We are back in North America! We are closing the book on our first foray into long term travel in Europe, but only for the summer.. Greg and I flew back to the States at the end of May after an absolutely extraordinary year. We traveled throughout Europe for 9 months volunteering in exchange for room and board with workaway and WWOOFing, housesitting through TrustedHousesitters, hosting guests on Euro Travel Coach small group trips and traveling on our own to learn about places we had never been! We also got to visit with friends and family along the way which was incredible. Thank you so so much for following our adventures.
The last few weeks of our time in Europe were amazing. We hosted 19 travelers in Tuscany for Euro Travel Coach’s very first set of small group trips. We had an absolute blast and we hear from our guests that they had an AMAZING time as well! Expect more pictures and details to come in a future blog. Our next ETC trip to Tuscany is in March and we are thrilled to say it is FULLY BOOKED! Therefore, we are planning to lead another small group trip in May 2019. The itinerary will be very similar and you can see it here. If you would like to join us, please let me know ASAP as we hope spots sell out quickly for that one too.
We spent 10 days or so in Wooster, Ohio where we both grew up and where most of Greg’s family lives. It was so nice to see everyone. We had a series of appointments with doctors, dentists, optometrists and hairdressers to make sure we are healthy and looking – well – better, anyway. We went through piles of mail (we did our best to go paperless before we left….what happened?) Greg also got to play with his dad’s band while we were home, which is always very special. David even got to sit in on drums!
Our business is picking up and we are delighted! We have been working on custom itineraries to Zurich, Amsterdam, London, Paris and the Loire and having so much fun working with our clients. Sadly, I taught my last Tarleton class in May. I will really miss my students and colleagues. I loved sharing what I learned about international business with my students, but as Greg says, this will allow me more time to focus on Euro Travel Coach. We need our business to grow so that we can keep on traveling and sharing our experiences with all of you. Please tell everyone you know about us if they are at all interested in travel, Europe, culture and adventure. We’d love it if you could share info about our blog and our services (coaching, custom itineraries and small group trips). We need you to help us spread the word any way you can!!!
We will be at our lake house in Canada until mid-August. It is so much fun being here right now. Every time I look out at the dock or go to our friend’s cottages who hosted Chelsea and Sam’s reception I get to relive last summer’s wedding. I didn’t anticipate that and I am so grateful. It gives me such joy to know that my kids love the cottage and our very dear friends here who make it such a special place. It would make my mom and dad so very happy.
After last year’s flurry of selling our house in Texas and selling most of the contents, we’re having some trouble finding things and remembering where we put stuff. Most of what we have left is in a storage unit in Ohio. Our car was so full of things for the wedding last year that we didn’t have room for some items that we thought we would want at the lake. Since we’ve been traveling with 2 suitcases and 2 backpacks for 9 months, we find we really don’t need a whole lot to keep us going, and when we look at what’s in the storage unit we think “why did we keep that?” (Click to see how Betsy and Greg packed for a 9 month trip!) But some things I would like to find and I simply can’t remember where they should be. I imagine some day we will unpack the storage unit somewhere and find all kinds of goodies – and many things we really and truly don’t need. I don’t know when that will be. For now, we plan to stay at the lake for the summer and then travel to Europe again beginning in September.
We are working on our plans for the fall. We’ll spend a month doing a little traveling in the States. We’ll visit family in Wooster, visit David in Kentucky where he is part of Actor’s Theatre Louisville’s Professional Training Company for the next 9 months, visit friends, attend an amazing wedding and attend a TBEX conference for our business. Then we will fly back to Italy and start our year all over again! We can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead! We will start back in Piedmont at the same winery where we picked grapes last year. Check out our blog about that here. We had such a great experience and made new friends there – we’re excited to return as experienced harvesters. They are even going to let us lead a tasting and take care of the winery when they are gone for a weekend in October. How cool is that? After our return to Piedmont we plan to go to Sicily for a while and then the book is wide open. We may go to Portugal for a while, we’ll definitely go visit Chelsea and Sam in Bristol, and who knows what else? It’s cool that now Workaway hosts sometimes contact US after seeing our profile online. We may meet up with some of those who have asked us to come volunteer with them. We have so many places yet to go and spots on our list we want to visit. It’s exciting to see what happens next.
In the meantime, we are so very happy to be at home in our cottage on our beautiful lake in Canada. It’s great to sleep in our very own bed, cook in our very own kitchen and work on Euro Travel Coach (ETC) from our kitchen table – or the dock – or wherever the mood strikes us! Be expecting upcoming blogs on our last month in Europe. We look forward to telling you about our time in Hungary, Tuscany, Verona and more. Let us know if we can help you with any of your travel plans. Please comment on the blog below and on Facebook, spread the word about ETC and stay in touch!
Our next Small Group Trip to Tuscany in March 2019 is fully booked! We are starting to look into another Tuscany Trip for May 2019 and a Piedmont Italy Trip in October 2019. If you are interested in either of these trips or would like help planning a trip of your own, please contact us. Remember that we are always available to you and your friends and family for custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland, England and all of Europe. You can always reach Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you make your travel dreams to Europe come true!