Dixsons out! I’ve been waiting to say that for what seems like a long time now. A lifetime of a love of travel has brought us to this point, but so has the past 6 months of planning, research, listening to travel podcasts (thanks Trav and Heath at EPOP), reading travel blogs and books, booking flights, hotels, and train tickets. After all that effort, we are finally OUT of the USA, OUT in the world, and definitely OUT of our comfort zones!
We finished the last things on our list in the past couple of weeks before we left:
- Sell car. CHECK! Hope you are enjoying the smurf-mobile Grindles! Get used to everyone recognizing you around town.
- Prepare and rent house. CHECK! We hope you love our home as much as we do Richeys!
- Released from our callings at church. CHECK! We will miss you La Center Ward!
- Switched to T-Mobile for cell service. CHECK! They have terrible reception in La Center, but for $70/month we have two phones (we still have our old numbers if you want to text us) with unlimited texting and streaming data on most websites all over the world. For anything else we have 12 gigs to use at fast speeds and then it just slows down. We can also call anywhere for 20 cents a minute if we need to, but with Facetime and Facebook messenger, I don’t think we will need to use that too much.
- Finish packing. Check! I was going to write a post about what we packed, but I thought I would wait and write one after a few months to see how we did. The key is that we fit it all into our 5 backpacks and one purse! I’m just hoping we picked the right things to keep in and the right things to leave out.
- Eat at all our favorite restaurants one last time. Check! Blind Onion Pizza, Youskyme Teriyaki, Nuestra Cocina, Burgerville, and if I’m being honest we had 3 last times at our favorite ice cream place Salt-N-Straw.
- Spend time with friends and family we love and will miss so much. CHECK! We went to Santa Cruz, CA for the annual Rhyasen reunion. We had such a great time with family there and loved Santa Cruz!
July 6, 2016 at 3:40PM our flight left for our first stop…Iceland! Fortunately, it is a non-stop from Portland and only 7 1/2 hours. The flight went great! I have a tip for those flying with young children if you want to have a nice relaxing flight. Wait until they are at least 5! We have flown multiple times a year with our kids starting when Parker was 6 weeks old and I would definitely do it all over again. I’m not saying not to fly, I’m just saying it won’t be very relaxing for you until they can sit and watch movies and play video games for extended lengths of time. Children in the USA seem to be training for this though and by the time they are about 5, after getting through security, the flights are pretty painless. Parker and Tyler even said when we were landing that they could have flown for longer! I also kept some chocolate on hand to help calm us down when anyone was getting cranky or stressed (thanks for the tip Mom). I have to admit, I had to bust it out before we even made it to our gate! I think we were all a little on edge with the fact that we were finally leaving, and it was showing as we made our way through security.
As we flew further north, the scenery out the window was incredible! Especially over Greenland. Sidenote: While we were in Iceland we learned that Eric The Red named Greenland that way to encourage people to move there. Maybe one of the first marketing tricks ever used! As we flew we saw amazing mountains, glaciers, and icebergs. Not much green, but stunning none the less.