This may seem kind of strange. The day after our 11th wedding anniversary, I (Ken) am off on a solo trip to Prague via the UK. Stranger still, as readers of these pages will recall, this is my second solo international trip since our return home, the first being my jaunt to Costa Rica.
To be honest, traveling the world as a pair for nine months was difficult. Factors external to the relationship- booking yet another hotel room, catching yet another bus- are compounded by internal factors like differing travel styles and all those little why-must-you-always-_____ irritations that arise in close quarters.
Now that we have returned to Milwaukee and settled into the workforce, we’re figuring out what our travel life will look like from now on. Gainful employment limits the length of future trips, although I did negotiate some extra time off when I returned to work, so my number of days off looks a bit more European than American. On an existential level, after all we’ve seen and done, we still struggle with what it means to return to Milwaukee and how we can live more simply and purposefully- but that’s a blog post for another day.
Never fear: our days of traveling together have not come to an end. This trip didn’t begin as a solo affair; it began when we decided that we would take time off in October, when Karen would be finished with her summer farm job and I would have a couple major projects completed.
Ah, that most delicious stage of planning a trip, when you can consider going anywhere- just check out the guidebook from the library and spin dreams of faraway places. Turkey and Egypt are at the top of my list, though their governments’ recent actions don’t inspire admiration. Karen and I thought we might go to Oaxaca together for their Dia de Muertos celebrations (we will do that, perhaps next year- stay tuned). Then, when Karen had an important volunteering opportunity come up for late October, this trip morphed into a Ken trip. I’ve been itching to get to Eastern Europe ever since we narrowly missed it on our big trip. I soon settled on Prague, with a side trip to Dresden, Germany.
Researching flights to Prague, I noticed that many of them connect through London… so why not stop off in the UK for a few days, too?
It’s a good thing Karen’s not coming along- this is exactly the kind of jam-packed itinerary that drives her nuts. Not me, though. This is a Ken trip for sure.
After navigating the ghost town of Milwaukee’s airport (I guess not too many people fly at 1pm on a Saturday) and the neon wackiness of O’Hare, I found myself with an entire row to myself on the flight. I actually got to lay down for a while, which helped me feel a little less worn out upon landing.
I guess not too many people fly through Heathrow at 7am on a Sunday either.
I probably won’t be able to keep up on blog posts in realtime, but I’ll certainly be snapping photos on my adventures. Next Stop: Wales!
Have a blast! Glad you’re on the road again…even if it’s by yourself this time…Can’t wait to hear of your exploits!
Have a great trip. Prague was one of Phil’s favorite places. He also traveled there alone. Maybe it’s a family thing?
Hi Ken and Karen too,
It’s interesting that as recently as about three years ago Mitchell was reporting record traffic, now no longer. Mainly regional-type aircraft and nothing much bigger than a 737 anymore. Amazing how things changed there.
I miss the glory days of Mitchell, Midwest Airlines and everyone fighting for our business with cheap fares. Now we are just another po-dunk town to the flying industry. I still think we have a rockin’ airport.