Kellen and I are about to embark on our second big international vacation together- the last one being backpacking through Europe in 2008. Since then, we’ve done a lot of stuff: bought a house, had a few babies, you know, the usual. But Kellen can tell you quickly how many moments in between these past almost ten years I’ve talked about traveling and adventuring with him again. It might seem silly to write about a trip we took almost ten years ago, but honestly, to me, I want to savor every memory of that trip and writing is the best way I have found to relive those memories. Reliving memories has a profound impact on relationships and I can speak from experience when I say that doing so can creates an even tighter bond for marriages. And so, I write 🙂
I mentioned a few posts ago about asking Kellen to promise me we would backpack through Europe when he told me he wanted to marry me. Traveling wasn’t ever something I was willing to compromise on, and he knew that: hence the reason we took off just shy of our first anniversary and boarded a plane to London.
We arrived in London in the late afternoon, just in time to hit rush hour on the subway. We likely stunk of sweat and staleness from the airplane ride, so being packed like sardines standing on the London Underground was a smelly and exhausting way to start our trip.
2008 was just before the explosion of smart phones, so I had everything written in my notebook, including the directions to the hostel which literally included language on how many steps to walk and what to look for. It was Kellen’s first exposure to the hostel world, and the two hostels I had selected were quite the experience. Our entire trip was planned with the book “Europe on a shoestring” and let me tell you: I took the shoestring budget concept to heart. The first hostel was a room packed with bunk beds and other backpackers, and the second with the same- but the added bonus of our shower being in the corner of the room and puke greeting us in the hallway as we found our room. We quickly decided it might be a while before we might get a shower and we counted our minutes before we got to get the heck out of dodge.
Despite our questionable sleeping arrangements, we still managed to throughly enjoy our time there. We road a double decker bus, had tea at the Queens tea room, watched the guards at Kensington palace, saw the Queens jewels at the Tower of London and even ate pizza overlooking the city at Parliament Hill. Kellen even spotted some foxes on an early morning run: making for the perfect cherry on top for a stereotypical British adventure.
Stay tuned for our time in France and Belgium, coming to a blog post soon 🌎✈️