Renewing My Passport, Heading To Europe This Fall


Though I blog here in the first person, I don’t think I write all that much about my life. The Periodic Fable tends to be my thoughts, not my journal. Today’s post is more like a journal – strictly about me and where I am hoping to head, and not as deep and thoughtful as when I blog about important stuff like comics, sports, mystery novels. (sarcasm)

At the post office, mailing off my old expired passport to be renewed

Yesterday I found my expired 1999 passport! Within two hours, I filled out forms and wrote a check and biked to the post office and sent it off for an expedited renewal. 

I’d been spending a little time searching for the elusive passport since last month, July 2012. In July I got some inheritance money from my mom. I had planned and committed to put my inheritance toward my brother Matt buying our mom’s house, but it turned out that he ended up buying the house and didn’t need my funds.

So… in July I received a small inheritance, somewhat unexpected… and quickly decided I would go to Europe for the first time in my life. Mom had often nudged me to travel to Europe. I wrote a bit about her year abroad in Sweden here; she traveled quite a bit then and on her honeymoon. I figured it sort of makes sense to use mom’s money to travel to Europe… mostly for me… but a bit in remembrance of her, and repeating something she loved.

I don’t travel all that much, outside the U.S. even less. The only times I’ve actually used my passport three times: Puerto Vallarta, Toronto, and Bolivia.

So… I don’t really know what I am doing – which I am ok with (ok to be spontaneous and explore.)  Nonetheless, I am sort of trying to figure out what makes sense… how far I can go when for the budget I have… keeping an eye on Bikas, the bike organization I just got going on.

My plan (a word I use loosely at this point) is to depart probably in mid- to late-September 2012. I like the idea of an open-ended trip, but the truth is that I expect I will return in November, or, at the latest, December. I am a bit up in the air right now on the itinerary… and I want to be a bit flexible… but I think I want to do the following:

  • a few days in New York City (visit Carrie, bike, art, y mas)
  • Copenhagen (for bicycle stuff) maybe briefly visiting Sweden
  • Amsterdam (for bike and art stuff)
  • Paris (for art and bike) and some of the South of France
  • Turin (I want to visit Primo Levi‘s home) and more parts of Italy
  • Rome and maybe Florence (for art)

What I am hoping to do is a lot of sketching. I love to sit around and draw cities, for example, see these San Francisco sketches from a 2011 trip.

I am little worried that I’ve already been talking about this trip for a month… but haven’t done all that much preparation. It’s like talking about a work of art or writing in advance… sometimes too much talk can take energy away from the act/work itself. I dunno.

Lots more blogging to come on this… I expect to blog regularly about my European trip stuff maily here at The Periodic Fable. (If you, dear reader, want to track me across Europe, consider subscribing to this blog via email -on the right column – or via rss.) I’ll post art at Handmade Ransom Notes, bike stuff at Bikas, and river/creek/water stuff at L.A. Creek Freak. In a very 21st century way, I’ve been thinking about a tag – so it’s easy to pull stories up together. “Euro2012” was already taken (by a soccer tournament) so I am thinking “JRLEurope2012” – it’s long – but you should be able to select it below and pull up all my posts about my trip.

To be continued…

(added 14 December 2012: I didn’t make it to Europe yet – but I did better – I fell in love and ended up spending time with my now-fiance Carrie – in Jersey City and New York City. It was completely worth it… and we’ll get to Europe some other time!)

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2 Responses to “Renewing My Passport, Heading To Europe This Fall”

  1. alicestrong Says:

    Sounds wonderful, Joe! I have not made the trek to Europe yet, either (even my daughter beat me to it! ). Definitely on the bucket list.

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