Next Stop: Italy and Paris

After what has already been a solid five months since the start of the new year, I can proudly say that one of my new year's resolutions has come to fruition as of a couple weeks ago. This summer my cousin Lindsay and I are embarking on a 14 day trip to Italy and France in August and it already feels like my time overseas just happened yesterday. I know travel is something I am going to incorporate into my life whenever I can and I have already been dreaming up this trip the moment I left Europe in 2019. With Lindsay already having studied in Italy in college, we both felt a longing for Italy—the birthplace of our many many great ancestors. 

The Destinations
Lindsay and I both had to debate about some of the key cities we wanted to visit, but I knew there were a couple necessary stops we needed to make since I have never been and she had an idea of what cities she wanted to go back to as well. We ended up choosing Rome, the Amalfi Coast (staying in Sorrento), Venice, and then we will be finishing up the trip in Paris. All vibrant and thrilling cities all around the country, logistically we had to figure out where exactly we wanted to be and for how long during these two weeks. I'll be living out my Lizzie McGuire dreams, not to mention how Paris obsessed I was when I was 12. 

We also wanted to be meticulous about where we were going and it was very helpful that Lindsay had background knowledge on the cities, transportation, and even the cultural/historical knowledge she has informed our choices. Not to mention ongoing research on both ends and just talking to others I know who have been before. We will be going at the end of August, which will be probably one of the hottest times to go, but I knew I needed to spend my 23rd birthday on the beaches of Positano—eating a wood fired pizza (or fresh seafood) and watching the sunset with a full glass of cabernet. 

The Planning
All things considered, especially planning a trip with just two people, it took us about 4 to 5 months to officially book everything. Meaning, every week Lindsay and I would sit down together over Facetime bringing together our research on accommodations, flights, and things to do in each city. We understand that the state of the world could change, but we have planned accordingly so that our bookings are fully refundable or free cancellation. 

We also knew that sticking to Air BnBs would be one of the safest and more secure ways of booking accommodations—and while some may not have been extremely cost friendly, we know that we don't want a hostel or run down hotel to keep us from enjoying the places we're staying in. Granted, we only really need air conditioning, running water, and a bed. We both wanted to splurge a little here and there on places where we might have a really nice ocean view, continental breakfast, or spend a little extra to have access to an in-unit washer and dryer. The Air Bnb we chose in the Amalfi Coast, for example, is on a lemon tree farm and the host was recommended by previous tenants. In addition, I also was drawn to it because the host lives on the property, makes you breakfast, and also might provide us some intel on the best places to eat, things to do, etc. 

Next Steps
Speaking of things to do, our next steps will be to start booking tours and activities. Being the most American tourists we can be, I want to tour the Colosseum and Eiffel Tower, but also just find some of the hidden gems throughout each city. Lindsay and I have kept our itinerary pretty flex so that we can just have time to explore and decide what we want to do on the fly. 

There are definitely more details to planning this trip, such as figuring out what to bring, but we're both pretty aligned with packing sundresses and bikinis. Leaving just enough room for all of the ceramics and even more sundresses I'm going to bring back. 

This is only just the start to what is going to be the trip of the summer...and even potentially the trip of a lifetime! I cannot wait to share it with my cousin and for all of the memories to come. 

I never thought I would be able to plan it on my own either and be able to do so incredibly soon—so I am very grateful for being able to even have the means to continue to do what I love and explore the world. I'll be back to document it for sure and in the meantime I'll be dreaming of Venetian canals, southern Italy coastlines, and The City of Lights. X

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!