We’ve literally just booked our next big trip and yes, this is a big one! We’re not just travelling, we’ll also be living in some of the most romantic cities in the world, spending some time living like a local and also renting a car for a bit to drive around and explore more of these countries.
In this post, we’re going to announce our next big travel plans for 2020, which is in just a few days!
Why Are We Going?
In 2019 we effectively used Grenada in the Caribbean as our home base. We’ve been returning to this beautiful little island since we first came on a pet sitting job back in 2014. We love it here and because it’s well-connected to New York and Miami, it’s actually not a bad place to fly out of when we go travelling.
We also have a great group of friends here, a nice house and a lifestyle that we love. But after spending half of 2019 here and almost all of 2018, we’re excited about a new adventure.
Grenada is a paradise. There are so many things to do here. White sand beaches, diving, sailing, mountains, hikes, waterfalls, friendly people… it’s incredible.
But when we stay here for a long time, we start to crave a bit of city life.
This is likely due to the fact that we live outside of the main “cities” in Grenada, so any time we want to go to a decent restaurant or go out for some drinks with friends, we have to drive for almost a half an hour.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, and really it’s not, but for anyone who has driven at night in Grenada, you’ll know the roads aren’t the easiest to drive in the dark. There are people on the street, goats, dogs and a lot potholes along the way…and being high-beamed the entire drive isn’t all that fun!
This means that Dariece and I often end up staying at home after dark and don’t often venture out to have a “night out”.
We love it here though! Don’t get me wrong. Grenada is our home, so we use this time to relax, get work done and enjoy the beautiful nature around our house. But after a few months, we’re ready to be “in the thick of it” again.
That’s why for our next trip, we’re moving into apartments in the center of a few cities to explore as locals, indulge in a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, take part in some nightlife, and enjoy amenities that only cities can offer.
It sounds hilarious to say because many people would love to live in the Caribbean, but just as you need a holiday from the hustle and bustle of the city, sometimes it’s nice to have a break from peace and quiet and head into society for a while.
Where Are We Going?
Here it goes, the big travel announcement. We are going back to Europe!
This might not be as exciting for some of you who have followed us since we backpacked through Central Asia, hitchhiked through Africa, or explored the Middle East, but trust me… it’s exciting for us. We can’t wait.
Europe has been calling us back for a long time. Even though we’ve spent a considerable amount of time travelling around the continent, we’ve spent most of our time in the East. This time we want to live and travel around more of Western Europe.
While we do have some things planned and booked, there are a few business conferences in the area that we would like to attend, and if a press trip pops up, we’ll consider agreeing to that as well.
This trip is about being Digital Nomads, while working from our laptops and experiencing living in different places.
2019 ended on a massive “low” for us in both our business and personal lives, so we’re looking forward to focusing a lot on our website, getting inspired by new destinations, and spending quality time with one another in these romantic European cities!
We’ve actually never been to France, so we’re extremely excited to finally visit Paris. We will only be in the city for a few days before flying to our next destination, so we won’t be able to see anything but the capital (we like to travel slower), but we’ve rented a cute Airbnb apartment in Paris right near the Eiffel Tower and we’ll be exploring as many of the neighbourhoods as we can in the time we’re there.
We wanted to see a different side of Paris as well while we’re there, so we booked some experiences with locals through Airbnb. If you haven’t yet checked out Airbnb Experiences yet, you need to go download the app or check out the website to find thousands of cool tours you can do with locals all over the world.
The experiences we have booked in Paris are a chef’s table dinner in a Parisian chef’s home and a wine and cheese tasting experience… yum. We also booked a free walking tour on our first day to take us to some of the lesser-known parts of the city.
While planning our trip to Paris, we realized that the city is actually quite complicated and not that easy to conquer, so we plan on sharing with you guys exactly how we got around, what neighbourhoods we like the most (there are more than a dozen in the old town alone) and more off-track places we find.
This is another city that has been on our European bucket list for years. We visited Spain back in 2011, but we only went to the far south. We were in the country for just a week but we visited Malaga, Estepona and Rhonda. We loved those three towns actually, so it’s surprising that we haven’t returned until now.
