It’s been 6-years since I last set foot in Europe for an adventure (I was 21 going 22), and about 4-years for my husband who spent about 5 1/2 years in Moscow, where he finished his Masters.
When you mention 3 weeks of Europe to anyone, people will most probably imagine you relaxing by the busiest artsy Piazza, sipping a cup of brewed coffee, just soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of the European culture…ahhh, this is the life… totally looking forward to the getaway.
WELL, NOT EXACTLY THE CASE FOR ME.
I am extremely nervous about my trip which is happening in about 24-hours! Packing is almost done (wait, where is my list of things to be packed?) and meetings have been held with my clients, now it’s all down to the execution of the design briefs in the factory in Florence. We have a tiny girl we are dragging with, and I am lucky that she loves to travel and get out there to explore, but gosh, am I nervous to be handling her alone with only my husband on the plane. During our last trip to Japan, it was a good family trip with my mom, sister, and brother, all playing their part as “nannies”. Now, it’s all just me and my husband juggling between serious discussions with our business partners while making sure Naurah does not get tired (and starts shrieking) during our meetings…hehe, a challenge indeed.
Don’t ask me what are the things I am packing for Naurah, traveling nearly 14-hours in a confined floating tube called the airplane *yikes* to arrive later in a foreign country speaking a foreign language. Basically, I packed almost everything; minyak telon, rash creams, some toys, pampers dalam kuantiti yang sangat banyak, food in tubes, the Ipad downloaded with her cartoons (about 5-6 hours worth of cartoons) plenty enough to last the journey to our destinations, and of course, her clothes. Oh by the way, she has her own bag, while me and my husband squeezed everything into one large bag, hoping that the wheels will be able to withstand the Renaissance cobbled stones of European streets.
Where am I heading?
I am a sucker for AirBnB, I think regardless of how much my income have grown and will grow over the years (Inshallah), I will always try to make my travels as “local” as possible. We try our best to avoid tour groups and hotels, but of course, this time around, if we managed all that with an infant, I would consider ourselves as pro-travelers.
Our first stop will be Milano, where we will be arriving in from Kuala Lumpur, via Abu Dhabi. A good few days here, exploring this one city I have never been to, will later lead me to Budapest over the weekend, for a meeting with my designer in the exotic European country. Later, the more serious works will happen in Firenze, where we will be staying for a maximum of 7-days. Unfortunately, although work is abundant, you can’t stay longer than 7-consecutive days in the beautiful city. With a weekend excursion to Cinque Terre, our final leg of the journey will take us to Southern France, to the Cote D’Azur coastlines, where we will be staying in Nice for a couple of days, with a meeting set with a perfumery company just outside of Nice.
While I will be dreading the plane ride that is to come (dude, 14-hours with an infant, you try-lah and see how)… hopefully, after the three of us have managed our jet-lagged bodyclock, we will definitely find adventure and the joy that we (or just me) deserve during the next 3-weeks in Europe.
Wish me luck!