15 March 2016

some travel adventures before the big baby adventures!

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since we’ve moved across the pond, we have gotten in a habit of establishing some general travel plans for ~4-6 months out from any given time. we’ve budgeted time and money with the aim of leaving the uk to explore europe about once a month. we’re so so grateful for the ability we have to travel so plentifully at this time in our lives and feel like we’ve found a pretty good balance of settling in to a community, routine and dedicated work here in london while still taking good advantage of cheap flights and close-by amazing locales!

these days, we can’t plan our travel adventures into our calendars in the same way we’ve gotten used to, because the start of our greatest adventure – becoming parents! – is fast approaching. we definitely plan to travel with our baby boy (and his siblings that will hopefully follow!) but we know everything will be different after july. so, we’ve planned some exciting pre-baby international jaunts.

-->i just returned last night from a long weekend in amsterdam with a girlfriend and am looking forward to sharing some photos! last baby-less girls’ trip for a long time, i’m thinking!
-->this coming saturday we leave for two weeks in the holy land. i am thrilled to introduce the boy (and the baby boy!) to my favourite spot on planet earth (jerusalem) and revisit many of the places that significantly shaped and deeply touched me during my study-abroad semester in the holy land (nine years ago). we will be in jerusalem during easter week, which is pretty awesome! and we’ll also spend time around the sea of galilee, the dead sea and the red sea, and make a quick stop over into jordan to visit/revisit petra (hence the jordan visa pictured above!).
-->in the beginning of may, we are taking a roadtrip around some bits of slovakia, slovenia, croatia and hungary. i’ve been pining especially to see budapest – can’t wait!
-->at the end of may, we are taking a last-hurrah-long-weekend “babymoon,” – location tbd. we are thinking lake como, but it’s been so hard for me to decide the best locale for this! (since the holy land trip and the eastern european road trip were both ian's choice of destination, he says i get to pick for the babymoon.) any suggestions welcomed! :)

we have family visitors coming in april and june, so our baby prepping will be complimented with some london fun as well as learning and experiencing abroad. can’t believe we only have ~17 weeks left as a little family of two! i’m hoping to both relish and prepare heartily.

39 comments :

  1. You mean Jerusalem is your favorite place in Israel. You have many favorite spots on planet earth.

    What are Ian's travel choices?

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    1. nope, my favourite place in the world. i know i claim to have a lot of favourites, but reeeeaaaaalllly, jerusalem is the closest to my heart (bear lake is a close second!). it was ian's choice to go to the holy land. he's always wanted to go, and i was a little hesitant to chose that above all other places (even though i love it so much!), but he convinced me :) he also chose the eastern europe road trip, and i'm just totally behind and especially excited for budapest. since ian picked both of those trips, he said i could choose anywhere i wanted for the babymoon, but of course i can't without his opinion! :)

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  2. Oh this sounds like so much fun! Love the intention behind your travels and how you weave it into your planning. I would recommend Spain for a babymoon, fell in love with (and in!) Barcelona and have a soft spot for it. If you're looking for local fun, Bath is a quick train ride from London and is gorgeous in the spring :)

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  3. Suggestion---I am a little bit partial to Bordeaux, France since we lived their for three years. The train goes from London to Bordeaux, as well. There is a lot of history, of course, in buildings, cathedrals, art museums, gardens, parks, etc. I just read that Bordeaux is second to Paris in sustaining French historic cathedrals, castles, etc. Interesting. For a weekend get-a-way, we dearly loved going further south of Bordeaux to Carcassonne. The fort or castle city is amazing. And, a little further, about 12 miles across the border, to San Sabastian, Spain. We loved it all. Good luck with your "babymoon" plans.

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    1. thanks!! these are definitely going on our europe list!!! i should have mentioned that for the babymoon we are mostly looking at relaxing, even probably beachy, locales where we can have a lot of unstructured chill time without as much rigorous sightseeing adventures (we love that usually but appreciate that we have had a lot of it and relaxation/general freedom to chill is what we will probably miss most after baby boy comes :))

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    2. Ha! Of course. I guess i am still thinking in "high energy" mode. Sounds good to relax and have some freedom to just "be" before your little one arrives.

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  5. you know where you should go! come here! direct flight! personal guide :) for food and stuff!
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/01/07/travel/places-to-visit.html?_r=0

    it's even on the ny times!
    :D

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    1. which one is where you live?! i got lost in that list!! :)

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    2. TORINO :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QB90Vj-XHQ

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  6. French coast, obvi. But Lake Como is lovely and dreamy. Also, I'm doing such a good job commenting on your blog these days.

