I’m not going to make things to complicated with time frames and when exactly did this trip take place. It was somewhere within the first five years of the adoption. Basically we had never at that point taken a family trip-vacation (not even prior to the girls arriving at our home) and we thoughts it would be a good idea to visit places and paint some beautiful memories to remember for the rest of our lives. Needless to say, expenses were huge and that was kind of the “sad part” of it all. But what can you do…
So the way this started was, my father believed we should be doing something special. We always tried to take small road trips whenever we had a chance, but to actually go on a plane ride overseas for a month, was something unheard of for us.
By the way, if you need to refresh your memory on the adoption and the number of new members my family now had, click here.
So my parents got on the phone with travel agencies. We didn’t want to go on a tour with other people tagging along. We wanted (basically my mother) to have a strictly family trip. No interference with other people that didn’t belong to our family.
“So where do we go?” My younger brother asked. That was a pretty good question. We weren’t a wealthy family to have a series of options laying before us. We had to combine a memorable trip with a relatively affordable destination (considering that we would be gone for 30 days.)
We ended up deciding to travel a few countries in Europe. Because summer was the time of the year, we decided to go to places that were more famous and touristic during those months. So that excluded Russia and Sweden. We decided to go down south, around the “Mediterranean countries.” We started off with Spain and spent a few days there, visiting Madrid and nearby places. Then we moved over to Italy and spent a week or so there. Malta was right below, so we said “why not?” And then we traveled to Cyprus, right off the shores of Turkey. As you can imagine, our bathing suits were pretty much “done” by the end of our trip. I think the Mediterranean got enough of our family. And we got enough of the Mediterranean diet (you need to try it.)
If I were to use one color to describe our trip, that would be “blue.” Blue skies, blue seas (it’s not an ocean so water is crystal clear) and we never felt blue, so that was good. People were generally friendly in those places. But of course we couldn’t avoid some incidents that all travelers come across one in a while: pick pocket masters. We lost a good chunk of change in Madrid and my second brother’s phone was stolen. For everyone reading this: keep your hands in your pockets all the time – especially when in the subway.
It would take a lot more though than a few irritating incidents, to ruin our trip. We had all this travel experience and enjoyed every part of it. But most importantly we had each other as a family. It was something new for everyone, so we all were very excited. I would recommend a trip around the Mediterranean to anyone, anytime! Speaking with the locals I got the impression though, that you should only go there for vacation. Never consider moving permanently in one of those countries. Or live there at your own risk (paraphrasing what they told us.)
Anyway, seeing new places is always great and fun. Make sure you make time for such adventures. In case you want to use my advice, below there is a map of the Mediterranean…so you don’t get lost. And if you do get lost, contact me.
A lot more posts coming your way. Stay tuned!