Natalie loves to travel. Probably the best trip in her life was the summer she spent living in Europe while a college student. She still talks about the adventure and the friends she made. When we talk about our life goals, she often mentions the desire to travel the world.

I’m kinda cheap. Really cheap actually. I struggle to travel. I have to do it for work at times, which is fine, but we almost never take vacations as a family. In the last 5 years we have done a few family trips to Moab, Zion National Park, California, and Sun Valley Idaho. So am I slowly reforming. Maybe that is because as my kids grow older and are now mostly out of the house I long to be with them - and a family trip is a good excuse.

When the children were younger Natalie took them on several family vacations. I kind of look back in horror to realize I was so unsupportive of these trips that I stayed at home and left her to handle the logistics alone. Once in Kansas they drove to a resort town in southern Missouri and rented a platform boat. While living in Utah she took them to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. There have probably been a few others.

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The trips Natalie and I have taken with just the two of us are few and far between. I remember a couple weekend trips in Virginia to simple Bed-and-Breakfasts. While living in Kansas we flew to Sacramento for a long weekend. And now, while living in Utah, I think we have one trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. The top of the stack is probably the Sacramento trip. Imagine that magic.

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We have been on many backpacking trips in the mountains near our house, and one overnight bike trip. Given our active lifestyles, this works well for me, and Natalie loves these outings. However, it is clear I am falling short of expectations in this area of her life.

So we are going big. At the end of June we will fly to Amsterdam and ride our tandem bike (more on the bike in another post) through the Netherlands, a sliver of Germany, Belgium (spending her 50th birthday in the same town she celebrated her 20th birthday), and France, returning to Amsterdam 3 weeks later. In all we will ride about a thousand miles. On the days we ride we’ll cover about 80 miles per day. The balance of our time will be spent enjoying Europe’s history and geography.


I’ll make several subsequent posts about the planning of this trip. Here are some of the topics I am thinking about:

  1. Selecting a bike
  2. Planning a route
  3. Gearing up
  4. Figuring out logistics (flights, hotels, and food)

I also plan post while we ride.

Welcome to our journey.


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