Goals of the Beyond Vacation Kick-Off Trip

This new lifestyle Andy and I are creating for ourselves isn’t all about having one big vacation. One of the reasons we called it Beyond Vacation is because we don’t want a life we have to escape from. We’re aiming at slow travel and really getting to know the cultures we visit. Our upcoming trip is definitely not as slow as it could be, but we have several things we’re trying to achieve. Here’s a look at our goals for the Beyond Vacation kick-off trip.

We need to travel

Between my intensive German course and all the preparation and saving we did to start this new lifestyle, Andy and I haven’t taken a trip in ages. We need to travel, to see the sights, to try new foods, to have a change of scenery. The past 7 or 8 months have caused us major withdrawal symptoms, made worse by the long cold winter we’re just barely getting out of.

I will post our itinerary soon, but we will be spending 7 weeks traveling through Europe, mostly a week at a time with a few shorter stays here and there. We want to do lots of sightseeing and experience the local side of places. We’re hoping this is long enough to make up for the months of not traveling but not so long that we get burned out.

Beyond Vacation goals

Testing out work on the road

Andy won’t be working on a contract while we’re traveling, but it’s something he would definitely consider in the future when we spend a few months in one place. We’ll both be keeping up with our various travel blogs and newsletters on this trip, plus several days at a blogging conference. I have a project I’m in the early stages of developing. Andy plans on revamping some of our websites.

This means that, while we certainly want to focus on travel experiences, we will have to balance that with writing, photo editing, and lots of other things that go along with blogging. It will be good practice on time management.

Finding balance

This goes along with the point above. We need to find a good balance between work and play while we travel. We also need to find a good balance between being at home in Freiburg and being on the road. In the future we’re hoping to spend 3 months in the winter escaping to someplace warm, and if Andy gets a contract he can work on remotely, we might decide to go somewhere else for a few months. But for now we’re going to see how we do with a little less than 2 months on the road to test our our plan.

Beyond Vacation goals

Helping you

As we travel, I want to show you how you can visit the places we’re traveling to. Besides sharing my stories with you, I will also share some of the more practical details about the destinations and logistics. I’ll show you how to see the touristy stuff as well as how to go beyond the attractions and explore the local side. I’m also going to be tracking our spending and showing you what it costs to travel in Europe.

Andy and I will also be publishing our monthly Beyond Vacation newsletter. (The first one goes out in the next few weeks, sign up here!) This will show you how our new lifestyle is going, what’s working and what isn’t, tips on how you can do something similar with your life, and lots of photos. We really want to show you that living life a little differently is possible and within your reach.

More pictures of us

Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but there aren’t a lot of pictures of me and Andy around here. We both love to take pictures, so we’re always behind the camera. The few times we’ve actually remembered to have someone else take a picture of us, we’ve been pretty disappointed in how it came out. But we really should have more than a few good pictures of the two of us, and even more pictures of just one or the other of us. So we will make more of an effort to get pictures that have us in them so you can see us as we travel, not just the places.

Beyond Vacation goals

Some silly goals

A we’ve been researching our trip, we keep finding castles along the way. Enough that I have a column on my tracking spreadsheet to count how many castles we see and where. Aside from tracking our spending, I’m sure I’ll find a few other random things to keep track of, like how many times we have to do laundry or number of hours spent on trains. Sometimes those are interesting statistics, or it might just be entertaining to me, we’ll see.

Beyond Vacation goals

I’ll report back after the trip and let you know how we do with our goals. Beyond Vacation is a much bigger lifestyle change, but the kick-off trip is our trial run to see how some of the pieces work. Hopefully things will go as planned, but I’m sure we’ll hit a few bumps along the way. I’ll share the ups and the downs with you and show how we’re adjusting to our new life plan. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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