- We have bought insurance, secured a lease on a car for our travels through Europe, and produced a lovely spreadsheet for our journey to help us track where we're going, how many nights we are staying there, how many days are left on our visa, and if we've already made a lodging reservation.
- We've made firm plans for lodging in or near Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, London, Edinburgh, and Belfast, and we've put in requests for places in several other European cities.
- We've already connected with some interesting people, one of whom grew up very near where Jeff grew up in west Texas and has been living in Germany for the past 20 years, renting out part of his quaint little house to visitors such as ourselves.
- We've purchased new international phones, and deactivated and activated cell phone plans.
- We've bought tickets to an amazing flower garden in Holland that is only open for six weeks out of the year.
- We have learned a few German words, out of necessity.
- We've set up a virtual mailbox.
- We've made lists and lists and lists--things we have, things we need, things we need to get rid of, things we need to do before we leave, things to carry in our daypacks on travel days, things we want to see and do, etc, etc.
- We've discussed strategies for getting through airports (including turning our kitchen into a mock airport for the sake of practicing), staying safe, what to do if our bags are stolen, how to get along in tight spaces, schooling on the road, journaling, making the best of every situation, storing or selling our larger possessions, our eventual re-entry into the U.S. etc, etc.
Honestly, it's a bit of a whirlwind, and sometimes I have trouble keeping it all straight in my mind, even with all the lists. Sometimes, I get completely overwhelmed and just need to go to bed and start again the next day. But, for the most part, we are just chomping at the bit and ready to take on this amazing adventure. We are so excited and can't believe this dream will soon be a reality!