So, rather than driving everyone I know and love absolutely insane by my constant travel-chatter about how excited I am, I decided to create a blog to let it all out, while talking about what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, where I’m headed, and what I’m learning along the way.
There is an insane amount of work that goes into planning a trip by yourself to Europe for 90 days. I figured there was, but not exactly to this extent. I have been planning for months. I have maybe half of my trip completely sorted, with another 6 weeks to research, plan, and book. When I originally decided to do this, I imagined myself on a lot of trains, seeing beautiful sights, and eating a lot of delicious food. That’s all I thought about. I honestly didn’t even give my accommodation that much thought before I started planning.
Now, why did I decide to save up every dollar I made just to spend it all within a few months in different countries? Well, why the hell not? Growing up in an extremely privileged community while not being wealthy was not the easiest thing in the world. I couldn’t really comprehend how my peers had so much money to do whatever they wanted. I have watched them go on euro trips with their families and with schools, I have watched them study abroad, and while they’ve been snapping and uploading pictures to Facebook, I’ve been taking notes of some seriously beautiful places. My list kept growing as did my savings. I originally planned to go for about two months, but after realizing how far my money could stretch, I decided to throw in an extra month so I can see more. It is finally my time to live an exciting life of adventure, food, and fun. I am going to explore the places I have longed to see and eat the food I have dreamt of for years. Clearly, food plays a huge role in my travels. I seriously intend on eating my body weight in cheese.
Though I am excited, this is a little threatening. I am 22 years old and I have never left the U.S. Hell, I’ve barely even explored the U.S. As I started to do more research about things in Europe, it started to dawn on me that I knew nothing about anything. The prices of trains are actually insane… Flights are cheaper than trains sometimes! Busses are a must and they’re inexpensive. Some of them even have Wifi, who knew? Anyway, I realized that if I want to stay in a good hostel during peak season in Europe, it was going to cost me more and as the days of my trip approach, the beds fill up pretty fast. So I started planning and booking.
I guess you could say that I’m a planner, but I honestly did not think I would be planning this much. With a time constraint, budget, and the fact that I’m going to be traveling completely by myself for 11 out of the almost 13 weeks, I have to know what I’m doing, where I’m going, and how I’m getting there way beforehand. I’m trying to avoid traveling at night, I have to take into consideration bus schedules and cancelations, and I have to be in touch with my hostel before I get there. My excitement of my journey is just as important as my safety throughout the experience; I have to make sure I’m prepared and know what I’m doing.
Honestly, this entire thing is the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life and I am learning a lot about myself in the process. Right in the middle of my trip I am going to be with a group of people exploring the Adriatic region; I will go more in depth below, but for 2 weeks we are seeing 7 countries and I won’t have to worry about my accommodation or bus schedules for a little while. But, it’s time to start planning and booking the last 6 weeks of my trip.
If you’re interested, here is what I’ve booked and planned so far:
Landing in Dublin, Ireland.
Bus to Cork, Ireland.
Bus to Killarney, Ireland.
Bus to Galway, Ireland.
Bus back to Dublin Ireland,
Fly out Dublin, Ireland, to Porto, Portugal!
Bus to Lisbon, Portugal.
Bus to Faro, Portugal.
Bus to Sevilla, Spain!
Bus to Madrid, Spain.
Bus to Barcelona, Spain.
Fly out Barcelona to Rome, Italy.
START CONTIKI TOUR –
Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and it ends back in Italy.
I still have to sort out the last 6 weeks, but I’m thinking I will fly out of Rome and into Paris, France, work my way down the country to the Provence region, then head back to Italy for some solo exploration, head up to Austria, then Czech, then Denmark, Netherlands, the U.K. and then back home.
If you’re reading, I appreciate you. If you have recommendations or tips I will greatly appreciate them all.