Since visiting Spain, we’ve heard so many people rave about Barcelona and many digital nomads are also relocating there. So we rented an apartment in Gracia for a week and we’ll be using it as our base to explore the city. We joined an “Uncensored Underground Walking Tour” of the city (again through Airbnb Experiences) and will be checking out the red light district and some of the more seedy parts of Barcelona.
It will be fascinating to see the underbelly of the city and get a better understanding of why it is the way it is.
Even though this is our first time in Barcelona, we’re well aware that it is the pickpocketing capital of the world, so we’ll definitely be going low-key and keeping a close grip on our belongings, but crime hasn’t deterred us from travelling places before, so Barcelona will be no different.
We also booked a tapas and wine walking tour which, if you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know is right up our alley. As we have a bit more time in Barcelona, we hope to get some work done during the mornings and then head out and explore during the afternoons.
Again we’ll be coming out with guides and posts about things to do in Barcelona on this blog so stay tuned.
From Barcelona, we fly to Rome.
Ah, Rome. There is just something about this city. When the end of 2019 had some pretty serious lows, Dariece and I both sat down and thought: “Where is our happy place?”
The answer is always, Rome.
Ancient history, delicious wine, incredible food and being surrounded by people who have a passion for life. Where better than Rome?
We’ve been to Rome before, but this time we plan to stay for around 3 weeks. This is when we’ll really be settling down a bit and living like locals. We have rented an apartment in the Trastevere neighbourhood where we’ll base ourselves to explore more of not just the city, but also some of the small towns and villages surrounding it.
Our plan is to work for the day and head out to explore in the late afternoons and evenings. Because we’re so close to many restaurants, bars and cafes, we’re most looking forward to being in the middle of the action.
We’re just a few minutes walk from Campo de’ Fiori and we’ve already explored many of the sights in the city, so we won’t feel like we have to do “the touristy stuff” while we’re there (although we still do have to see the Vatican City).
We’re excited to walk out of our front door and actually enjoy the nightlife. Instead of settling in at 7:00 pm as we do here in Grenada, we can head out to a restaurant or wine bar at that hour, enjoy a platter of meats and cheeses, some delicious red wine and fresh homemade pasta. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
As digital nomads, we are fortunate to be able to work from anywhere, and by living in Rome for a while, we feel we’ll really be taking advantage of this lifestyle.
But we’re not just staying in Rome for the entire time. We also booked a couple of amazing experiences around the city. One is a pasta-making class with an 80-year-old Grandma in a small romantic village about an hour train ride outside of Rome. The other is a vineyard tour and wine tasting, also outside of town.
We also booked some experiences in the city, including an underground food & wine walking tour and we’re eying up some other ones that we might decide on once we’re there.
We’ve already written quite a lot about Rome on this blog, but after spending another 3 weeks in the city, we’ll be able to beef up that content and really give you guys a better understanding of things to do outside of the main tourist sights.
We will also be writing about our experience living in Rome, where to find apartments, the best neighbourhoods in Rome, the cost of living, etc.
This is our happy place and we can’t wait to have this time together…while eating and drinking our way around the city!
Lisbon has been on our living abroad bucket list since 2015 when we first started hearing of the city in the digital nomad groups. It seems that this hip and beautiful seaside capital has it all. Bright pastel-coloured architecture, a funky city center, edgy neighbourhoods, great restaurants, cool co-working spaces and a large digital nomad community, we can’t wait to finally explore Lisbon.
We’ll be staying in a bright apartment just outside of the main hustle and bustle of the city (which can be quite loud at night apparently). We’ll be living in Lisbon and working on the blog for a little over 3 weeks. We’re hoping to take part in some online entrepreneurship seminars, meet up with some other bloggers and digital nomads and just explore the city for a while.
As of the time of writing this post, we haven’t booked any walking tours, underground tours or Airbnb Experiences yet, but we plan to definitely do some wine tastings, some cultural and historical walking tours and local foodie experiences.
