My husband and I are avid professional cycling enthusiasts and decided to venture over to Spain in 2018 to see our first Grand Tour in person, La Vuelta a España. We meticulously went over maps to match up one of our stays to allow us to be in a central location for one of the race stages. We decided to spend three nights at a Parador in La Seu D’Urgell where the race would pass downtown on our first full day and then planned on exploring nature the second full day. The excitement of the helicopters and the lead-out cars and seeing our favorite cyclists zip by was thrilling for us, even though it was only for a few moments. Since we had built in an extra night into our itinerary, we ended up driving to Andorra the next day to see the start of yet another stage and by doing so, got to see cyclists warming up by their team buses and shaking hands and riding alongside our vehicle on their warm-up rides. Nerdy as it is, it was momentous! Having that extra night allowed us to have breathing room with our itinerary which resulted in one of our top vacation days ever.
Have I been in some jams due to not planning days out fully? Of course! This household still jokes about how we basically lived off of grocery store fried chicken in Hawaii because somehow all of the touring we did never went past actual restaurants. Have there been instances where I haven’t fully thought about how far away I’m wandering from my original path which led to some unique “nature is calling” moments? Maybe.
But that’s the fun of it. I love chatting with travelers who are a little or a lot hesitant to drive on the other side of the road. Beyond the fact that your brain will adjust more quickly than you think possible, that’s part of the fun. The giggles that come along with “whoops” moments on the road and getting a tad lost. Once I got turned around near the Scottish border and managed to finally see Hadrian’s Wall which I’d been interested in since high school. (Yes, again, nerd alert.)
Of course, the mom in me also advises that the best spontaneous moments are supported by dressing in layers with appropriate footwear and always having a plethora of snacks and plenty of water with you.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that adore spontaneity…provided it’s carefully planned.
LET US CAREFULLY CRAFT YOUR EUROPEAN VACATION.
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