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    1. you really are! thanks brit!!! :) <3 (i wish i had emojis on here -- i know how much you love those...)

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  7. Hi Charity,
    Budapest is sooo beautiful! I highly recommend it. Margareteninsel is veeery relaxing :-)

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  8. Lake Como is awesome. Been there many times. Love taking the ferry over to Bellagio, but it is still a little cold in May. June is better. Go to the south of France see the poppies and go to Nice! Slovenia visit Lake Bled. Budapest is amazing. Don't forget to go to the Baths and get a message. So worth it! So fun!

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    1. we are going to lake bled in early may - very excited! and we decided to take our chances on lake como weather because we needed a place with non-stop cheap-ish flights for a long weekend. the baths in budapest are basically the reason i want to go there, haha!

      thanks for the tips!

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  9. i'd suggest sardinia! paradise-y (think carribean-like beaches, mouth-watering food, breathtaking landscape, a slower pace, happy, friendly people), and warmer than northern italy in may.

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    1. ahhhh man, we just booked to milan/lake como because it takes sooo long to get to sardinia and some of the other places we were eye-ing. for a long weekend it just doesn't make much sense - we need something quick-ish. hoping for unusually warm weather :) thanks for the recommendation though - i hope to get to sardinia soon!

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    2. Hey! my grnadma is from there and I've spent ALL of my summers there! pretty cool you like it. german, right?

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  10. Haha, we keep missing each other: My husband and I wondered whether we should go to Israel during Easter and I almost would have gone to Keukenhof at the end of April.

    For the babymoon, one of the most relaxing vacation I ever had was renting a houseboat in the Canal du Midi in Southern France. You are forced to slow down, because the boat can't drive fast and since you have a boat and no car, you can just visit the tiny villages next to the canal. You don't need a special permit for the boat, but you will need two persons to operate the locks. But I think you can handle the driving part in a lock while being pregnant.

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  11. I am going to Israel/Jordan on 31 March. Will you be posting while on your trip? Would be great to get some recommendations from you since you know Israel so well.

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    1. i probably won't be posting while we are away, but if you want to send me an email (charityeyre at gmail) i am certainly happy to send over some tips!

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  12. Beachy babymoon - Costa del Sol and Gibraltar, maybe the Canary Islands? Ahhh... Wherever you end up, I'm looking forward to the blog post!

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  13. You do realize that most people don't go to all of these places in a LIFETIME, let alone in a 4-5 month period of time. Israel and Easter Europe aren't enough of a "baby moon" for you? Your life is so unreal, I'm still trying to figure out how Ian keeps a job. Maybe learning to be content in one place should be a new goal.

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    1. hi anon!

      i *do* realize our ability to travel a lot is abnormal - and i try to make that clear when i express how grateful i am for our current situation and opportunities. thanks for the heads up that i should probably make that even more clear :)

      i have a really flexible work situation as an contracted consultant, and ian has five weeks of vacation time each year (in addition to holidays off). i'm not sure where you are living, but this is quite common in europe. our enjoyment of and choice we make to take advantage of the traveling we are able to do right now doesn't mean we can't be content in one place - it just means we enjoy it and chose it.

      israel and eastern europe are definitely *enough*! way, way more than *enough*! but we have a bank holiday at the end of may, a few floating days off, my flexible schedule, amazing locales in europe that are very accessible geographically and financially, a desire to enjoy extra quality time together in a beautiful new place especially because ian's work hours during the week are quite long, and a travel fund that we chose to contribute to each month - so yep! we're going to take another long weekend trip and call it a babymoon :) a simple choice on how we use our time and money (both of which we are, again, very grateful to have and budget according to our priorities and desires).

      hope that helps clarify a bit!

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    2. Nope not really, your life is just so unreal. I took a break from eyre blogs for a while and It was the best thing ever, I think I will go back to that. Not quite sure how you all live in such a bubble but it's not the real world. Oh but you are SOOO blessed that's why...guess the rest of us aren't.

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    3. hey now, expressing gratitude (for "blessings" - note that i didn't use that word) does *not* mean judgment is cast on anyone else's "blessedness."

      the diversity of human lives is surely very wide, and there are plenty of people whose circumstances seem "unreal" to me. i personally tend to enjoy learning about those very dissimilar-from-my-own experiences, but if you do not, please by all means stop reading "eyre blogs" or any others that don't enrich your life (or do quite the opposite).

