It’s all happening

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

We had a plan.

After sharing my unfounded but very real passion for Istanbul with my now roommate, we made a pact to make the trip at the end of our lease together – a last hurrah for us in a way, and if things kept on the path they seemed to be, perhaps even a last hurrah for my ‘single’ self.

Partly in hopes of rationing the voice in my head that said things like too far, too expensive, too different, I tried to be responsible. I plotted vacation days on my calendar. I spent hours researching the best credit card for miles (Chase Sapphire Preferred, by the way) then actually got it this time. I steered clear of city research to avoid getting too excited too soon or worse, let down.

Istanbul Streets

Then out of the blue, I got a text: “I can go to Istanbul!!! Let’s GO”

The five (or ten) that followed were filled with dates, exclamation points, summer sale prices and more than our fair share of smiley face variations. One quick trip to Starbucks later we had researched plane tickets and the roommate was literally bouncing off the chair to hit “purchase” when that voice came back again with “reasons”…what if it uses all of my vacation days, what if it costs too much without all my bonus miles, what if it disrupts my dietary needs/issues?

I’m a pretty impulsive traveler by nature, so all this hesitation was so unlike me. For example, my first ticket to New York was purchased on a whim immediately upon opening a travel deal email and without a second thought toward where we’d sleep…and it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life!

Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

One week later, though, it was clear: the only thing holding me back from Istanbul was me. With the green light from my work and bank, there really was no reason NOT to hit purchase…so we did.

That’s right – I’ll be spending an entire week in ISTANBUL in just 5 weeks! We also timed it perfectly to squeeze out a weekend in New York beforehand.

Pamukkale Turkey

Seriously.

If you’ve been following Finding Tiffany’s for awhile, my wanderlust is no secret. It’s also no secret that I’ve been obsessing over both Istanbul and New York, specifically, for quite some time now. I’m literally going on my ideal trip, accomplishing my latest major life-travel goal.

I’m not exactly sure when I allowed the aforementioned fear to creep in, but I realize now why it did. It’s kinda a scary thing when you accomplish what you thought was a huge goal much sooner than you expected. Yeah there’s always the fear of being disappointed after all the hype, but really it’s more the wide-open realization…Now what?

In the words of my coworker: “Now you need a bigger goal.”

Istanbul Bridge Europe to Asia, East and West

A Plan to Plan

trip3 trip1 trip2

So as it turns out, Friday is March 1st. This date implies two things. One, it’s somehow been two months since New Years – I was pretty sure that was just last week. Two, my Europe trip is just a few weeks away. And what have I done to plan and prepare? Nothing. Squat. Nada. Absolutely zilch.

Okay, I am probably exaggerating (a favorite past time of mine). We have all the hostels, trains and planes booked and printed confirmation receipts in a folder for each one..it’s the “what are we doing when we get there” aspect that I haven’t given a second thought. My Rick Steve’s Best of Europe tour book came in last week, and it’s about time I take it out of the bubble wrap. In case you missed it, I’ll be exploring Paris solo.. I’ve never been anywhere outside the continental US of A and I don’t speak a lick of French. Are you praying for me yet?

Now now now, I’ll be meeting up with friends in Seville to continue the Europe adventure, but Paris is me time. I had every intention of spending this past weekend planning more of my day to day trip, but who can turn down hanging out with a new man friend, brunch or seeing Argo? Certainly not this girl. So once again, I didn’t give Europe any more thought than “what should I wear?” Furthermore, this upcoming weekend I’ll be taking an impromptu lake house trip with a few new friends. When I get back it will be March 3rd, just 15 days till I take off on a jet plane. Dun dun duuunnnn.

Part the problem is I am completely  overwhelmed. There’s so much to see in Paris, I’ll have to spend many hours just researching and narrowing down what it is I want to see. And then there’s the transportation, the directions, learning tourist social faux pas, and etc etc. It’s all quite daunting – in the most exciting kind of way of course. So since I’m heading out of town on Friday and am going to a dinner party on Thursday, this leaves me 2 days to nail some plans down.

Now I’d love to come back to you with some life changing trip planning advice or some super brilliant way I am organizing everything, but truthfully I’m the chicken with no head in this game. I really want to find some great way to keep everything organized – 5 cities in 5 countries in 14 days is in desperate need of some organizing tricks. So I am only giving myself one single goal this week. Plan and plan some more.