I wanted to keep track of how much this 3-week trip cost so here is a breakdown of what was spent each week. I’ll come back and update this regularly throughout the trip to see just how much 3-weeks abroad really costs.
As of September 29, 2008:
- $1226.93 - Return flight to Paris
- $168 - Backpack
- $39 - Power converter
- $118 - Misc supplies for backpack (water container, roll-up toiletries bag, smaller passport pack, etc.)
- $170 - First night in Paris… Discount on room at the Paris Hilton
Total: $1721.93 (and I haven’t even left Canada yet… lol)
First Day in Paris:
- 8 Euros - Train ticket from Charles-de-Gaulle airport to Paris (Taxi would have been 50 Euros!)
- 11 Euros - Cab ride from Gare du Nord train station to Paris Hilton
- 9 Euros - Admission to Le Louvre
- 5 Euros - Cab ride from Louvre to Paris Hilton
Total: 32 Euros
Second Day in Paris and First Day in Brussels:
- 10 Euros - breakfast at the cafe
- 10 Euros - taxi from cafe to Gare du Nord
- 80 Euros - train ticket from Paris to Brussels
- $75 - one night stay in Brussels at the Sheraton hotel (4-star)
- 2.6 Euros - tram ticket from Brussels-Midi to the hotel area
- 2.5 Euros - Belgian waffle covered in Belgian chocolate
- 5 Euros - stupid awful waste of money umbrella
- 9 Euros - box of Belgian chocolates
Total: 120.10 Euros and $75 Dollars
Technorati Tags: Europe, European vacation, Europe adventure, cost of a Europe trip, cost of a Europe vacation, cost of a European vacation, cost of a European vacation, Europe 2008, backpacking across Europe, backpacking, Erin Blaskie, virtual assistant, virtual assistance
It’s one week from today… In fact, for dramatic effect, I posted this at the EXACT time that I’ll be boarding my plane next week. I am so gloriously happy and excited and nervous and in great anticipation that I can hardly believe it. I feel like a kid at Christmas but… that kid who thinks their parents may have picked out exactly what he/she wanted but still isn’t 100% sure. That’s my nervous side creating that analogy.
BEST Part… and most exciting. My sister, who is one of my closest friends, is coming with me. I can hardly believe this for a number of reasons. (1) My sister is not really a big traveler. She’s been to a few places in Canada and the US but has never been overseas or anywhere that spoke a different language (seriously)… We’re very different. (2) I get company! For a trip this big, although the soul searching aspect of being alone is nice, it’s also nice to have someone else to share it all with - the good, the not so good and the amazing.
So, if you follow the blog, you’re probably wondering about the plans I may have made. Well… I still haven’t made any. Seriously. Here is what I have (or shall I say, my assistant has) been able to accomplish thus far:
- Ashlee put together a list of 2-3 hotels in every city that I may go to. This way, if I travel to a city and want a quick place to stay, I have all of the needed contact info, address, etc. The best part? She made sure they all had WiFi (a requirement for the mobile lifestyle) AND she’s checked out the reviews on different travel sites to make sure I’m staying some place acceptable.(Editor’s Note: I’m not a picky traveler but I do have some standards… For example, clean sheets and roach-free.)
- Ashlee also went to Mountain Equipment Co-Op and purchased for me an amazing backpack. I know, I know, you just stopped dead in your tracks didn’t you? I am sure you are scratching your head and thinking… You, Erin Blaskie, are going to BACKPACK across Europe? Well… Yes I am. This is going to be THE single hardest thing I have ever done. I am packing one pair of shoes (my stomach turns just thinking about it), two-three pairs of pants (comfortable), some layering pieces, a few scarves and a sweater/jacket. Then of course the other essentials but the key thing here is LIGHT.
- My sister and I went to Mountain Equipment Co-Op together (I know, I know, my assistant was there… but I’m one of those gadget types so I wanted to see if there was anything cool and exciting!) and I picked out a Nalgene bottle (to refill with water in the mornings and attach to my backpack… I know, I’m not going to be in the mountains or anything but I want to appear authentic… haha), a really neat roll-up bag for my makeup and other toiletries and another bag to keep my passport, etc. in until I get into Europe (then it’s all security and money belts people!)
