15 January 2013

{On Meeting in the Middle} by Betsy

I stumbled upon Betsy's Blog a few months ago and have been hooked since!  Betsy is an expat/repat who recently moved back to Washington D.C. after living abroad in England for several years.  She didn't come back empty handed, however, as she now has a beautiful sparkly ring on her finger and is engaged to a handsome Englishman, Jon.  It's been so fun {and insightful!} to follow along with her Wedding Wednesday posts, as I'm trailing right behind her in terms of planning an international ceremony and reception!  Today she's here talking about possible travel destinations where she and Jon could connect while navigating long distance {and without breaking the bank!}.

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Hello, Home Away From Home readers!  Betsy here from Betsy Transatlantically - I'm an expat, like Jenna, and am also engaged to my handsome foreigner!  Okay, actually I moved back to Washington, DC from London last May, so I'm not an technically expat anymore.  But my heart is still in England, and I hop across the pond as often as time and finances allow.  Jon comes to DC sometimes, too, but we dream about traveling together to new places like we did when we were living in the same city.

It's so easy and cheap to jet off from London to almost anywhere in Europe.  Exotic weekends are just a Channel away!  At least until after the wedding, though, I think that all of our flights will be from Dulles to Heathrow and back again.  Yes, I know, I hear it too - that's the sound of a tiny violin playing.  But a round-trip ticket across the Atlantic can cost more than $1000 at peak times, and if we're going to spend that kind of money we'd love to go somewhere more exciting.

Luckily, a good friend of mine is developing a website called TripCommon* that finds the cheapest, most convenient, and most interesting places to meet up with friends who live in different cities.  I entered IAD and LHR as my two points of origin and set the calendar for a long Valentine's Day weekend away.  Here are three places we could head to where the flights average out to less than $500 each...

In England, Prague is known for being a stag-do (or, in American, bachelor party) destination.  Hopefully, though, roving bands of drunken louts will be scarce in mid-February and we'll have the town to ourselves!  We'll definitely sign up for a beer tour and I'm told that we should spend a day walking around Staré Mesto  - the old town is populated by centuries-old saints, gargoyles, and other statues.  I'd also love to explore the Jewish quarter, the Maisel Synagogue, and the Jewish Museum.

Jon will probably be a little annoyed if we only bop around Europe, so I'm glad there are a few US cities on the list!  I picked Nashville because I've never been and I'm obsessed with the TV show.  (That's a good reason to visit a city, right?)  Jon secretly loves country tunes so we'd definitely make this a music trip. First stop would have to be the Bluebird Cafe - I'm hoping I'll catch a glance of Gunnar!

I actually have been to Lyon - during the 7 months I lived in Paris, I spent a week in France's second city.  It was such a fun trip! It's got all the history and culture of Paris, but is a much more mangeable size and has (in my opinion) much friendlier people.  It's got tons o' quaint cobblestoned alleys hiding galleries, restaurants, and churches.  Plus, I have great memories of a night of jazz!

Have you been to any of these cities?  Send me your recommendations!  And let me know if there are any other places we should consider meeting in the middle - we're open to ideas.

*TripCommon is still in beta, but do go explore - it's tons o' fun already and I'm sure will only be better as it's developed further.  I wasn't compensated for sharing the site and this isn't a sponsored post.  It's just such a brilliant idea and I hope it helps all you travelers out there!

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Thanks so much for posting today Betsy!  Find her blog here.


  1. thanks for having me, Jenna - this was so much fun to write! I'm embarrassed that I forgot the photo credits though, so here they are:
    1 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/catchlightsa/5544782954/
    2 - http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-central/nashville-new-flavor-00417000079335/
    3 - personal photo

  2. Great post Betsy - and certainly a positive in the long distance relationship ;) I can't think of anything more romantic than meeting in a foreign city after weeks/months apart!
    As you know, I loved Prague so certainly worth visiting. If I was meeting my 'other,' I'd probably pick somewhere that we could indulge in a little sun... perhaps the South of Spain or California?

  3. What a fun post and these images are so cool.

  4. Sounds like it's going to be an awesome website!!! I wish I lived in London sometimes so that I could jet off to dream destinations once a month.

  5. Great guest post!! And just in time for V-Day :)



  6. I loved seeing Betsy here today!
    Lyon is brilliant! I spent a weekend there for my first wedding anniversary and it was wonderful... great food, lovely people, beautiful scenery. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

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  8. I didn't know the bluebird cafe was real! I love Nashville (the tv show) so I will have to get to the real place!!


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