ciao ciao Chicago. (for a lil’ bit)

toddler in Europe - Venice, ItalyHOLY THE MOLY! Big news around here. Aki, Mateo, the blog and I are heading to Europe mid-May and hanging out until the end of July. Eeek, we leave in just a few weeks! The trip was planned, the length is unexpected. We’ve had my cousin’s wedding in Italy marked on the calendar for awhile. And of course, as Italy is across the Adriatic Sea, the plan was to hop over to see Mateo’s grandparents and cousins in Croatia. We were thinking three weeks would be brilliant if we could swing it. Over two months abroad is unexpected. Even for us.

As much as I have the track record of one way tickets and trying to fit into friends’ suitcases, the reality of having a house and family makes it a little bit more complicated. There are a lot more spontaneous playdates and a lot less spontaneous trips abroad these days. Sometimes we take spontaneous road trips to Indiana. Sometimes.

We’ve been looking at tickets for the last few months and they just haven’t been pretty. We’ve toyed around with all different ideas. Fly into Rome first? Fly into Croatia? Take a boat from Italy? Aki has been keeping an eye out, and last week he saw a big price drop for a longer stay. Here’s how it went down — Aki yelling from the office: “The tickets are back. What should I do?” me: “BUUUYYYYY THEMMMM.” And after a bit of stomach turning, the deed was done. Eeek.

I’m still digesting. We’re still figuring things out. Our house is taken care of, body guards are moving in. (phew). Aki worked out working remotely from Croatia (probably 3pm-midnight), and we’re figuring out short term apartment rentals as we speak.

It’s a little crazy as a young family to pack up and ship out for so long, but it’s also the perfect opportunity. Mateo is still one year old. Over two years, they count as real people and pay FULL PRICE plane tickets. That’ll hurt!

Traveling with a little one is a lot more manageable than you would think. We’ve taken a few long road trips and short flights with him in the U.S. and we were in Croatia and Italy last year for three weeks. Aki and I both agree that it was our favorite trip yet. (Minus our day in Venice). Mateo was not interested in Venice, he did not find it romantic at all. ha.

I love that Mateo will get to spend lots of time with grandparents and his great grandmother. And so fun — all of his little cousins will be together for the first time ever! They’ve all met each other multiple times but they’ve never ALL been in the same place at the same time. There are FIVE of them under FOUR years! There is going to be some serious cuteness going down.

SO THAT’S OUR NEWS! Of course we’ll still be sticking around Chicago for a few more weeks before we peace out. Hopefully my renewed passport arrives in time. I knew I shoulda sent in those forms earlier!

PS  Going away for the summer really does sound more exciting than it is. I think you know by now that I like to make everything more exciting  if I can. We won’t be on vacation the whole time since work will continue. It’ll be normal life, but in a very different place. A different place for a bit sounds good to me.

PPS  If you haven’t already, you can Subscribe to the blog if you don’t want to miss any of our summer updates!

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21 Thoughts on “ciao ciao Chicago. (for a lil’ bit)

  1. It sounds amazing. And it will be even more interesting than it sounds!

    • It’ll be great to have change in pace and a change in scenery. :)

  2. Esther:

    So exciting! Can’t wait to read about your adventures in Europe. I’m going to also need tips on traveling with a toddler when you return (We too, took the plunged and booked our flights for Asia)!

    • Whohoo! That’s awesome, Esther! Are you excited? I bet everyone will just go gaga over the baby. :) Yep, I have lots of tips, but I’m guessing it’ll go great for you guys. :) We were in Croatia with Mateo for three weeks last year when he was 12 months and I’m pretty proud of how WELL that went. :) We had a bit of a different routine and had to be flexible, but it really was wonderful. Hopefully this year will go just as well. (Mateo will be 20 months when we leave).

      • Esther:

        We are so excited! I’m nervous about the flights and timezones. We’ll be in 4 different countries and 3 timezones! I keep hearing the younger they are, the easier it is. Fingers crossed!

        I’m seriously super excited to read about your trip. I love adventures.

  3. Gifford Neill:

    We’ll be seeing you all in Otricoli and Split! Love, Grandpa .

  4. elise:

    This kind of experience is so worth it.

    • Absolutely! Well your family is always a travel inspiration for us! :)

  5. exciting stuff lady! you will have an amazing time, and i’ll be really looking forward to the updates!

    • It’s so fun to do different things and think different thoughts, isn’t it. I’m so glad I have the blog now, it’s funny how I get to digest and experience the day to day with a different level of awareness when I’m sharing it! :) loooved your NYC pics and recap by the way! I felt like i was traveling with you guys!

      • totally agree on the blog front. it really makes me appreciate everything in my life more, as for once i am stopping and taking stock.
        ha ha that’s great about my ny posts, i’m so looking forward to living vicariously through your guy’s travelling!

  6. Crystal Hall:

    How exciting! It’s great that Aki can work remotely. So sweet that Mateo will see his Croatian relatives! so special! Looking forward to your blog posts from abroad!

    • Hi Crystal! Yeah, I’m so glad that Aki is willing to be flexible with his schedule to make it happen for us. Hopefully I’ll have lots to share…and if not, photos with a European backdrop always work. :)

  7. lo:

    wow! this sounds like sooo much fun! are you sure you wont miss these humid summer days? ;) cant wait to see parts of the world from your perspective…

  8. SO exciting! you will have an amazing time!

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