I've been keeping myself relatively busy lately by planning our next trip. I love planning trips, almost to the point of it being a little crazy. Having grown up in America, I used to be a proud travel crammer. I would pour through travel guides, not reading the history, but instead look for the most important sites to see. We were the classical wake up at 6 am, pack in a day, and pass out at 10 pm family. For me, travel was all about the destination, get there, see everything, and go home.
When I met Joern, my view of travel was completely rocked. During our first week together, one night, Joern said, "I want to go somewhere special tomorrow, so we'll need to leave at 4 am." Obviously, he knew our destination, but that was about it. Imagine my surprise when we drove over a bridge to the parking garage in Venice! I was thrilled and upset at the same time. I hadn't done any research beforehand. I didn't know what I had to see. It was so strange. Instead of having an itinerary, we parked the car, and walked around. We stopped for a few cappuccinos along the way, talked, and watched people. It was then I learned that Joern's version of travel is not to see all the sites, but to slow down, drink a cappuccino and watch life happen. For Joern, the travel is all about the journey. Joern most definately prefers to drive everywhere, because for him, half of the enjoyment is the things you see on the way to your destination.
Over the years, we have found ourselves a merry medium. We drive to most places, and if not, we rent a car as soon as we arrive. I still research, making a list of places that I really want to see, and then realize that we might not get to see everything on my list, and its okay. If I die before seeing Michangelo's Statue of David its really okay, because at least I have been to Florence and experienced the people, the food, and the life there, which allowed me to take away a lot more than just rushing to one museum to look at one piece of art.
In preparation for our next trip, I have tried again to achieve a balance. We're off to Ireland, which makes me so happy. Ireland is the one part of my life that up until now, I haven't been able to share with Joern. So, we've booked our flight, hotel in Dublin, and surprisingly, we will not even rent a car for our first two days in Dublin. I know that I want to show Joern where I lived, where I went to school, and our pub. I have one place that I would really like to get to, the Kilmainham Gaol, although it has a rather grim history, it also serves as a historical reminder of Ireland's past. Oh, and I'd like to eat in, shame on us, TGI Friday's. On the third day of our trip, we will head back to the airport to pick up our rental car, for the relatively unplanned portion of our trip. Our ultimate goal is to get to the west of Ireland to visit Joern's cousin and his wife. I'm reviewing a little historical information too. Otherwise, I am just going to let the trip take us. I've learned to appreciate the fantastic memories created by turning off the main road, or avoiding the tourist attractions.
I am so looking forward to this upcoming trip, and already am looking forward to writing all about it!