THE BLOG

The Grand Tour of 2015

07/16/2015 04:50pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

In the old days (1660 to 1840), affluent young men were known to go on a "grand tour" to complete their education. Today, the tradition continues when we send our kids off to somewhere foreign for a "semester abroad." The truth is, if you can afford it (and even when you can't), seeing the world from a different perspective is a key turning point in anyone's life, no matter what your age. And while I'm a lifelong traveler and adventuress, my two youngest kids haven't gotten out quite as much because of things like school schedules, summer camps, age differences, and such.

Well, with my middle child graduating from high school and my youngest having arrived at an age when she'll actually remember things (almost 9), we've decided to go on a grand tour of our own this summer! We are condensing the jetlag into one trip and venturing to three different countries--Iceland, England, and France--for three weeks!

Planning a trip like this is an epic undertaking if, like me, you don't use a travel agent. I enjoy doing the research and figuring it all out myself. This is not your typical "vacation." We'll be staying in eight different hotels. Our transportation will include planes, trains, automobiles, and, hopefully, some bicycles and horses. Definitely Icelandic ponies! And I will be checking (or ticking, as they say in Australia) at least five things off my bucket list.

Most importantly, I will be sharing this adventure with my two youngest daughters and seeing the world anew through their eyes. But don't worry; I will be sharing it with you, too!

The next few weeks of blogs from me will be pictures of my trip--hopefully, stuff you'll enjoy looking at!

Things to look forward to: In England, I will be visiting Prince Charles's organic farm and estate, known as Highgrove. I will FINALLY get to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (as my oldest said, "If you don't go, I will never forgive you because you've been talking about it forever.") In France, I will visit the street in Paris that has gone 100 percent organic! And that's just a small sampling of the treats in store for all of us...

See you "on the road"!

For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com