How long into January can you say “Happy New Year?”
Hello!! It’s been a minute!! After our trip to Portugal, we had a whirlwind holiday season – unfortunately lots of baby illness, a bit of travel, and a truly delicious holiday with many treasured friends and family in the Swiss Alps! We all had a blast celebrating James’ first Christmas!
But now with the dust settled, I’m finally getting back to sharing our trip to Portugal from November. I’ll be sharing our adventures to Porto and the Douro Valley in the coming days, with Lisbon and Sintra to follow not long after. Stay tuned!!
Since I’ve written, we got the news that we will be moving back to the Philadelphia area in May, so we’ve been swimming in the admin of relocation, yet again. It’s really, really bittersweet. We can’t wait for the extra time for our loved ones, and for the natural conveniences of living in your home country, but it would be dishonest not to share that it is making us quite sad to be leaving James’ hometown. Living here and exploring Europe has been the most restorative, vibrant, and healing time of our lives. We have much to look forward to upon arrival home next summer – there are so many great milestones for some of our dearest friends and family that we finally get to celebrate alongside them, but there will definitely be tears on moving day. I just feel like there is still so much to see and do!
But in this natural time of reflection, I was looking back on our 2019 travel resolutions! I gotta say – I’m amazed at how much ground we were able to cover. 11 countries in nearly 12 months for our little boy. We are hoping to make it 12 before his first birthday in March – 🤞🏻!
It brings me to some unsolicited baby travel advice – do as much as you can when your baby is a newborn. At the time, just leaving the house to go to the grocery store seems so overwhelming that you perhaps can’t even imagine packing up the car or heading to the airport. But when I look back at our trips to Lugano and Piedmont – both before James was 3 months old, they were our simplest trips because he was still constantly snoozing and would do so basically everywhere. It got MUCH tougher around Spain 😂 with a baby who napped a lot less, and suddenly had some opinions. Not every baby has this temprament, but just some food for thought!
Have a look!
- Austria (Vienna ✅ – Salzburg ✅ .)
- Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Korcula, Hvar)
- Czech Republic (Prague ✅ )
- France (Bordeaux, Burgundy ✅ , Champagne, Normandy)
- Germany (Munich ✅ , Berlin, Black Forest)
- Italy (Piedmont ✅ , Portofino, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Southern Coast)
- Norway (Oslo, Fjords, find a way to see Northern Lights?)
- Portugal (Algarve region, Sintra ✅, Porto ✅, Lisbon ✅)
- Scotland (Edinburgh, Highlands/countryside)
- Spain (Seville ✅ , Southern Coast ✅, Barcelona)
Not bad! Before our time concludes in May, we have been trying to decide, how do we wrap it up? There’s still so much we have missed! Because our time living here has crystallized our love for this continent, while in the next decade or so, it will be pretty difficult to make it back from the US, we’re committed to hitting many of the things on the above list and more. Spots like Scotland and the Algarve Coast in Portugal are a fairly easy flight from our home on the East Coast, so we’ll be focusing on areas a bit tougher to access.
We want to soak up as much Switzerland as we can, so we’re planning to visit a few more areas in the Eastern part of the country, and are spending James’ birthday weekend in Zermatt, so that he can see the Matterhorn before we go! I mean, we know how much he will treasure it for the rest of his life.
We are also keen to get to Norway, as well as perhaps one more trip to Italy, a country that never gets old for us. But we will see what the future holds! The whole experience has been an incredible gift, and I truly appreciate your reading along the way!
Next up – Porto and the Douro Valley!