Sunday, February 06, 2011

My Amazing Race

A year ago this weekend, I took the plunge and went on my biggest solo travel trip to date. My almost month long European adventure began on the 5th of February 2010. The trip was 24 days to be exact including air travel and an overnight and full-day stay in Singapore to visit and catch up with my bestfriend and her family.

As a methodical planner, creating and planning the vacation/adventure of my dreams took over a year and the four months prior to the trip was spent ironing out details.

...the research

The preparation and planning was not an easy feat. In 2009 much of the world was in the grips of the financial crisis - the ominous effects of the worldwide economic downturn hanging in the air. With the currency exchange rates pretty much a deal breaker, I decided early on to experience off season travel and plunge into wintry Europe. The major drawback, of course, is the weather - made more graphic by the horrible stories around Christmas time by the experiences of snowbound travellers, particularly in airports and transport hubs. Hence, the decision to do the trip during the tail-end of winter - in February 2010. Sounds childish but I actually looked forward to seeing winter landscapes.

Pouring over maps, travel guides, travel videos and travel books, I locked in my travel budget and booked my 'open-jaw' ticket to Europe in August 2009 - fly in to Amsterdam via Singapore and fly out from Paris back to Adelaide via Singapore.

By the end of September 2009, I was able to work out the final itinerary I am most happy with:
Singapore * Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans * Bruxelles - Cologne * Berlin * Prague * Vienna * Salzburg * Munich * Romantic Road - Landsberg, Schwangau, Füssen, Augsburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg * Frankfurt * Zurich * Rome * Florence * Venice * Paris - Angers - Paris * Singapore

Looking forward to the trip...the itinerary

Phew...I know, I know - too much to take on travelling solo and on such a tight schedule!

My own Amazing Race around Europe! But I tell you, if I'm to sum up the trip in one word - it was empowering. After the trip, I felt I can pretty much do any thing I set my mind to.

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