I imagine Portugal will be much like this:
What? Your thoughts don’t usually involve Colin Firth? How sad.
This is my favorite time in travel planning – the daysÂ before. Some studies say the very act of anticipating your upcoming travels can beÂ more exciting than traveling itself. I actually agree. You can only imagine what things will look like or feel like. And very often, the reality can be a painful letdown OR so different than what you imagined, that you’re way out of your comfort zone. That happened when we went to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but my first couple days were an adjustment, but I left wanting to go back immediately and still think of Cambodia as the highlight of our honeymoon.
Right now I’m a bundle of nerves and pure excitement. I’m full of internal conversations.
“How will I fill my time with that silly 10 hour layover in JFK? Oh yeah, they have the new SkyClub there. I’ll just park my booty and write. And free beer!”
“Wonder who my seat-mate will be on the flight to Barcelona? Hope he or she doesn’t crop dust.”
“Should I just take a taxi to the hotel when I arrive to Barcelona? Maybe just arrange it with the hotel. No, that’s so lame and touristy. Get a cab. ExperienceÂ the people, Caroline! Maybe I’ll arrange it through the hotel…”
“What if the girls’ flight is delayed into Barcelona I’m left with the Sangria all by myself? Dreams can come true.”
“I have 2 whole nights and 1 whole day alone in Lisbon…what if Colin Firth really IS there?”
It’s totally normal to answer your own questions, right?
I’ve been to Barcelona before, aroundÂ 11 years ago, when I had an internship in London and just jetted over to Barcelona for a weekend. I intentionally wanted that to sound as snotty as it did. I don’t think I’ll post pictures from those days, to of course, save the girls I traveled with some embarrassment. I would never be caught in a tube top with giant, thick-heeled, chunky sandals from Steve Madden. Never… So that said, I sort of know what to expect with Barcelona.
Lisbon, Portugal, on the other hand, will be totally new. It’s been on my list to travel to for a while because of the exceptional reviews I’ve heard from fellow travelers. So when my girlfriends told me they were heading to Lisbon at the tail end of their yearly, 2-week European getaway and wondered if I wanted to come along, I very quickly contemplated and booked a ticket within a week. I’ve been eagerly watching them post pictures on Facebook from the first part of the trip to Turkey and Italy. They freakin’ met Tim Gunn at the airport too! Can’t wait to meet up with them in Barcelona. I absolutely would have regretted not going, especially with these two nutbags. That’s an endearing term, you guys.
That’s what travel is about. Living your life in a way that you can take up the opportunity to travel, sometimes even on a whim. I actually didn’t need to spend a week contemplating it, but I’m an over-thinker by nature. This was sort of no-brainer opportunity.
Below is the basic itinerary.
Day 1 – Travel: US -> Barcelona, Spain
Day 2 – Day 5: Barcelona, Spain
Day 5 – Day 8: Lisbon, Portugal
Day 9 – Travel: Lisbon, Portugal -> US
So I essentially have a week of seeing new things, meeting new people and of course, drinking some Sangria and eating tapas with my girls. (Okay, probably lots of Sangria.) This is my thing, people! I’m so excited!
I anticipate that I’ll still blogÂ while I’m on the roadÂ even if it is a quick trip becauseÂ I’d like to give you a peek of what I’m experiencing. I’ll probably be posting more onÂ my Facebook page as that’s easier to access abroad, so be sure to follow that. I’ll definitely be doing a full Spain and Portugal post in the near future. After Scotland, of course.
And with that, I must bid you adieu to get the last of my things together.
(French AND Spanish in two sentences. I’m muy smarto.)
I’ll leave you with one last, inspiring video. It captures the many reasons why traveling is so fulfilling for so many people.