the travel bug.

I didn’t really see the irony in that blog title until I actually typed it.

I guess there are two ways of looking at having the ‘travel bug’ these days.  Fortunately, so far, I only have the traditional travel bug.  That is, a strong desire to travel.  I do not have COVID-19, the other ‘travel bug’.

I’d go on here about how it seems like once you no longer have the opportunity to do something, that’s when you really want to do it.  That doesn’t really fit though, because I always really want to travel and that hasn’t changed as a result of COVID-19.  Although now that I can’t go anywhere, not even to my favorite thrift stores, I have been daydreaming more about traveling and all of the places we would like to go.

Mr. Q and I actually have already booked our next trip.  I still remember when we decided on it way back last summer.  We were dining on the deck and Mr. Q was perusing the latest Princess cruises brochure.

At the time we weren’t even really thinking about another cruise, but he came across one that really looked intriguing.  As we studied the ports of call I realized that we could check out several places I’ve always wanted to see; Bruges, Giverny (to see Monet’s gardens) and Madurodam (seriously, check this place out, especially if you’re into miniature things like I am).

The itinerary is called European Capitals, which is a little bit of a misnomer.  It sails round trip from London and the ports of call are:

Hamburg, Germany – theoretically for Berlin, which is a capital, but is really rather far away from the port.

Aarhus, Denmark – not a capital

Copenhagen, Denmark – OK, finally, a real capital

Gothenburg, Sweden – again, not the capital (and in this case, I really wish it went to Stockholm instead)

Oslo, Norway – another real capital

Rotterdam, Netherlands – not a capital

Bruges, Belgium – not a capital

Le Havre, France – also not a capital, but much like Berlin, you can get to Paris from here but it’s a lengthy trip

So technically speaking, only two of the eight ports are actual capitals.  Maybe they should have named this itinerary the A Handful of European Capitals, or Close, but No Cigar to European Capitals.  But we don’t care, we are just as interested in seeing these non-capital cities.

Only two of them are repeats for both of us, Copenhagen

and Oslo

both of which we love and are happy to return to.  I’ve also been to Aarhus, but that was 25+ years ago on my very first trip to Europe with my mom (it was also my first ever visit to an open air museum and I loved it).  I’m betting it has changed a bit since then.

We got a great deal when we booked.  Free tips, a $300 ship board credit and we only had to pay a $200 deposit.  We were also given a free upgrade a couple of months ago, from a balcony to a mini-suite.  That has never happened to us before!

So we’d been feeling pretty excited about this trip.

And then COVID-19 happened.

And in the early days all of the bad press seemed to be focused on cruise ships … even specifically Princess cruise ships.

Still, we figured our trip was far enough out (it’s in September) that we’d be fine.  I’m starting to wonder about that a little bit more now that things have really gone downhill.  But, we have almost six months before our trip.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well by then.  Or at least well enough for people to begin traveling again.

In the meantime, all we can do is day dream about travel right now.  If you need some help with that, check out all of my travel posts by selecting the travel category under ‘stuff.’ over on the right side of your screen (if you’re using a computer to view the blog, if not, try this link).

So tell me, if this COVID-19 thing wasn’t happening and you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?


20 thoughts on “the travel bug.

    1. Daggi, as a kind of research thing, I’m reading Mann’s Buddenbrooks, so I have a little bit to go on when we see Lubeck, which is our plan. Of course, there is so much to do and see in Hamburg that you could easily steer us away with alternatives!


  1. That is so funny about the capitals, they should definitely call it a “handful of capitals” ha! I bet you do have the travel bug! I am a homebody so it hasn’t been as hard as I’m sure it is for a lot of people (love getting outside and getting projects done, etc), BUT this homeschooling thing starts today and I’m contemplating a move to Kansas where they just called school good until the fall. 3 different schools and 14 teachers….wait I think I’m getting the travel bug. Of COURSE missing those thrift stores though!


    1. LOL, I’m going to have to start calling it ‘a handful of capitals’, love it. Yep, you have your work cut out for you keeping track of all of that online learning. And no side trips to the thrift store to help maintain your sanity. Hang in there 😉


  2. While I enjoy reading all about your travels abroad I’m more of a homebody too. I do love spending some time at the beach. A good book, while planted on the sand listening to the sounds of the ocean pretty much does it for me.


  3. I travel vicariously through you since my budget for travel only extends to a 50 mile radius from my home! But I know you take wonderful photographs and provide us with excellent travel descriptions so I’m definitely rooting for you to go. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to a side trip to St. Genevieve (Missouri) when the virus dies down, to Augusta (Missouri) in the fall to visit wineries and pick apples – and so many other local sites that are fun. Maybe even Hannibal to see Mark Twain’s birthplace!


  4. When we are physically restricted our imaginations take flight! Your cruise sounds very fab, Quandie, and I hope you will be able to go. Such a variety of sights and cultures could never be dull! It’s hard to look into the future to see where we will be in a few months, when the present is still shocking. My daughter and I had our next trip planned for late September, to Ireland and Scotland, and are waiting to see whether travel will be possible then. Also, my daughter is a critical care nurse in St. Louis Park so my guess is vacation time will be on hold. But Scotland and Ireland aren’t going anywhere, so we can still hope and enjoy the planning phase!


    1. So true, and I feel the same way Kim. If we have end up having to cancel this trip, there will always be another trip to look forward to down the road. And boy, a trip to Scotland and Ireland with your daughter sounds totally amazing! My mom no longer feels capable of traveling to Europe (she has trouble with her feet, so can’t do a lot of walking), so I’m really glad she and I went on several trips over the years when we had the chance.


    1. Hopefully you can get there … well, I guess we can’t really say ‘soon’ because that’s not likely, but hopefully before the summer is over.


  5. I had to cancel a trip to the Caribbean with my two oldest grands. I am planning on going back to Australia to be with my youngest grand in July. But will have to see. Your trip sounds wonderful! Brugge is one of my favorite places. I sure hope y’all get to go. My sister and her husband are scheduled to go to England and Scotland in September too.
    Here is hoping and praying we all “shelter in place” ! So we can start traveling again.
    Smiles, Alice


    1. My mom is a travel agent and she’s been telling me stories of some of her clients who have had to cancel trips, including a cruise down the Nile that sounded amazing. I know there are people dealing with much worse things, and having to cancel a trip is minor in comparison, but still … it’s a bummer. So, I hope we get to start traveling again soon and you get to take all of those fantastic sounding trips!


  6. I do hope that you get to go. We are cruisers too. We decided to wait a year. Hopefully by then they will have a vaccine out. Just trying to stay safe. We take care of my 86yo mom. Being extra careful these days. 🙏


    1. I’m starting to lean in that direction as well Monica, like maybe we need to wait for a vaccine before taking another cruise. We’re holding off on making any official decisions for a few months yet though. We’ll just have to see what happens.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.