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  • Writer's pictureRoy Thomas

2020 is now in sight

After months of dreaming and discussion we have a clear vision of our

Summer 2020 travel plans.

Crystal Explains the process:

“I like to think that an ordinary person is capable of anything” (Tracks).

My husband and fellow adventurer and I are spending this fall and winter putting together our summer travel plans. One of my favorite past times is trip planning and dreaming. I have planned many trips over the years that never happened; however, I have never been on a trip that I didn’t plan. So, I plan.

Recently, a dear friend asked me what our plans are for next summer. After my exhaustive explanation of our two and half month trek planned across Europe for June, July, & half of August 2020 she interrupted me and said, “How are you affording this?” I laughed.

I don’t know. We just are.

The plane tickets are purchased. The narrow boat for a week in London is prepaid. Next up, we will book the rental car for 4 days in Iceland. Then we will make campsite reservations, purchase theater tickets on the West End, and the lists goes on.

This is how our winter will be spent. It will be spent ‘affording it’. Birthday gifts and Christmas gifts will all be needed gear. In fact, all of our extra finances will be tucked away for summer. We have scaled back everything- even the weekly grocery budget in order to afford it.

How can we not afford it? We don’t need more stuff. We need more experiences.

The thing is we decided to make travel a priority. Even when we can’t figure out how we were going to financially swing it or get the time off of work. We plan. More like, we scheme. We have given up daily coffee shop visits, we have picked up extra duty contracts, sold off unused household goods, etc.

For example, we love Iceland but it’s an expensive destination. So, we google. We research. We pre-pay as much as possible. We decided to go for two days on the front end of our Europe trip and then on two additional days on the return trip. We will rent a car. We will tent camp. We will skip the Blue Lagoon, and instead hike along a thermal river and swim there for free. Perhaps take a commuter ferry to some nearby islands and hike there. Off the beaten path we will find waterfalls, caves, and lighthouses. Gas is $8 a gallon. So, the plan is simple. Pick a section of the country and thoroughly explore it. Get out of the car. Walk. Explore. Laugh.


2020 Itinerary:

1. Iceland- 2 Days

We will fly Icelandair direct from Anchorage to Reykjavik were we will spend two nights tent and car camping before catching our next flight.

2. London- 7 Days

We will arrive at London Luton Airport aboard EasyJet. Then navigate a shuttle to the train then onward to the tube. When you visit London be sure and get your Oyster Card. The Oyster Card allows passage on the tube, buses and river boats that will whisk you around London. Thanks to AirBnB we have secured a narrow boat on one of the canals just off the River Thames. A full week in London for under $900!

London's adventures will include the War Rooms this time, back to the British Museum and a visit to the Natural History Museum. Most importantly London will include theater. We have many choices when visiting the West Side, our schedule and budget will dictate what we get to see. High on the list is Six, a show that our daughter wants to see. We have one day trip planned, a train ride out to hike the Seven Sisters.

3. Scotland & the West Highland Way- 9-10 days

In 2017 we opted to hike the Great Glen Way rather than the West Highland Way. After completing the Chilkoot Trail in 2019 we are ready for this 96 mile trek. We hope to wrap up a successful West Highland Way by tackling Ben Nevis, the highest point in the United Kingdom.

Conic Hill above Loch Lomond, West Highland Way

4. Andalusia region of Spain- 4 Days

After the West Highland way we will return to Glasgow and then fly to Malaga, Spain. Malaga will include beach time, a trip to Gibraltar and possibly a day tour to Tangier. If I can put my brave on we might even try out the Caminito del Rey.

5. Camino Portugues 34 days

From Malaga we will fly to Lisbon, spend a couple of days touring and then set out on the Camino Portugues which is nearly 400 miles to Santiago de Compestella. This will be the third Camino for Crystal and I. It will be the second for our daughter. We plan 2 days in Oporto, one of our favorite cities.

6. Camino Finisterre- 4 days

This route will take us out to the "End of the Earth". We had wanted to complete this journey from Santiago to Muxia and Finisterre in 2016 when we walked the Camino Frances but we didn't have the drive to finish so we traveled out by bus. Walking this final bit of Westen Galacia will mark the completion of walking Spain from East to West.

7. To Madrid, return to Reykjavik then home- 5 Days

We are hoping to connect with some friends of ours in Madrid, then we will head back to our beautiful island home, Kodiak, Alaska.

Follow us, or better yet join us.

We will update our planning and our trip as we go forward. Follow us on Facebook or through this blog.

Interested in joining us? We would love to have company in London, along the West Highland Way or on the Camino Portuguese. Join us for a day, a week or more. Or arrange to meet us in Malage, Lisbon, or Oporto.

Not sure about traveling internationally, we would be glad to help you walk through some of the basics.

It's time for adventure around the world, "One step at a time."


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