Frankfurt Airplane

Our 2014 trip to Europe – Getting there


It starts with saying goodbye…it’s so hard leaving our furry animal family behind.  And they seem to know. They watch you with those big brown eyes, follow the suitcase to your room and wait.

We say our toasts with family and friends, pass out hugs and best wishes and then are off to a foreign land.

It’s at the same time, exciting and sad. Both of which open your heart even more…to those you leave behind, to the adventure of which you are about to partake. To the unknown, to the mystery of life.

This year’s trip to Europe is not just about the ordinary exploration of new places viewed through the eyes of a tourist. No, we are embarking on a trip to see if we find a place that we might like to live for a year. We have never lived out of the States and think we should give it a try. Europe calls to both me and Jed…unfortunately, as of the beginning of this trip, past experience tells us that we each prefer different countries. This will be a trip about figuring out if there is a place that calls to both of us. Of course, we might find that just exploring now and then is enough and that we should just go ahead and move to Hawaii, a place we both love.

The game plan:
Find a town, preferably about the size of our current home town (10k), near a larger city that is home to a good airport/train station from which we’d be able to get to other parts of Europe easily and see new places while we are over here. The beauty of Europe, is once you are over here it is so easy to visit new countries. Flights on cheap airlines, or train tickets, will take you to places like Prague, or Budapest or Ireland or…? Which, otherwise, may take you decades to get around to visiting due to cost/distance, etc.

My wish list would also include:

*Living in a place where they speak French so I can improve my skills. Also, Milo seems to find French easy to pick up and I would love for him to know a second language!

*Beautiful surroundings (kinda goes without saying)

*A sense that the community is open and friendly.

*Great food!

Our strategy this time around became apparent when it dawned on me- we have always had pet/house sitters…why couldn’t we do that? i.e. free places to stay! That, combined with using mileage points to fly over makes this venture a lot more cost effective. And, there is the added bonus of being in a home vs. hotel, and having the opportunity to live like a local, care for animals, a home, etc and not just be in a place all dreamy-vacation eyed. As far as Milo is concerned, one of the best parts of this trip is the fact that he will get to watch animals!

So, that’s the gist. I hope you enjoy coming along on our little venture and thanks for all the wonderful support and love!

Saying goodbye…

Sweet Harry-

Taking the ferry on our way to the Seattle airport…

Waiting for flight in the Star Alliance Business/First class lounge in Seatac…took some pics as we want to keep track for Jed and his mom started this site a few months back.  It was born out of the idea of talking about the best way to get and use air miles and sharing traveling tips.

Thanks to those award miles we were in business class on Lufthansa. Unfortunately, we were not on the new plane…but really? Who’s complaining…seats that fold out flat, Haagen-Dazs, movies and wine…

Waiting in Frankfurt for our connecting flight to Paris, we partook in the use of the Business/First class lounge…nice perk…

Frankfurt Airplane

Next Post – Montmartre, Paris

Hollin Stafford
Hollin Stafford

Hollin holds her degree in Sociology and was a flight attendant for United Airlines up until the time she had her son. She, her husband and son are now happily living with their three dogs in Portugal. Hollin home-schools so they can explore the globe, and teach through experience. When not writing about travel, Hollin’s focus is on writing fiction. Her work has received rave reviews from critically acclaimed agents and editors. She has a unique voice embodied through rich descriptions of shared human condition. She recently published her first YA novel, Degrees of Light and enjoys writing literary short stories. In 2017 she was listed on Glimmer Train's honorable mention list and was considered for the Fulton Prize from The Adirondack Review. Her short story, Blue, was featured in Literary Mama’s 2018 Mother’s Day Edition. She is originally from California.

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