Decide to go to Europe and start planning

This trip came together in a hurry. I made a conscious decision to go to Europe around the first of June. So then reality set in and I thought of all the things I had to do to prepare. It’s not like you can walk into an airport these days and say – I’d like to take the next flight to Europe – you have to get ready well in advance. First, I had to get a new passport because my old one was 25 years old. “Great!” I thought, “this is going to be like pulling teeth after 9/11.”

But really it is easier now with the web (no web 25 years ago). I actually had to get a copy of my birth certificate first – ordering it online was easy. Then I went to the local court house, filled out the express form (1-2 weeks), handed over my old passport and birth certificate, and paid the $135 plus $25 for processing. Ten days later I had a passport.

I didn’t actually buy my airline ticket until I had the passport in hand. During the ten days I got all worked up about where to go. I researched online what was happening in The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium. I checked about a dozen sites on cities in these coutries. Then I started narrowing down to just 4 cities I thought I could reasonably make it to in 2 weeks.

I narrowed down to Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and either Paris or Brussels or somewhere between Munich and Amsterdam. I decided to fly into Amsterdam and hit the ground running.

This was imported from the teamsiems in Europe blog.