Three months since we flew out of Vancouver…….. in many ways we haven’t stopped! Events still seem like a whirlwind at times……. Yet the reality is that we have been able to stop and smell the Roses. Since we left, we have visited England, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Portugal, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Austria, & Monaco! A grand total of 15!!!!!
We are well on our way to our “Visit one hundred countries goal” Mike is catching me up rapidly! As many of the 48 countries that I have visited previously are this time around second visits for me. After all being English born and bred I have already visited some of Europe. However I still managed to add a additional 10 countries bringing my grand total to 58!!!!!
Michael’s goal for this year was to visit a minimum of 15 new countries! He is well on track having added a whopping 14 to his check list! He has gone from visiting 27 countries to a whopping 41! If we manage to squeeze in a visit to Wales, Scotland or Ireland he shrinks the gap even further.
Fifteen countries in 3 months……. while still managing to hang out for weeks at a time in some gorgeous places! Europe is probably one of the few places in the world you can do that, in most cases the countries are small and only a few hours away even when driving in the Alps!
After 3 months the question has to be….. is it still a vacation? Yes! Although a vacation with a difference……. there is no sense of hurry or having to squeeze everything into two short weeks! We still have the surreal sense that this is not real and that we have to go back to work sometime……….. Reality is we don’t!
True we cannot stay in Europe forever…….. England especially is very hard on the budget even taking into account that we are staying with family and friends. The everyday cost of living here is disheartening; groceries, fuel and housing are way more than Canada! Groceries are more expensive here than any other European country we have visited! The English pub scene is another budget killer…… especially when it is time to buy a “round”. This can be a real problem in a big group, buying a round for 10 plus people is fine if you drink 10 drinks yourself, otherwise it can get very, very messy!!!
Logistically our preparation work has paid off, the banking is ticking along nicely, bills are being paid, our renters seem happy and more importantly our rental cheques are coming in regular as clockwork! Mike has even done a little distance consulting work for his old clients….. Got to love this high tech age! Skype is very useful, free video conferencing and for very little money you can purchase credits which enable you to call any landline! 1 800 numbers are of course free, which is a darned good job as I spent 25 minutes on hold today! But what the heck, I was outside watching the birds and enjoying the sunshine. What would we do without the internet?
This all goes to show that it is possible to break out and Escape! Stay tuned for our next adventure!