A Travellerspoint blog

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In the air and heading east

The start of our Christmas adventure in France and Spain!

View Christmas 2017-2018 on Bill Hall's travel map.


I started travel blogging five years ago on our first Europe trip. I wasn’t working then so we were able to stay gone nearly a month. I posted pretty much every day, with photos and tales of where we went and what we saw. I wrote blogs on subsequent trips and the number of people following our travels grew.

I expected the kids and a few friends to follow along and have no idea how that first blog received over 2000 individual reads. The number of folks following my writing has grown substantially from this first blog and I’ve started writing how to articles and blogging on travel near where I live. I’m surprised at how well received these have been and how many people have been reading them.

I didn’t come from a family of international travelers. We traveled when I was growing up, but we stayed in the states (one Mexican border crossing back when it was safe to do that), and with a couple of exceptions, the southeast. This was common where I grew up. Now, international travel is so much easier than it used to be. My wife spurred an interest in international travel and my intent in blogging is to not only share this, but to foster an interest in others of seeing the world.

I’ve reached a point where people tell me “after reading your blog for so long, you’ve roused our interest in taking a trip to……….” The thing I love hearing even more is “we just got back and our trip was amazing!” Learning about different people, their culture, foods.....helps us understand who they are and what they’re like. Traveling the world actually makes it smaller, not bigger.

I still work at Tennessee Tech University, still like what I do, and love the end of year vacation. If you’re reading this, we’re either at the airport or in the air. We’re off on another adventure! We fly out of Nashville, transfer in Atlanta, and we start out with 24 hours in London. We thought it would be good to take a day to acclimate to European time, and let’s be honest….London is awesome! London is a hub and if you get to London, you can pick up discount flights nearly anywhere.

After a short stay in London, we take a late day fight to Geneva, Switzerland. We’re staying at a hotel we’ve stayed at before right at the airport, and taking a bus the next morning to our first major destination. After the success of our New Year’s Day ski day last year in Germany, we’re going to try again. This time, in Chamonix, France in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The place is gorgeous.

Last April, I talked Laurie into a ski trip to Chamonix based on nothing but a faint hope that they would “get dumped on this year…..’cause they’re due”. I took a blind shot....and I doubt I could have hit it better. They have been receiving massive amounts of snow over the past several weeks, and in the past seven days have receive over TWO METERS of fresh powder! While I dreamed of skiing in Europe in my younger days, I never made it. We now stand ready to ski in probably the best conditions I have personally seen in my lifetime. In the French Alps. I’ve got goosebumps.

I’m not a twenty-one year old skier doing 85 plus days a year on mountain anymore. I’m rusty. I had knee surgery several years ago and have to wear a brace. No more black diamonds, no more ski racing, no more moguls. But I get to ski for four days in one of the most amazing ski areas on earth in the best Christmas conditions they have seen in at least a decade. I have hopes that this will be epic.

If Laurie is able to drag me away from Chamonix, we leave the French Alps and head to the Riviera. We will stay in Nice, France and travel up and down the coast for several days. After this, we spend five nights (including New Year’s) in Barcelona. A one day stop in London at the end and we head home.

While one destination was worthy of three paragraphs above, the Riviera and Barcelona were lumped into one short paragraph. I think everyone knows what I’m excited about. I’m sure that I’ll find the Riviera and Barcelona enjoyable though. Laurie is quite excited about the art, culture, architecture, and staying by the sea in these places. I have no doubt this will be her “epic”.

I’m also excited that I’ll get to share this journey with so many others via the blog. Expect more photos and cool stories about where we've been! As always, if you don't want to get updates, let me know and I'll take you off the mailing list. The mailing list continues to grow, more link to it on Facebook and more people tell me they’re reading my posts. I hope you enjoy our latest adventure. Thanks for tagging along with us. Let’s get started!!

Posted by Bill Hall 01:28 Archived in USA Tagged mountains beaches london barcelona skiing backpack chamonix geneva alps monaco nice_france backpacks mont_blanc back_pack europe_travel french_alps Comments (1)

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