While it wouldn’t be terribly accurate to say that I’ve done a lot of traveling, I have had the good fortune of seeing quite a bit of what the world has to offer. It has become a “bucket list” life goal of mine to visit every continent and I’ve still got a long way to go. At long last, I can knock Europe off of that list.

It feels a little hard to believe, but up until yesterday, I had never been to anywhere in Europe. Indeed, I had never flown over the Atlantic Ocean. All of my overseas trips thus far have sent me flying in the other direction, across the Pacific Ocean. I’ve been to Taiwan, I’ve explored the Australian Outback and I’ve survived the Great Wall of China. I’ve eaten ramen in Japan and gone shopping in Hong Kong. And now I’m here to see paintings, visit museums, drink wine and eat cheese.

The first stop of the trip is in Amsterdam, a city perhaps best known for its “coffeeshops” and red light district. It’s also known as the Venice of the North, because of its countless canals.

I plan on having reasonable Internet access throughout the trip–we booked our accommodations specifically with that in mind and I am renting a mobile hotspot too–but you can never be completely sure about these things. The intention is to treat this largely as a vacation, but given the nature of freelancing and ongoing commitments, I will likely need to get some work done from time to time; that would include keeping this blog updated.

If you have any last minute advice for me, I’m all ears. After Amsterdam, we’ll be heading to France and concluding our journeys in Italy. Let’s just hope my high school French holds up. Et je ne peux pas parler italien!