I can’t believe it’s actually happening – but I’m finally leaving the country for the first time. Yes! I’m traveling outside of the U.S. and I’m so, so, so excited! About time, I know. My Pinterest “travel” board makes me seem well-traveled but it’s all just wanderlust. And my forever wish of traveling to Europe is coming true – to Italy and Greece I go! Literally, I do a little scream inside every time I think about it.
This idea and plans for this trip kind of just fell together. A few of my friends and I realized we had a mutual desire to visit Greece – and given the affordability of doing so – we decided we’d plan a trip in early June to kick off the summer, without missing too much of the season in Chicago. So abgroup of 6 of us decided we’d make it happen, and thought why not make a pit stop in Italy for a few days first, ya know, since we’ll be so close, right? Only makes sense! (LOL)
These two destinations have literally been at the top of my list and I feel like everyone and their mother has visited them recently and can’t say enough great things. While we just have our “big” flight – to Europe and back – booked right now, we’re planning out the smaller flights and deciding on specific destinations this weekend. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about international travel, but I do read enough blogs and articles to know a a few of the places I certainly want to go.
For those familiar with the areas, we’ll be flying into Rome and staying for about 3 days, including a visit to the Amalfi Coast, then hoping on a flight to Athens, where we hope to hop around to a few islands – Santorini, etc. If you’ve visited, I’m selfishly asking for any and all recommendations and suggestions of what you loved and what you’d pass on if you went again.
Having this be such a big first, although I’m so grateful it’s happening, I’m equally excited and anxious. I can’t really wrap my head around everything that needs to me done first – How much cash do I need? Don’t I need an outlet adapter? How does Wi-fi work? How on earth will I decide which outfits to bring?! It’s going to be a journey just to get prepared, I’m afraid. So far, here’s where my head’s at:
Things I’m most looking forward to on this trip:
- Eating, everything
- Having my favorite salad, a greek salad, in Greece
- Trying real homemade pasta in Italy
- All of the wine
- The architecture
- Staying in quaint Airbnbs
- Taking beautiful photos – Should I bring a real camera?
- The beaches
- Boat rides
- Men with accents
- The stunning white architecture in Greece
- Stairs, strangely – I know there will be a lot of them but maybe it’s because I’m from the flat midwest that I’m actually excited about it
- The seafood
- The sun
- Experiencing another culture and way of life
- A shift in perspective
Things that I’m nervous about:
- Not understanding the currency, nor the equivalency to the U.S. dollar (math was my weak subject)
- Losing something necessary
- Packing, overpacking
- Language barriers
- Connecting flights
- Quality of my iPhone photos (LOL, really tho)
- All the problems I have with pain in my feet, and no, I don’t wanna wear my ASICS
- Not being able to sleep on the flights
- Not being able to sleep at all so far from home
- Trying to fit too much in and being exhausted
- Anything else that could go wrong
I’ve been researching as much as I can from those who have been there. Some of the travel guides and itineraries from my favorite bloggers I’ve been following are:
- I’m obviously obsessed with Gaby Dalkin, so her full guides to Rome, Positano, the Italy video is everything; Also her guide to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos
- I remember living vicariously through all of Jessica Sturdy’s snaps when she went to the Amalfi coast a couple summers ago – her Amalfi Coast Travel Guide is so lengthy and helpful
- I plan on studying this Everygirl Guide to taking better travel photographs
- The Everygirl’s City Guide to Rome
- The Everygirl’s Guide to Santorini
Given that this is my first trip to Europe – and out of the country – I would love to hear any and all advice and recommendations on international travel! And as I mentioned above, if you’ve been there – please share your recommendations! Until then I’ll be patiently waiting for June and living through all these beautiful photos. Dare I say “ciao?” That’s the only Italian word I know, anyway.