We are now eight weeks away from setting off on our trip and we still cannot believe that what was originally planned to be a four or five week trip has turned into double that.
Deciding where to go was terribly difficult to do, not because there wasn’t enough choice but because there was simply too much! I mean, how do you narrow down two beautiful countries with such diverse regions and places, with such extraordinary history and culture to absorb into such a short trip? I feel I could spend a year travelling around each of them and still miss out a hundred gems they have to offer.
In the end we didn’t worry about fixing our plans on any areas in particular. Taking into account that Mike will be driving and that we have several very young, normally active children in the minibus, and given we would be making several long journeys over two months, we had to work out just how far it was reasonable to travel in a day. We then looked at the areas which were within that distance and so tried finding suitable accommodation for us all which was also within budget.
Booking so far ahead, it wasn’t actually as daunting as it might sound and it has worked out quite well, with journeys being anywhere between 3 and 7 hours long.
Looking through the multitude of choice has made us realise that we really cannot see it all, not at once anyway. We are very fortunate to be doing this at all, and whilst we have had to miss out on visiting certain places we would have liked to have seen, it’s just not possible to do everything we want – not right now. If only every decision in life were as distressing as having to choose which beautiful place to visit next, eh?
Maybe one day we’ll get to stay in this beautiful, romantic hotel in South Tyrol, or we can travel further south in Italy, or even get to visit Sicily, the home of my great-grandfather, another time.
Until then we’ll be making the most of our time away, absorbing the history, the scenery, the culture and the food – oh yes, the food!
And we are grateful that we can do it at all.