Milestones

Growing up, I struggled greatly with writing. I found it difficult to translate my thoughts into written text- too much of a perfectionist. Poetry was my solution; it came easily to me. I’ve found that I still tend to turn to poetry to express my deeper thoughts. With all insecurities aside, I present this short poem about life’s milestones and living in the moment.

Listening to people’s reactions about my plans to travel has been thought provoking. Why do people often spend their life, waiting for their life to start? They hold tightly to their subconscious belief that “when they grow up”  all their dreams will come true. They’re only wasting the time they could use to achieve them.  Please, whatever you want to do, do it now!



~>>*MILESTONES*<<~

 

Driver’s license – Diploma

College – Career

Marriage – Kids

Retirement –                 

         

They say happiness is just around the corner

So you run through life, searching for what’s next.

You think about where you’ll go, not how you’ll get there.

You’ll finally get to enjoy yourself at last!

So you’re settling, but only in the meantime.

It’s not good, but it’s also not that bad.

I’m sure true happiness is almost yours now.

Perhaps your next big milestone is where it’s to be had.

Maybe you’ll be happy when you get that big promotion.

Or when your lover gets down on one knee.

When you finally get to see all your grandkids

all together at your retirement party.

So you’ll sprint, full speed toward tomorrow

Only just passing through today

But don’t forget that your life’s last milestone

will be the big carved stone that sits upon your grave

-Danica Rowan



 

A New Lease on Life


portugal-2423629_1920America is a land dominated by cars. Our cities are sprawling while our public transit lacks, at least in comparison to our European counterparts. The vast openness of our continent makes driving more of a necessity, than a luxury. Its no wonder then that the love for speed and horsepower runs thick in our blood. Earning a driver’s license is a right of passage and our teenage years are spent behind the wheel. Children eagerly await their sixteenth birthdays, while older generations tell fond memories of muscle cars and drive-in movies. It is out of this love for driving that the road trip was born.


The great american road trip is idolized in our films, folklore, and fantasies. Always portrayed to be an epic adventure, road trips are a wonderful time spent with friends, exploring the country and living simple. If you haven’t taken an epic road trip yet, chances are it’s on your bucket list. So it makes sense then then that American travelers would look to take their love for the open road with them when they travel abroad. I’m talking about about a Great European Road Trip. Why? Because EuroRail passes are expensive, buses are uncomfortable and time-consuming, and neither offer much freedom from the beaten path. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take a 6 month road trip through Ireland, the UK, and Europe.

While traveling by car allows us much greater comfort and freedom, rental car company reviews are a red flag. So what should we do? Buy a vehicle? Maybe, but there are problems with that idea as well. I’ve found nothing but bad news when it comes to registering and insuring the vehicle, with intentions to cross the continent. Even with that problem solved, what will we do with the car when we’re done, sell it? How long will that take? What if we break down? I know I worry too much, but there is a lot of risk involved in this type of travel.

The solution to all of these problems is obvious. We’ll buy a brand new car, use it for a bit, and sell it back to the person who sold it to us. It seems too good to be true, I know, but it’s exactly the idea behind the French Buy Back Lease Program. In the European Union, there is a Value Added Tax (VAT) charged on goods & services. Since France’s VAT on a new vehicle is an exorbitantly high 20%, car companies are better off to sell slightly used cars. What a better way to do this than to sell the car to foreign travelers on vacation, and buy it back when they’re done. The cost is based on the number of days the vehicle is rented, with an option to buy the vehicle outright when you’re done.

Is it legal? Believe it or not, it’s been authorized by the French govt. Since 1954. See, it’s a win-win. The govt. allows it because it stimulates the automobile and tourism industries. Car companies make more sales. French citizens can better afford barely used cars, due to less VAT. And we get an affordable, tax-free vehicle that’s right off the assembly line. Even better, the car is registered in our name, has fantastic insurance, and 24/7 roadside assistance in over 40 countries. The Buy Back program is the perfect solution to long term European travel.


