Look out Europe, I give you fair notice

IT'S taken almost 30 years but I've finally worked up the courage to go to Europe.

I had no real desire to "do Europe" in my teens: too far, too expensive, too scary to contemplate.

Instead, hubbie and I were content to create a home in the best place in the world anyway - just like our parents and grandparents did.

So up until now, I've mostly played it safe with my travels - spreading my wings across our Great Southern Land, conquering the Pacific and venturing just far enough overseas to taste the quirkiness of Asia.

The closest I've come to

using five years of high school French lessons was in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

But with a 22-year-old son brave enough to broaden his horizons to live in London, my time has come.

The countdown has begun.

Thirty days to blast-off.

And I've already packed the backpack, culled the clothes, packed again and culled some more.

For the past six months, the girl who never took a geography class in her life has had to get her head around a very foreign concept indeed.

Google Maps, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and fellow travellers have been my teachers.

Along with myriad accommodation websites including booking.com. hotels.com, hotelclub.com, Airbnb, and hostelworld.com, I've researched, researched and researched some more.

Since the kids have now flown the coop, we empty

nesters have 101 days and nights to play tourist in more than a dozen countries on the other side of the globe.

I think of it as the mid-life crisis you have when you're not having a mid-life crisis.

What I have realised so far is, no matter what the tourist brochures and websites say, the ultimate European holiday does not exist.

But hopefully, with a little planning and a healthy quest for adventure, we can avoid any National Lampoon scen

arios and have the perfect European Vacation for us.

Fingers crossed.

Please wish us "bon voyage" and "safe home".


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