Welcome to markandjanettraveltheplanet.com, we’re so excited you found your way to our travel blog. Our blog is brand new so please excuse the amateur beginnings but keep following us so you can say you joined when the next travel celebs got their start! We have an exciting year of travel ahead of us so pack your bags and get ready to join us on a journey! We hope along the way we’ll entertain, inspire and educate you to achieve your own personal travel dreams. Whether you’re ready to plan a trip, dreaming about going, need some inspiration or just want to live vicariously through ours we’re happy to have you along. We’re friends now, you’re part of our inner circle that we stay connected with on the road, through this blog. We hope our stories strike emotion in you, stir up some feelings and maybe make you laugh as travel can truly provide a metaphor for that journey we all take… called ‘Life’.
If you’re like us you work hard all year long and look forward to those few weeks of reprieve you get from the everyday stresses of work, kids and home. We try to take regular breaks and those ‘holiday dreams’ dangled in front of us help us tow the line, paddle the river, climb the mountain and navigate life (those metaphors)!
Our Year Ahead
Where are we going you ask? Well, from all our past travels we have had a deep desire to return to Italy, to live a year of La Dolce Vita, off the beaten path like one of the locals. On our last visit we threw a coin into the Trevi fountain to ensure our return, we knew we’d be back one day and the universe has unfolded a plan to make that happen. It’s been quite the journey that’s lead us to this grand plan. We’ll tell you about it in another post but out of a few years of chaos, tumultuous change and too much loss the universe has slapped us upside the head and told us to go! Oprah always says… you have to learn to listen to that inner voice, god is speaking to you.
Since we began planning this trip just over a year ago, things are unfolding and taking us in directions we hadn’t predetermined. Apparently deciding to spend a year in Italy isn’t as easy as being said, turns out it’s quite a tedious, if almost impossible thing to do! At this time of writing we are waiting for an appointment with the Italian Consulate to apply for an extended stay visa, something akin to asking for an audience with the Pope to obtain the Holy Grail!
Well who hasn’t dreamed of a long sojourn in the land where everyday life is turned into an art form? Apparently not everyone! Many of our friends have asked ‘why Italy’ and my inside voice shrieks… ‘you have no idea’! The food, the culture, the history, the art, the architecture, the land, the sea…..the people! Simple things like getting a morning cappuccino at the local café, buying bread and meats at the deli, picking up a bottle of wine or buying produce at the market are all simple tasks that turn into experiences. Italians have a name for it, ‘La Dolce Vita’-‘the sweet life’. Maybe you have no desire now but follow us for a bit and we guarantee you’ll be moving Italy onto your bucket list.
Did we mention the wine, a tour through Italy will make an oenophile weak in the knees at first blush. We’ll have Prosecco in the Veneto, a nice Barolo in Piedmont, a rich Sangiovese or earthy Chianti in Tuscany, maybe a Limoncella in Capri, a Frangelico in Canale or a Grappa well, everywhere. We’ll have a glass especially for you all along the way, so here’s to living La Dolce Vita!
We’ve pulled out our grandmother’s rosary beads, rubbed the Buddha, Feng Shui’d our garden, picked up a lucky penny, crosssed our fingers and kissed the blarney stone (well we’re going too…),all in the hope that we’ll be granted our Visas. If not then the universe has another plan and we’ll just have to go with it. No visa means we can only be in Italy or other Schengen countries (most of Europe) for up to 90 days within a 181 day period so we’ve reversed engineered our plans. We know we want to experience Carnivale in Venice for February and our anniversary in June, so if we don’t get the Visa’s and are out by mid February we can’t arrive until mid November.
Our trip is starting the end of September so we have to start in a non-Schengen country and we have decided on Scotland.. The plan is October in Scotland, a few weeks in Ireland and then our Italian adventure starts mid November in Rome! Doing lots of leg presses at the gym in preparation to rock a kilt! Scotland and Ireland weren’t on our radar but now we’re really excited about it and have a whole tour mapped out that will cover most of the country. It’s been fun doing the research, we know it so well we could probably get around without ever looking at a map! Well Maybe!
Mark & Janet
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