That’s right. We are off on another international adventure!!! In fact, I leave in ONE WEEK for my next backpacking trip. This time around I will be joined by a different travel companion for a while, then I will be traveling solo, finally Logan will meet me to finish off the trip.
So where are we going this time? Well, I am heading back to Europe, the Balkans specifically, before venturing to Turkey (a new continent!) and swinging into Greece to celebrate my second wedding anniversary with Logan.
My new traveling companion is my mom, Ardis, who has not been to Europe since she took a whirlwind trip (think 20 countries in 30 days) back in college. In fact, not one of the three countries we are going to together even EXISTED (at least as defined by current borders) the last time she was on the continent.In general, she and I will be traveling in the same style Logan and I did last year. We will be living out of backpacks, we are staying mainly at Airbnb’s, we will be cooking most of our own meals, and when we do not have a rental car we will be traveling by public transportation. In short, this will NOT be any sort of extravagant mother/daughter excursion. It will be travel just the way I like it!
We will be going back to two of my absolute favorites, Slovenia and Croatia, along with a new destination for me, tiny (and relatively unheard of) Montenegro. She and I have three weeks together and while I am excited to show her some of the highlights from my time there with Logan, I am looking forward to exploring new places that we skipped last time or were unable to access due to our lack of a car (being 24 DOES in fact have a few disadvantages). We will be spending a week driving through the mountains of Slovenia, followed by ten days exploring Croatia by bus, and finishing off with a short (but sweet) three day stay in Connecticut sized Montenegro.
After I wave goodbye to my mom in Podgorica, Montenegro I will be embarking on my FIRST international solo adventure through the countries of Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Since I married my travel companion at the ripe old age of 22, I did not have much time to do any solo world exploration before Logan and I left on our gargantuan “honeymoon” (if you can call a seven month vacation from life a honeymoon). I have traveled both domestically and internationally without Logan before, but always with friends or family. The only solo trip I have ever really taken was a road trip from Colorado to California, in which I spent a whopping TWO nights alone (one there and one back).
I am a little nervous about the loneliness factor, but mostly I am nervous that I chose three countries with very little tourist infrastructure (compared to the rest of Europe at least) in which I will have NO IDEA how to speak the language. However, I feel pretty confident in my travel abilities and in my dazzling common sense (too cocky?), so mostly I am excited to experience what it is like to discover the world all by myself.
I will be on my own for 10 days (not too long at all!) before I meet Logan in Istanbul to start our three week trip through Turkey and Greece. Since Logan only can take three weeks of vacation this summer (and three weeks is even pushing it a little) we will be doing a bit more splurging on activities than we did on our trip last year. We will be hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, parasailing in Oludeniz and scuba diving in Kas (well I will not be scuba diving…). For our two year anniversary we decided to take it easy on the Greek Island of Rhodes.
To sum it up:
Heather and Ardis (mom): 21 days in Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro
Heather alone: 10 days in Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria
Heather and Logan: 23 days in Turkey and Greece
So how exactly are we able to take a trip like this less than a year after we returned home while Logan is in graduate school and I am working? In a few days I will post again explaining what we are up to and how this awesome experience is possible (again!).