Area of Texas is 268,820 square miles
Area of Germany is 137,903 square miles
Area of Spain is 194,845
Area of France is 248,573
I am crossing the last items off my list as I get closer to leaving on my long journey. For some reason, when I tell myself I am leaving for 224 days it seems shorter than 7 1/2 months.
I've left the trip purposely open - very little planning has been done - so I can take advantage of opportunities that arise. I know I will spend 3 weeks on the island of Lesvos, Greece in the very beginning of the trip and a week at a resort a few hours outside Madrid in mid March teaching English to Spaniards. I will walk the Camino de Santiago - the Portuguese route starting in Lisbon - beginning on my birthday, April 3rd and spend a week on Terceira island in the Azores toward the end of May. I want to spend 1-3 weeks in Morocco - Tangier, Fez, Chefchaouen, Meknes and Marrakech are all calling. I will visit friends in Shropshire, England and throughout Germany. I am carrying only a backpack that I think of as my turtle shell. All my belongings on my back. What freedom!
My self imposed budget is $50 a day - this includes housing, food and transportation. This doesn't include my airfare over (and I searched for months until I snagged a good deal) or my Eurail train/ferry pass for the first 2 months. Needless to say I won't be sampling haute cuisine, but I will be experiencing REAL cuisine - the native foods of every region, mostly foods from local outdoor markets and grocery stores or traditional meals served by my hosts. I am not staying in high end hotels (with the exception of the FREE resort in Spain - more on that later) but family homes that rent rooms and hostels. Some countries are incredibly reasonable (nice private rooms for $25 a night in Morocco) others not so much. I'm not out to see the tourist sights, but to see how people live, work and play in their own countries.
My home space in Texas is safe and secure with a lovely couple, Elizabeth and Eric (I refer to them as E2) keeping it going. Already they have begun the transformation of making it their own with beautiful plants and pictures and their divine energy. It has been wonderful sharing space with them for the month of January - much like having my own kids home.
Monday, February 1st I head to San Antonio to spend a few days with my daughter and granddaughter. Wednesday morning the 3rd, my travels begin.