Now that Andrés and I have officially booked all of our accommodations for Europe (Sept 8 - 28!), I thought it’s a good time to share this Very Important Article that Derek posted a few days ago.

Yes, it’s going to be really expensive. I don’t want anyone to think that we are just throwing away money to do this. We do have certain preferences that push us toward things like nice hotels and central locations, and we accept that. We just save a bit in other parts of our lives. We won’t be traveling internationally every year, but instead alternate each year with a new place in Canada to get to know our favourite country better.

It is absolutely a privilege to be able to do all our research from home, book flights and hotels from our devices, and put aside the money we earn for eating at 3-star restaurants and spontaneously paying the entrance fee at a museum whose Gothic facade catches our interest. All of that is possible thanks to a massive global system that we happen to benefit from. Not everyone does, and thus can't afford these spends, and thus can't travel.

To be fair, I'm almost 25 and this will be my first overseas flight. I've never visited the tropics or stayed at a beach resort. That's just never been part of my life, but I hope it will be and we're both working very hard to achieve that lifestyle. Is it an essential lifestyle? No, and most of it really is frivolous when you get down to the hard philosophy of living well. But for my part, I try to justify it with the invisible value that gets added to every trip: witnessing other lives in their ordinary routines, physically entering historical spaces and learning from those human artifices, and meeting people who hopefully will bring something new to my life while I try to bring something new to theirs.

A lot of people have told me that the 3-week Europe trip plan is almost always perfect for getting a full taste of that part of the world on the other side of our planet. We’re going to make sure every penny is worth it.