We’re officially starting to get a little bored here. We’ve kind of maxed out the things to do in this town, and while it’s nice to have a lot of down time, we’re definitely getting the itch to go somewhere else already. I’ve been hard at work playing travel agent and have put together our itinerary for the next two months, so I thought I’d give y’all an update.

On December 13th our time is officially up here in Dubrovnik and we’ll be heading to Nice to spend a month with a family friend of mine who lives there with her husband and two kids. We’re really looking forward to being around friends, and we lined up a place that is way nicer than we should have in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (it helps to know people). It’s a little above our budget, but we have a few friends and family who have expressed interest in visiting so we’re confident we can make it work. At any rate, we got way more space than we ever thought we’d have for the same price we would have paid for a closet, so we’re not complaining. Getting there from here was a tricky trip to put together without spending an arm and a leg, so we will be flying to Paris, spending the night and then taking the TGV (high speed train) down to Nice. I’m sure that will be a fun adventure to recap!

After Nice, we rented a studio in Seville, Spain. We’re both really excited about this. Spain is Jared’s favorite country and we’ve been wanting to go for a long time (it was actually our original honeymoon destination) and the thought that we were running out of time to go there was part of the impetus for this trip. Our place doesn’t look much bigger than the one we have now, but it has a little terrace and it looks pretty cute (fingers crossed!).

The problem is that once we leave Seville, we’re kind of stumped. We have one more month that we can spend in any of the EU agreement countries (the Schengen Area), and then we have another month that we can spend in Croatia, which we will likely spend in Zagreb so that we can go to Plitvice Lakes National Park and some places up North when the weather is nicer. One idea is to stay in Spain and go to Barcelona. I need to at least go to this city for a few days, so if we don’t go there after Seville, we’ll take a side trip while we’re there (don’t worry, I can’t leave Europe without seeing the Sagrada Família). Another contender is Paris.  Jared has never been there, but I’ve been several times and know it pretty well and can speak the language (or could, last time I was there…we’ll see how it is this go round). The drill is the same – if we don’t spend a month here we will definitely go while we’re in Nice. The problem with both of these cities is that they have expensive rents! So far, no dice on finding an affordable apartment in either city. We have heard Lisbon is cheap and underrated but we have also heard it’s kind of boring and we’re wary after things being so quiet here.

I thought I’d open it up to you guys, and get your opinion (and maybe any contacts you have that could help us find a cheap place??). Weigh in below and let us know if you have any other suggestions!  I’ll leave this open for a month, and which point I sincerely hope we have this figured out or we’ll be scrambling.

Check back tomorrow for Jared’s end of the month budget update!


15 responses

  1. Hey Whitney – gee what a tough problem
    Where can yo go in the Euro zone to keep on making us “rat racers” feel like schmucks.
    I am not sure who is advising you about Portugal (I am sure they are much more hip than me) but I have made two trips to Lisbon and found it anything but boring. Great food, history and of course the best port wine on the planet.

  2. Please be careful in Zagreb. Those street cars do not stop. I almost died. 🙂 Too exciting you guys! Can’t wait to see where you end up. And also of course, Mr. Footlong.

  3. Envy. Been to Paris twice now for a week each time and would go again in a heartbeat. That rail system can quickly get you to other cool places for day trips too.

  4. I have family in Lisbon and could hook you up… not sure about a place to stay but definitely some friendly guide/hosts! They live in Lisbon and Benfica (suburb).

    Of course Bulgaria is reeeeally cheap (no Euro currency but still an EU member state) and you have surrogate family there! They can take you to the village and show you how the real people live. Seriously though! Something to consider. The climates are extremely diverse in Bulgaria, very interesting history, and Istanbul is just a few hours away as a day- or overnight-trip….

    • Thanks girl! Lisbon isn’t an issue with a place, just stuff to do. If we can at all swing it, we’re leaning toward Paris. We actually need non-EU countries to help extend our time. The only ones we have come up with so far are Morocco and Turkey.

  5. I’ve always heard about Barcelona being so beautiful and fun, lots of great sights.
    It’s still on my wish list. The other choices are not bad, I am sure you will enjoy!
    Love to both of you!

  6. I haven’t really been all that many places in Europe- but two places that might be cheaper- Normandy and The Marche in Italy- I simply ADORE the marche, especially if you’re a foody- beaches, hill towns- like tuscany without the tourists, but there aren’t many bigger unsleepy cities unless you want to go to Ravenna- or Bologna which is in Emilia-Romagna. But MUCH cheaper- and I have some connections if you happen to change your mind.

    Also Bulgaria is supposed to be awesome- Bren’s sister-in-law is Bulgarian, and my sister in law did Peacecorp there so if you need connections I am sure we could find some for you!

    Munich is Awesome.- no idea about cost of living though- but bavaria is really cool- not particularly warm, but interesting and lots to do.

  7. I’m voting for Barcelona with much ignorance. I just know a small amount of Spanish and would lean on that.

    Also, it took the utmost self control not to type into the suggestion box “STRAIGHT TO HELL.” Even though you probably would have enjoyed it.

    Miss you guys!

  8. …and now for Mrs. Barker’s 2 cents ( aka Kathleen)…
    Our neighbor Rosaria here in Laguna Beach is from ‘Barrthelona’. She has an extended family there and without a doubt would be happy to help out our “fairy god daughter” and hubbie. Her grandson was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and we have been helping them navigate their new reality. Let us know and we’ll reach out to them.

  9. I have heard amazing things about Barcelona although I have never been there myself. I have been to Paris and loved every minute of it. But I’m sure it’s super expensive.
    We are so jealous! Have lots of fun and be sure to go to lots of parks!

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