After living in Lisbon for a few weeks, we’ll have a good understanding of the best areas to stay in Lisbon and what it’s like to live and travel there. We’ll be sharing posts on this blog about the cost of living, places to see, off-track experiences, etc.
Hopefully, we’ll also be able to report back on the digital nomad scene there, the conferences and events that happen and the co-working spaces around the city.
At this point in our travels around Europe, it’ll be time to do some exploring outside of the cities. We chose to spend quite a bit of time in Rome and Lisbon because we need to get some work done on the business, but after 6 weeks we should be caught up enough to head out and explore.
Currently, our plan is to rent a car and drive up the coast of Portugal to check out the city of Porto and some towns in the Algarve…but nothing is set in stone.
We haven’t booked anything yet, but we do have some amazing ideas floating around our travel brains at the moment. We’re going to play it by ear and see how we feel after 2 months in Europe and how far along we are with the business plans, but if we’re ready, we are thinking of these few ideas:
Seeing as we can only stay in the Schengen Zone in Europe for 90 days in any 180 day period, we’re thinking we might leave Europe altogether for a month or so and head to Asia. Perhaps an apartment in Chiang Mai or a villa in Bali? We haven’t decided yet.
We’ve always wanted to travel around Slovenia and in particular, we’ve been fascinated with living in the nation’s stunning, green capital for Lubjianna. If we’re not too worried about our Schengen Visas running out, we may head to Slovenia for a few weeks to live and travel around this hiking and trekking paradise.
This is something we’ve always wanted to do. We found a very cool RV for rent in Czechia (Czech Republic) and we’d love to rent it for a month or two and drive around Europe in it. Van life has always been on our travel bucket list and while we’ve planned many overland trips in the past, we’ve always done them by car.
Living out of a van or RV would be such a unique travel experience for us. Of course, because of the Schengen limitations, we wouldn’t be able to spend much time in Central or Western Europe, but we’d love to pick it up in Czechia, then head to Austria, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Western Ukraine and Poland before dropping the vehicle back off where we got it.
How Are We Getting There?
As I mentioned earlier in the post, Grenada makes a pretty decent base when it comes to flights, thanks to connections through New York and Miami. Believe it or not, we’re flying from Grenada to New York direct for $192 USD, spending the night in an Airbnb in New York, then flying from New York to Paris direct for $132 USD.
That’s incredible right?! All the way from Grenada to Paris with only one stop for $324 each. The best part is that we used our credit card points to pay for these, so they’re actually free.
These basic fares aren’t even special discounted flight deals though. The flight from Grenada to New York is with JetBlue and they run this same journey every day of the week except for Monday and you can usually get the fare for under $200.
The flight from New York to Paris is with Norwegian Airlines and they’re currently serving many major American cities with some of the cheapest flights imaginable.
We might not be close to much way down here in Grenada, but at least we can find awesome fares like these through New York and Miami.
We could’ve done the entire journey in one day with just a 3-hour layover in JFK airport, but we don’t like to do long flights anymore or stress out about tight connections. We’d rather just spend the night in a hotel room or Airbnb rather than enduring 19 hours of straight travel.
How Long Will We Go For?
For now, we booked an open-ended ticket. We have no idea how long we’ll be travelling for. We have until mid-March booked right now and at that time we’ll reassess and decide what we want to do, continue travelling around Europe, go to Asia or return home to Grenada.
What You Can Expect From The Blog
Our plan is to write a lot of content about our experiences on this trip, what we think of the cities, what it’s like to live and travel around these countries, the cost of living etc. We’ll also be putting together some useful videos on the YouTube Channel to give you a better understanding of what these places are like. If you haven’t yet, make sure you subscribe.
If you’ve read this far in the post, you must be one of the true fans of this blog, so thank you very much for that! If you have read the whole post, please comment below and tell us how long you’ve been reading Goats On The Road. Also, give us some ideas of where we should visit and things we should do in the places listed above!
Please stay tuned for useful articles, videos and social shares for more about our upcoming travels. Thank you for reading and have a great 2020!
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