But other than that… I’ve done nothing else. Haven’t planned sight-seeing trips, haven’t planned transportation, haven’t picked up language books… Nothing. This is the least prepared I’ve been for the longest trip I’ve ever taken. The best part – I am so thrilled for the adventure. I don’t want to know what is coming up… I don’t want to plan… I don’t even want to set rules for the trip. I know the things I must do (continue to work at least 4 hours per day to manage / maintain my workload and be safely tucked away in a hotel before dark) but that’s about all I’m planning.
I can not wait to see what comes out of this. I know it’ll be the most amazing thing I have done thus far (well… there are a few other noteables!) and it’s going to be life-changing in a way that I can’t quite fathom yet. I’ll keep you posted though and I’ll be sure to post both photos and videos along the way. I’ll be documenting the entire thing so that someday, when I’m old and grey, I can look back on this trip as a defining moment in my life. What the definition is, I have no idea but I can’t wait to find out.
And now… the trip and the essence of it all has a “we” instead of an “I” and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Technorati Tags: Erin Blaskie, The Traveling VA, Europe, European travel, backpacking across Europe, backpacking through Europe, travel, traveling VA, virtual assistant, virtual assistance, VA, mobile lifestyle, mobile entrepreneur, Trina Lamarche
I am sitting on my flight to Victoria, B.C. (well, technically this flight goes to Vancouver first) and I’m excited! I’m heading there to see Christina Merkley, The SHIFT-IT Coach, and we’re doing a business planning and strategy retreat. For the next three days, we’ll be locked up in Christina’s studio putting our brains together to come up with a stellar plan for 2009.
It sounds glamorous doesn’t it? Jetting off this week to the West Coast of Canada and then next Friday, hopping on a plan to go overseas – to the East and to Europe. However… It ain’t always glamorous! For example, I’m sitting here on a hot plane (I can’t seem to cool down), I watched Sex and the City on the little movie screen and bawled like a baby through most of it (I have seen every episode of SATC from every season, own the box set and watch it regularly) so now I am makeup-less (it streamed down my face and onto my 100% wool gorgeous new scarf) and my eyes are puffy from the tears. Like I said, not always glamorous.
I’ve also been doing the whole “head bob” that happens when you’re tired and falling asleep sitting up straight. Gravity and the sheer weight of one’s head usually forces it downward and then you do that embarrassing action of fall sideways, wake up… fall sideways, wake up. So… I figured it was time to pull out my new laptop (purchased a 15” light weight Dell XPS for the trip to Europe) and do some writing.
But I’m still excited! Christina is one of my favourite clients (shhhh!) and I absolutely love our energy when we’re together. We’re both big into manifesting, Law of Attraction, etc. (well, I say I’m “big” into it… I’m not as knowledgeable as she is but that’s why I love her!) and we really fuel off of each other’s spirit when working together. Combine that with our new team member and this weekend is sure to be both productive and fabulous!
The last time I was in Victoria, Christina was in the middle of manifesting a condo near (or in) a very exclusive, much desired building in Victoria. When there were no vacancies, she did the next best thing – she got a condo right near it and her view actually contains this wonderful building now. When I was there last, we drove to it a few times to “find the feeling place” and it was great because I was also in the middle of manifesting my BMW and my new house in the city and Christina helped me achieve both.
So… what am I going to be manifesting this time? Well… It’s quite simple really. Happiness. Without happiness, all the BMWs in the world, the fabulous homes in the city, the latest fashions or the newest designer sunglasses really don’t matter. All of those things are just accessories. With my impending trip to Europe (three wonderful weeks abroad), the only thing I’ll be hoping for is happiness.
Technorati Tags: Erin Blaskie, The Traveling VA, Christina Merkley, The SHIFT-IT Coach, SHIFT-IT Coach, Victoria, Victoria BC, British Columbia, travel, traveling VA, virtual assistant, virtual assistance, VA, mobile lifestyle, mobile entrepreneur