I’ve been planning a vacation to Europe ever since Chuck and I went to Barcelona for a few days about 2 years ago. I’m sure I sound so hipster Westernized or American…but man, Europe (the two times I’ve been) is just so amazing culturally and I guess ‘visually’ compared to the states…right? I know that’s like the super obvious thing to say…but yeah, I mean, even my trip to St. Barths, which wasn’t a very ‘realistic’ view of chill European/French culture, just reminded me like…‘wow, America is like the only place with strip malls.’ I think I need a break from strip malls. I love America though, seriously…don’t get me wrong. I just need a little change of setting I think, something to recharge the creative batteries. So yeah, this post was half just me babbling about why I want to hit Europe and the other half is more the HOW I want to do it. For example, no hotels, no hostels. Flats and apartments only. We had a simple, but super nice, flat in Barcelona when we stayed there…after that I can never imagine staying in a hotel in Europe. All these amazing cities, villages, towns, etc…and all of them seem to have a wealth of flats for rent for $500-1000 a week. You can go cheaper, but its a vacation - and thats way cheaper than an apartment. Check these sites I frequent: Paris Attitude, Loving Barcelona, Rent in Rome, Loving Amsterdam, etc. Some of the ones in Paris are just amazing…I have this sinking feeling that it would be hard not to just sink into the local life style…maybe hard to leave after a month. And yeah, bringing one of my bikes. That’s my #1 priority. I can’t imagine how much fun it would be to bike in these cities…and what a great way to get to know a given area better without cabbing it everywhere. I’m budgeting 4-5 weeks for this vacation…I like to say I’d be ‘moving to Europe’ for a month or so rather than going on vacation, ha. Sounds better right? Doing it totally solo too…no choice but to blend into the social scene where ever you might land. So yeah…ha, if you’ve read this far…thanks for day dreaming with me. I’m not sure when I’m going to make this happen, but I see something going down in the next 6-8 months. Hit me up if you’ve got any suggestions/comments/idea/stories/etc about traveling like this…I’d love to hear it. hello (at) thebrilliance (dot) com!