How it all Started…

20 Jan

My dad told me that I would only get his blessing in going to Europe for two months if I promised to start a blog for my trip.  So here it is.  Enjoy.

I had originally planned to go to Europe for one month and then when I was buying my plane ticket I decided to extend it to five weeks.  Then two months before my trip I became unemployed and decided to extend the trip to nine weeks!  We also added another traveling partner to our trip so now there will be three of us backpacking through Europe!  My roommate and I just spent the better part of the day making our revised itinerary and contacting people for where we will stay while we are in Europe.  I had no idea that planning a trip like this was such an undertaking.

To backtrack a little, I will tell you how this whole trip got started.  I went through a pretty awful breakup about a year ago.  The experience was devastating but it made me realize I had lost a part of myself during our relationship and I desperately needed to figure out how to get it back.  Within a week of our breakup my friend Shelby contacted me out of the blue to see if I wanted to hang out.  We didn’t actually know eachother very well – we worked together over two years ago for two weeks and that was about the extent of it.  We met up for coffee and ended up talking for hours.  During out conversation Shelby said to me, “I know I don’t know you very well but would you want to go to Europe with me?”  At this same time I had adapted the YES mentality and my answer to her was, “Of course!”  Well, I am not completely that irrational and after saying that I decided to take a couple weeks to think it over but was pretty sure I knew what my answer was.  My life was quite crazy at the time but God was gracious.  We also ended up becoming roommates and I am so lucky to have Shelby as my friend.  Now months later we are planning our two month journey through Europe and am very excited to see what adventures are in store for us.


16 Responses to “How it all Started…”

  1. Dad March 2, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Got the email and bookmarked the blog. Have a great trip. We will be praying for you and looking forward to reading about the trip almost every day! Love you , dad

  2. Becca March 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm #


    i am SO excited for you and your life adventure! I will be following you and will offer req’s as the come back to me from my year abroad. best of luck with everything and enjoy!


  3. Uncle Rob March 3, 2010 at 12:15 am #


    Sounds like a blast we will be thinking of you, and of course praying for you all as well. Barb would love to join you.

  4. Colin March 3, 2010 at 6:26 am #

    Found your blog! I’m stoked to keep up with it. Make sure Shelby eats her vegetables.

  5. Andrea March 3, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Sooooo excited for you! You guys have the best itinerary and you are going to have the greatest trip!!!

  6. Holly March 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi cookie!
    I love you and I am so excited for you. It is going to be such an adventure. You are the most amazing person I know. People in Europe will be blessed by your presence. I will misssss you!
    I’m comin awooya!

  7. Joelle March 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    So, it all begins, my bestest friend is out of the country on the greatest adventure ever. So, a couple of things for you:
    1. Try everything
    2. Eat lots of Gluten for me:-)
    3. “I am astonished by the magic of letters: thin paper traveling many or few miles, propelled only by words…I believe in keeping this art of letter writing alive and thriving. Letters are truly presents for our souls.” – think about it
    4. And lastly: “I don’t have to rush to keep moving to avoid the loneliness. I went to check my e-mail and the network wasn’t working-God works in funny ways- I should not be in an internet cafe trying to ‘connect’ I should be in the streets of this magnificent city”


  8. Liz March 4, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    I love you Michele and am SOOO excited for you! If you happen to see any of those sticks with the pope’s head on them that when you pull the little trigger his mouth moves, will you pick one up for me? That would be greatly appreciated haha. Miss you already!!

  9. Mom March 4, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Hey Hon,

    I tried to comment earlier this morning but because of my computer illiteracy, that first comment is flying around somewhere in cyberspace! So here’s hopin’ this one gets to you.

    I’m so excited for you and yes, somewhat envious! As I am an adventure freak, this takes me waaaaaaaaay back to my high school days when my English teacher put together a trip to Europe for whomever was able to go. I got to be one of those who went. It was on my 17th birthday that I found myself ascending the Eiffel Tower!

    So, as with any vacation, you enjoy this much needed mental health break and it will be a joy to hear what God has for you along the way! You girls take care of each other and I will be praying God does whatever it is He needs to do for and in each of you!

    Does anyone have any “Sisterhood Traveling Pants” we can mail to them?

    Love, Mom

  10. Jo March 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Michele,

    I love you! I hope you have LOTS OF FUN don’t forget to tell me everything you saw and tell me what was your favorite site! Bye sister, LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  11. Karen McArdel March 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Michele,

    I love to follow blogs of people I know. I will be happy to follow you virtually. Prayers for you, be safe.

    Aunt Karen

  12. NANA JOY March 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Hi Michele! I am overwhelmed, you are so far away. Please take care of each other and have wonderful memories. Love you lots and praying for you daily,

    Nana Joy

  13. Karen McArdel March 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Are you going to include photos on your blog. That would be great to see you at some of these places.

  14. NANA JOY March 9, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Hi Michele,

    It’s Monday afternoon here and it has been a nice sunny day. After exercising at the Fitness Center this morning, Aunt Jewel and I shopped at VV and got so engrossed with our values” that I completely forgot my half hour volunteer Team Read with my second grader! When I realized the time, it was too late and I called my supervisor, she said don’t worry about it happens to all of us!

    So, how is it going? Your itinerary says Rome to Florence today, so I’m thinking about you two. Take care and love you lots.

    Nana Joy

  15. Aunt Pam March 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi Tootsie Roll–

    How about the men? You don’t mention the MEN!
    Inquiring minds want to know–and so do I!

    Did you go to the caticombs? (sp?) or Valentino’s Fashion House? I’m just sayin’ these might be good things to consider.

    I’m beaming you and your friends up, Scottie and thinking about all the fun you’re having, why didn’t you take me with you- Why? Why?

    We’re all holding the fort down over here while you’re away–love all your latest and greatest. My best to Sally.
    Love ya,
    Aunt Pam

  16. Becca March 24, 2010 at 3:59 am #


    Ah, I remember Italy, the food, wine and gorgeous men – everywhere right? Sounds like you are making the most of your time there. One place I never made it to was Prague…sounds glorious! Where to next? I leave for Hawaii in 3 days! Will send pics when we get back.

    Love you!

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