@Seppia, thank you sir! Sevilla was on the list, and we added Figueres. unfortunately Galicia is too far north and we will not be heading up that way. Also, might be cold that way in end of March beginning of April. We also plan on hitting Valencia and Barcelona. Similarly we will have to skip on Colmar for this trip, since we are will sticking to the south of France due to weather and logistics. Lyon is a possibility if we shoot north before crossing into Italy, though the original plan was to cross into Italy along the coast. Any advice there would be great, my main concern is the weather, as we will be making it to those parts around end of April/early May.
@anesde, shooting you a PM with my email, would be very interested in those! We plan on spending at least 5 days in Porto and 7 in Lisbon. We hadn't though about renting a car, and were planning on using local bus/train and coach buses like Flixbus. We ended up purchasing tickets to Porto instead of Lisbon, so don't have to make the commute both ways. Will have to look into budget car rentals, as seeing the coast and spending a night or two between the cities sounds like a good idea. We will definitely look into the Lisbon -> Marrakesh flights, lots to think about.
It would be fantastic to meet up if you do end up traveling to Portugal in March! We land in Porto on March 12th and after 4-5 days plan on working our way south toward Lisbon. I will PM you, and maybe we can connect on WhatsApp. Thank you so much for the tips thus far, it's a huge helping in doing some loose planning.
We don't want to be too tied down with a concrete itinerary, not sure how fast or slow we will enjoy traveling, and want to be semi flexible based on weather, cultural events, or just how much we like a place and how long we want to stay vs. leave. After reading "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts, several times, I really want to slow down and immerse myself in the culture, without rushing to see all of the touristy "must see" things. We will always have the ability to return to EU, and likely using Poland as a home base for future travels on that continent.
Travel Preparation/Misc Ramblings
So far this week I've purchased,
Plane ticket to Portugal - $92
Kelty Redwing 50 backpack - $97
Crank Brothers Stamp 1 MTB pedals - $37
Park Tool pre-glued patch kit - $8
I repaired my MTB shoes with Gorilla Glue, so hopefully those last through the end of the winter. I still need to buy a replacement MTB helmet, as the one I have is 12 years old, the plastic shell is cracked/sun damaged, and your head is important, yo! That will be $60-80 because you don't want to skimp on head protection. I also need to buy some cold weather pants to cycle in, not sure what to go with for MTB, but I want to ride all winter, and so far I toughed it in shorts and only rode on really warm days in past years.
Off the top of my head, still need some things for the trip, some of which I can wait till holidays to ask for gifts.
European quick chargers for USB devices (cell, camera, watch, etc) as well as a converter for my laptop charger.
sink stopper + small sized bottle for travel detergent
Sun hat - usually wear a baseball cap but that doesn't protect ears/neck from sun
More importantly, we have a TON of stuff to take pictures of and list for sale on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, Ebay. That will be my fulltime job over the coming months. Hoping to offset many of the up front travel item costs with the sale of unneeded possessions.
Yesterday I made two financial moves. 1) opened a Schwab checking account, for their $0 foreign transaction fee's and unlimited worldwide ATM fee reimbursements 1) joined PSECU and initiated a $25k transfer to open a promotional CD. They are currently offering 3.25% APY on their 36 month CD.
This will lower my available cash on hand to just a few thousand dollars, until a $10k CD I have with CapOne matures around Thanksgiving. That will fund most of the travel costs I plan to have through summer, with the rest coming from another CD that is maturing in early summer.