Since I revealed my long-term travel plan, my most asked question is where am I going in Europe. I shall share as much as I have planned so you get an idea of what I am thinking. I am open to changing this up but for now this is it:
May 23- London, Pimlico nearest metro stop. Across the Thames River from Battersea Power Station, see Pink Floyd’s Animals cover and that is across the water from my hostel. For sure thinking Abbey Road stop, long walks to parks and a pint in the oldest pub. I’ve got a friend in town who can show me around and will take me to a pub to see a footie match!
May 30- Germany, south of Frankfort. Visiting friends and the amazing breweries, biergartens. Found a room near city centre for part of the week, can find another room in different part of city after exploring a few days.
June 4- thinking Munich, but there is a cool show back in London, Life to Experience. Do I backtrack for a once in life show or push forward to what I have heard is an amazing part of Bavarian region of Germany?
June 9ish- train Munich to Bordeux, France. Have a friend to stay with in wine country so going to stay for several days and explore rural France. Probably lots of wine and walks.
June 16- Fly to Lisbon, Portugal. Scouting out the city before a couple of friends join me for two weeks! Stay in the city 4 days at a room with courtyard.
June 20- train to Porto. Visit the city 4 days or longer. Drink port wine, see architecture, go to the beach. I don’t know what all there is to do in the city but we will find out.
June 25- fly to Madrid. Back to the first city I ever visited for 4 days. Looking forward to really seeing the whole city and especially going back to Museo de Jamon!
June 29- tentative train to Valencia or city on the way to Barcelona. Still TBD, enjoy the idea of a new city but could stay in Madrid longer.
June 30- Barcelona. Back again to the city I got lost in all the right ways. Hoping to go to the beach and seeing Cathedral Familia. Also parque de real, the Prado Art Museum.
July 3- friends fly out, likely bus to smallest country, Andorra, for a couple nights. Fulfilling a homework assignment in 2nd grade where I learned what is the smallest country in the world (ok yes, technically Vatican City is smaller but that is really just churches, not nationality) that likely created my travel desire. From what I’ve read the country is nice but sort of like a mall or resort. Still, another country to see.
July 5?- not sure, could stay in Barcelona for a festival in mid July, or could catch a ride to Germany with French friend. Should I stay, or find a coastal city to explore, then back to the city for the festival and see friend again. I’d save $ staying so I could do that too.
end of July- slow train or plane to Prague, heard great things and I know nothing about this country so it sounds great!
first weeks of August- Krakow, Poland- stay with former coworker who just moved to Poland, find hostel and explore. Again another country I don’t know much about so why not check it out and see friend!
At this point, everything I have read indicates I can only be in EU for total of 90 days. What I am unsure is if I can just fly to UK and then 90 days resets, then I can explore Scandinavia part of EU or maybe Iceland. If I cannot come back, Ireland, Wales and Scotland seem like good options. I’ve wanted to see the whole UK so that is very appealing.
By August I will know if I am ready to return or continue. I have the funds to stay longer but will the desire be lost? I am planning on 1 week in each city which sounds like the right amount to not get road weary. It isn’t too fun always hopping on a plane or train, to constantly be in motion or have to be somewhere. Or maybe it will be my favorite part, who knows. I am open to whatever happens. Maybe I find a brewery, pub or hostel who will put me up in room in exchange for work. I can also teach English or history, again, a work for lodging exchange. I know making $ and obtaining work visa for EU is hard. I rather enjoy the idea of just working out a deal so I do not break laws, but still am able to support myself and learn new skills, meet new people.
An open ended trip appeals to me but is also scary, I’ll have to figure out things whilst I am in country. But that is what life is: figuring out things day to day, hour to hour, one thing at a time. Its an adjustment to the traditional attitude of working at same place everyday, lunch at noon, fight traffic, party a bit or hang with friends on the weekend. I am open to the world and what it has to offer.