Benefits of the Buy Back Program

  • Zero-deductible insurance valid in 40 countries
  • Brand new car of your choice
  • Unlimited miles, 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Breakdown cover and factory warranty
  • No extra charge for extra drivers
  • Pick up from multiple locations in Europe- no charge for France locations

So what’s the catch? It’s only an option for those who are looking to travel long term, as the minimum requirement is 21 days. If that’s your plan, then then leasing really is a fantastic option.  We chose a Citroen Berlingo. Since the maximum lease for standard tourists is 170 days, we’ve booked two vehicles. Our first lease runs from March thru May, which we’ll spend in Ireland and the UK. The second lease period ends in September. During this time we’ll drive thousands of miles as we circle around Europe. We booked with IdeaMerge, which has proven to be a delight so far.

Berlingo

Finding the option to lease a Berlingo solved more than just our transportation needs. We’re going to live in it! That’s right, our transportation and our home, all in one. Why travel like this? To take advantage of freedom, the financial savings, and an incredible adventure. We’re surely not the first to do it, but we’re the first to do it like this. I’m sure you’re wondering how we’ll ever pull off this crazy plan. Don’t worry, you’ll have a front row seat on the action. Then you can decide for yourself if you’re ready for a new lease on life.

 

 

 



 

100 Days of Photos


Starting 100 days before my trip, I started posting one photo a day, to my Facebook. The purpose was to practice my photography skills. Check back daily for the “Photo of the Day”.

Here is that gallery:


IMG_1772
2

IMG_1659
3

sdfadsfasdf
4

IMG_1771
5

IMG_1769
6

IMG_1752
7

IMG_1744
8

IMG_1757.jpg
9

IMG_1753
10

LouMitchells.jpg
11

IMG_1664.jpg
12

IMG_1765
13

IMG_1691-1
14

IMG_1762
15

IMG_1783.jpg
16

IMG_1766.jpg
17

IMG_1799
18

IMG_1750.jpg
19

IMG_1733
20

IMG_1586
21

IMG_1639
22

IMG_1671
23

IMG_1668
24

 

InkedIMG_1571-1_LI
25

IMG_1592.jpg
26

IMG_1789
27

IMG_1645
28

IMG_1561
29

IMG_1505
30

IMG_1404
31

IMG_1556
32

IMG_1519
33

IMG_1551
34

IMG_1484
35

26951850_10213433283138977_8233200969471656328_o
36

IMG_1466
37

IMG_1427
38

IMG_1347
39

IMG_1513.jpg
40

IMG_1492.jpg
41

IMG_1442.jpg
42

IMG_1549.jpg
43

IMG_1485.jpg
44

IMG_1386.jpg
45

IMG_1415
46

IMG_1276
47

IMG_1338
48

IMG_1345.jpg
49

IMG_1308-1.jpg
50

IMG_1265.jpg
51

52
52

53
53

54
54

55
55

56
56


57
57

58
58

59
59

60
60

61
61

62
62

63
63

64
64

65
65

66
66

22550201_10213196895509434_5146601435689799955_o (1)
67

25446159_10213189588326759_9197617085507883227_n
68

25532258_10213179643118135_5135221878451038181_o
69

25358594_10213170226522726_4172851964114015076_o
70

25358360_10213162614532431_7311126479228795909_o (1)
71

25311383_10213154717215003_9194215062070910957_o
72

25299588_10213151355170954_5327504827676356456_o.jpg
73

25358618_10213151292089377_5438705431853918257_o.jpg
74

IMG_0857.jpg
75

25073497_10213124255813487_2422606287454571408_o
76

25189108_10213116944710714_1057523884691391722_o
77

IMG_0880.jpg
78

26528_1309386467210_6029245_n.jpg
79

IMG_0159.jpg
80

24837259_10213085734930489_1979261551093313330_o
81

24796673_10213080461038645_6841280491058515232_n
82

24799616_10213071230527888_2667033970150513308_o.jpg
83

IMG_0916
84

DARIEN PARK1 (2)
85

24232455_10213044502539705_6537359293972272660_n.jpg
86

IMG_0513
87

IMG_0150
88

24210293_10213024190151908_4716364225863776774_o
89

CAROLERS2
90

24068570_10213014656913583_2428235564382502931_o
91

 


9889
92

23800134_10212990570911448_3254856966260803352_o
93

23826181_10212983371691472_2199609497515912248_o
94

23737870_10212977275659075_4579468445244036232_o.jpg
95

IMG_0353
96

23800243_10212962517530131_3651252250004083313_o
97

23632267_10212953421422734_8066632678394624831_o
98

23632483_10212946083559292_2832258862046325516_o
99

23559957_10212937571306491_853198025250853182_n
100