Since the two of us have been lucky enough to have travelled to so many countries already, when we first started thinking about where to visit on this trip we had to first decide on the style of the trip. We knew it wouldn’t be the kind of trip some of us have done in our early 20’s when you simply want to get as many passport stamps as possible and take claim to new countries after only visiting a single city. But where to begin? Would we start travelling right away, or something else?
After living in NYC for enough time I felt strongly that it would be really difficult to just start travelling without any sort of a buffer. This might sound strange, so let me explain. I imagine if I flew from here to Morocco, for example, I would be still in my NYC zone – ignoring much of what is happening around me, walking fast, and trying to get things accomplished. We talked about it and neither of us could really imagine that would be the right way to start a trip. We want to relax, enjoy and truly experience the places we are going!
We spent quite some time looking at AirBNB locations — would a island in Greece where we would live in a totally different way be the perfect beginning? Or should we live on the rugged Portuguese coast, with amazing views of the crashing surf. Seems like water was always a constant in our search, so we had it somewhat narrowed down, but all along I kept thinking…. if I could just find a place like the Montenegrian coast, that would be perfect! The right mix of fun towns with local flavor and culture and great Mediterreanean food….. relaxation…. tons of beautiful views & water. I had spent some time in Herceg-Novi years ago, and done some travelling up and down the coast in Montenegro while it was still part of Serbia & Montenegro and absolutely loved my time there. To me, it represented the perfect place to relax and begin this adventure.
So when one day I found a beautiful place on the Bay of Kotor, near the town of Kotor on AirBNB I was crushed to see that it was already booked! Hopefully, I wrote the owner to see if he might have ideas on other places that looked as nice. I was shocked when he responded just hours later telling me he was finishing a new addition to the unit I saw, it had a better view, private balcony, gardens, water access…. Hmm – is this too good to be true? What was the catch? I couldn’t see pictures yet as it wasn’t done, but his reviews on other properties were stellar. We discussed and decided to book – sometimes you need to take a leap of faith. We arranged to stay for a full month – giving us more than enough time to live local, relax & enjoy the a slice of Montenegrian life before embarking on our travels.
Flash forward to today and we are so glad we booked when we did – the renovation is done, he sent us a full set of pictures and the place looks absolutely amazing. I know I went into this saying I wanted to have views of the water, and be near Kotor, but I had no idea that we’d be able to walk out our front door and jump into the Bay if we wanted! Or have dinner each night on our private patio overlooking the bay and the lights of the city….. a tad bit different from the delicious smells of wafting garbage in NYC in August.
When we depart the US in mid-August we will fly first to Belgrade, and catch a short flight on Montenegro Airlines to Tivat airport, located a stones throw from the Bay of Kotor. We’ll stay there until mid-September, then make our way through Kosovo, some of Albania, a quick return to Bosnia and maybe some time in Romania before meeting my parents in Poland in mid-October. We’re excited to travel with them and hopefully put together some of the missing genealogy links of my Babci while there, and visit our family in Sandomierz. After Poland we look forward to going to Paris with my parents – a place they both have wanted to go but for some reason didn’t want to do unless we came along — no complaints here! Afterwards, we will move on to Spain, Portugal & Morocco and finish off 2014 there before returning home for the holidays.
After spending the holidays with family & loved ones at home, we’ll embark for Asia & South America in 2015. Very much still TBD in terms of destinations for things that far out but I know our Asia list is growing longer and longer by the day!
I don’t expect we will have much more of a detailed itinerary than this even as we get closer to some of the destinations. Part of the charm and excitement of this trip is that we want to feel that we can stay longer in a place if we love our time there, or move on and adjust to new places we find out about on the road. So you will all learn about our destinations as we arrive, or soon before we get there! Looking forward to sharing lots of pics with you all.