I decided to take a trip together. At first, we were imagining backpacking around Southeast Asia, or hitting up some beaches somewhere, but in the end we settled on Europe. We were going to fly into Paris, then travel to Spain, see the Italian coast and finish in Rome. Sadly, circumstances shifted and the plan ceased to be a plan. My beautiful sister went on to travel elsewhere with her lovely new man, and I had a hard time letting go of my dream.
Where I work, we have personnel management software that we use to book time off. I had heard that May was the best time to see Europe, so I booked off two weeks well in advance so I’d be sure to secure the best dates. I was reluctant to give up such a perfect two-week break that would include my birthday. However, I did eventually delete my time off request, I just neglected to tell anyone at work. The proper thing to have done would have been to send an email alerting the powers that be that I’d changed my plans. I didn’t do that, and nobody knew I wasn’t going anywhere. Maybe I was secretely hoping the following would occur…
My workplace MADE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS and found a replacement for me while I’d be gone. In other words, I had a “vacation,” without having a vacation if you catch my drift. Oh noes! I panicked and called my husband. I was sure he’d be angry with me. “What are you going to do with two weeks off work?” But he shocked me. Instead, he said, “You know what? You deserve the break. It’s been a tough year for you. Why don’t you fly off somewhere? Enjoy yourself.” I was speechless.
I immediately contacted my HR person, and she was cool with letting me shorten my vacation by a week, but to still take part of it. So now, I had less than a week to plan something! Holy crap! Most people suggest planning a Europe trip at least a year in advance. I’ve got five days to put this together. Oh. Em. Gee.
Of course, it’s all planned, and I have written this in advance. I will publish this the morning of the day that I’m leaving. First stop: London, England.