We were made for relationship. Why not plan a trip that way?
Today, my travel hero, sent me some tips and a tentative site seeing calendar for Europe. Her name is Pat, she lives in Utah, and I've never met her in person.
Back when I first committed to the possibility of going to Europe, I remember this overwhelming panicked feeling. It's one thing to dream and think about the coast of Ireland, the Castles of Germany, or hiking in the Alps. It's a monster to realize that you have to plan it, the whole thing, every part, A to B. How do we get there? How much money will it cost? How do we get around, where will we stay, what do I eat? What will I eat after that!? Twenty years ago, actually, scratch that. Ten years ago, I would have had to go the library, research places to visit, talk to a travel agent, and hope that I would find someone that had been there to glean info from. That would have meant hours of painstaking look ups and fights with Dewy and his decimal system. Thank Al Gore for the internet! I jumped on and starting scouring the net during my breaks at work, hoping someone could give me advice. I was learning all sorts of new terms: money belt, Eurail Pass, Cinque Terre, convertible backpack carryon etc. The list kept getting bigger, and the daunting realization that I needed loads of help was growing everyday. Then I found her. Mele Furikawa. She was a woman that taught classes on how to prepare for and get to Europe. I emailed right away. We chatted for a few months, and then she gave me over to one of her associates, Pat.
Pat has been a life saver. She helped me talk out the trip, gave me excellent advice, and helped me plan for and purchase my Eurail tickets. She helped me not to stress so much, thinking about all the details that I needed to iron out, and helped me focus. She would answer question after question on the phone, always giving more and more time to help me feel prepared. I can honestly say, that without her encouragement and help, I would have a nervous twitch. Thank you Pat!
Being able to pick the brains of previous travelers (whom have all been selflessly generous), paired with the overwhelming generosity that Pat showed, has been vital to the planning of this trip.