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    4. Anonymous, you are ridiculous. Quit whining and grow up. And please do take a break from the blogs again rather than coming on here and complaining. You sound like a 5-year-old

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    5. I don't understand the antipathy here - Charity isn't the only person who's lived and worked abroad and used the opportunity as a springboard to see the world. Lots of people do this. Why is it wrong to do so? Maybe it seems outlandish or unreal because it's so much more time-consuming/expensive/difficult to achieve from here in the US? I live in California, and without question Charity's list of travel for the next 4-5 months would be a non-starter for me, haha! But if I lived across the Atlantic, there is no question - I would be getting out to as many different countries as I could, especially if I had landed a job that enabled me to live and work there.

      My mother spent three months traveling throughout Europe in the 1950's after having saved up for several years (she was a school teacher), and it never occurred to me that she was wrong to do it, or should have stayed home and been happy where she lived. As a child, I loved looking through her mementos from those years, and they helped me dream of traveling myself one day - including a trip with my mom to England 40 years after her memorable summer.

      I don't follow many bloggers at all, but I'm assuming "eyre blogs" are those written by members of the Eyre family - and it does beg the question: how did you find those blogs - what attracted you to them in the first place, and what brought you back if they upset you to the point of leaving previously? Surely we should be pursuing pastimes that bring us joy, not misery, anxiety or frustration.

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    6. Unless you've been to Europe, it's hard to understand the ease of traveling there compared to in the US. I have family in Switzerland and when they first moved there, they were gone all the time because traveling is so much easier. When we went to visit, we experienced tons in a matter of two weeks thanks to the amazing transportation. Take full advantage of this time before baby arrives, Charity, and don't feel like you need to explain yourself.

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  14. I would not be traveling to Jordan as an American citizen at the moment. Too dangerous.
    Do you worry about all this travel whilst being pregnant with your first baby?

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    1. jordan is quite safe, and we'll only be spending 2 days there anyway - along with lots and lots of other tourists of all nationalities at petra :) i have had an incredibly healthy and relatively easy pregnancy, so no, i'm not worried. i'm grateful that i can stay active and keep doing things i love while growing a baby!

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  15. I love reading your blog! Despite popular belief, you come off very grateful for the life you lead. I'm happy you are taking full advantage of the time you are in Europe. So many amazing things to see and do. We're always looking for ways to live abroad with our family for a few years. Keep it up!!!

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  16. Sorry, I am highjacking the thread, but how many days of vacation time does the general American have? If Ian has 25 days of vacation time, it's not too much in my opinion. The legal minimum in Germany is 20 days (not considering Saturdays), but I'd say most have more and in reality many have more than 25 days. In addition to that we get national holidays off (12 in my region).

    So for those who think that the travelling of Charity and Ian is unreal, how do you survive with less days off? I'm half joking, but also half sincere. I know I would have gone crazy, if I hadn't two weeks off right now!

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    1. Many Americans only have ten days of vacation

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    2. Thanks for the answer Anon! Ten days is so few! But I can see why non-European readers think that Ian has unbelievably much time off.

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    3. Many Americans also have more than ten days off, particularly if they've worked somewhere for more than just a few years. I work at university, and the range of vacation time is 10-24 days, based on years of service. However, many Americans also have multiple federal holidays, so for those with ten days of vacation, they likely have holidays as well (anywhere from 6-10 days). I would struggle to have only ten days off a year, even if I didn't travel anywhere.

      One of the things I like so much about Europe/UK is that there seems to be better work-life balance; in the US, I know many people who don't use their vacation time, but instead "bank" it (save it up and take it in cash when they leave a company) instead, which seems crazy to me. But my friends in other countries seem to make it a priority to take a break from work and enjoy their holiday time. It's fantastic!

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  17. Hey! It's so awesome you're coming to Hungary! You'll love my cute little home country! Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also super pretty places, I love them!
    If you need some recommendations in Hungary (what to visit, where to eat, which ward to attend if you'll spend Sunday here etc.) please feel free to shoot me an email (janka.toronyi at gmail dot com)!

    Have fun on you adventures!:)

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  18. Hey! It's so awesome you're coming to Hungary! You'll love my cute little home country! Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also super pretty places, I love them!
    If you need some recommendations in Hungary (what to visit, where to eat, which ward to attend if you'll spend Sunday here etc.) please feel free to shoot me an email (janka.toronyi at gmail dot com)!

    Have fun on you adventures!:)

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