In November of 2001 my wife and I spent a week in Paris for our honeymoon. There was barely a waking moment of our days and nights that we did not spend exploring the fascinating museums and galleries, historic streets, buildings and churches of that wonderful city. At the end of that trip we promised ourselves that we would skimp on furniture for the house and other luxuries (leading a quiet social life and not drinking and smoking certainly helps here!) for the opportunity to visit at least one overseas destination every year, at least until we decide to start a family. Coming from a fairly poor background this is not something I previously imagined possible, but it is surprising how reasonable overseas holidays can be. However, we also promised ourselves that we would return to see more of a Europe glanced from out of the aircraft windows and Europe is probably one of the most expensive destinations for Australians.
We didn't quite keep our pledge. In 2002 we were too busy establishing a new home to travel. Desperately requiring a holiday in that summer we could only afford to visit New Zealand in early 2003 (see here), a trip cheaper than travelling to my parents' house in Queensland and much, much more beautiful! But the European bug would not go away and we even paid a deposit that August for a flight to Spain. However, our finances were not healthy enough for that trip and we ended up with a very hot week in Japan.
A new year and the desire grows stronger. However, we suffered a setback when I suddenly lost my job at the beginning of the year. Then it seemed like I was a strong contender for a job in the Netherlands and we booked a flight to Europe in preparation for an interview. Work visa restrictions intervended and we cancelled what would have been an ill-prepared trip the morning that the final payment was due.
The deposit and the need to explore the north of the world lingers, so we rebooked our flights to September. Now we are determined to go, to save up that money, to do what it takes to make our dream come true. In the series we will share our preparations and our journey to Europe.