People who travel frequently often say they are living out of their suitcase. The Arts and Gardens Tour of Europe gave new meaning to this phrase. The trip was intensive, traveling over five countries in under three weeks. With just one large bag and a carry-on, you must be very selective in what you want to tote around. We never stayed in one hotel for more than two nights, so keeping neat and containing my things was one of the first lessons I had to learn! I am not the most organized while traveling- often finding myself starting out with everything in its place, but then having to scramble about for something deeper in my bag! Having to be in and out of so many hotels taught me to know where everything I had was, and how to get to it quick!

Our lodging accommodations on our trip were fantastic. We stayed in a few chain hotels and got the opportunity to stay in many local inns. It was such an experience to try the continental breakfasts in each country, of which most were made by locals working in the hotels. Traveling from Italy to France, England, Scotland, and Ireland meant the foods changed often, sometimes as soon as we woke up from a train ride! In Italy, we would be awoken with cured meats and cheeses that I had never tried. Oranges were more of a breakfast staple than bananas and were some of the most delicious I had ever eaten. Over the trip, cured meats turned into decadent pastries in France, and then to beans and mushrooms in the United Kingdom.

Although our sleeping accommodations were purely for that- sleeping- experiencing the locals and what that country’s continental breakfast entailed provided me such a unique experience, even if I was living out of a suitcase!