Tomorrow, Brad and I will travel to Europe, specifically Italy, for the first time in our lives. Finally.

This has been a dream for a long time. For a husband-and-wife team that loves exploring new places and learning about new cultures, Europe has been on our wish list for a while.

It’s not like we didn’t want to go sooner. In the early years of our marriage, finances were tight. Brad was a youth pastor and I was finishing college and starting my teaching career. Once we became more financially stable, we were too busy figuring out our lives to recognize that this window of time before children arrived might be a good time to go. When it did dawn on us, I was a stay-at-home mom with two young children. We lived on one income and, once again, travel to Europe was beyond our financial means.

So I started my Europe folder. Whenever the Chicago Tribune or other publications ran articles on budget-friendly European travel, I added them to my folder. From time to time, I pulled out the folder out and reread the articles, dreaming of the time Brad and I would go. I loved hearing friends share their stories of the places they visited (Okay, sometimes I was slightly jealous too). I couldn’t wait for the time I could say, “I’m going to Europe.”

Last fall, an incredible online deal for Italy appeared in my inbox. If you haven’t heard of Travelzoo, you need to check it out. This particular deal included round-trip airfare, hotel, and a rental car for seven nights in Tuscany. One of the perks of living near New York City is that it is a hub for international travel and with that comes great deals for travel. The price for this trip was amazing. The dates perfect—during our Spring Break. Within 24 hours, we found ourselves pulling the trigger and purchasing the deal.

And here we are. The day before we leave, pinching ourselves and feeling like giddy teenagers. One of the highlights of our 25th anniversary trip to Montreal this past summer was the realization that we make a good pair when we travel. We like hanging out together. We can still irritate each other or have different expectations that we need to sort through, but I’m excited to take a trip like this now after so many years of marriage. We have our shared history to help us navigate this new adventure.

I plan to write some more about our trip after the fact, but if you want to come along while we explore the hill country of Italy, follow me at Instagram: aliciabrummeler. I will be posting regularly. Can’t wait for that first espresso on the Autostrada!

Arrivederci, amici.

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