Back when I filed for divorce [July 2012] I told my family I was going to take myself to Greece when everything was done. My divorce took a lot longer than I thought it would and a lot more money. It’s been finalized now for 7 months and I am diligently saving for a trip abroad. The current OT hours I am working should help with that!
Originally my mom and I were going to take a cruise that left Athens and went to many of the Greek islands as well as Istanbul in Turkey. There was also a land portion where you got to day trip to Delphi and see much of the Acropolis. I would prefer not to do a cruise though. It’s just never seemed that interesting to me.
I have long been enamored with the Mediterranean and have wanted to explore Italy and Greece and Morocco and Egypt and Turkey and…. for what feels like forever. There is so much to see that I don’t even know where to start. Trying to choose between each country is bad enough but narrowing it down to a specific location seems impossible! Since this is pretty much my first trip abroad [does Cabo count?] I want to make the best decision possible. The BF has been to many places in western Europe as well as Japan and Egypt so I will have a seasoned traveler with me. He’s not afraid to explore.
I did a quick search on Expedia from Seattle to Milan, Florence, Naples, Rome & Athens and they are roughly even in price for airfare + hotel. So that consideration didn’t knock any contenders out.
I am one of those people who likes to get as much bang for their buck and if I can hit more than one country while away I will do just that. My mom calls it hub and spoke. We have a friend who lives in Switzerland so if we went to northern Italy we may be able to visit or at least coordinate meeting up with her. I would probably want to head in to southern France if possible as well.
Because I have not been on a vacation in a very long time I feel like I want a warm almost tropical climate to visit. One of the reasons I feel I am more drawn to the southern part of Italy but want to explore all options. Of course, if I do southern Italy I may be able to take a couple days and hits parts of Greece like Corfu which is probably the closest point to Italy and save Athens for its own separate trip.
The majority of Italy that interests me is the west coast with the exception of Venice. I have heard of how beautiful the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are. The Cinque Terre accessible by Milan or Florence [3 to 3.5 hours by train or car] is north and the Amalfi Coast accessible by Rome or Naples [by train or ferry & train from one to two hours] is south. I know I can go back but there is a big world out there and if I only get to Italy once, which to choose? Likely I will be traveling during shoulder season and for everything I have read its suggested Southern Italy. Here is a blog post I found that helps with this dilemma.
Athens has the big draw for me, The Parthenon, Delphi, you name it and I want to see it. Because Athens has so much to see I presume much of my trips would be spent there with the possibility of jetting to one of the islands like Santorini or Crete.
I am starting to do my research in figuring out where to go and what to see for what my budget allows. As I mentioned above, I plan on going during the shoulder season so costs will hopefully be lower but the weather should still be nice. We are roughly looking at September or October of 2016. That seems so far away but it will probably go really fast and before you know it we will be on a plane. I will keep you posted of my final plans!
Have you been to either Italy or Greece? How do you decide on a vacation destination?