Big news! I am going back to Europe! I visited Italy and Hungary back in 2009, on a big group tour with my high school choir. Then, on my way home from Nepal in 2013, I set foot back in Europe for a whopping two days. There is such a huge variety of places to see and things to do throughout the continent of Europe and I have only explored itty bitty pieces of it. I figured, in 2017, it was time to visit again.
So for three weeks in April, I will be gallivanting through Europe, exploring some big cities and some small towns I’d never heard of. I have created a list of travel goals that I’d like to accomplish on this trip, and I wanted to share them with you!
Pack Carry-On Only
There are just so many perks to having less stuff to worry about when traveling. When I traveled to Central America in 2016, I only brought my carry-on sized backpack. But even then, that puppy was STUFFED to the brim. After that experience, I feel confident that I can pack even lighter for my trip to Europe.
Learn New Languages
My Spanish is okay, and I can say “Hello” in lots of different languages, but that’s as far as my language skills stretch right now. Visiting Europe means I’m going to be exposed to may different languages. For this trip, I’m going to need to know enough of 4 different languages to get by. I’ve already fired up my Duolingo app and have checked out some lessons on Memrise. I’m getting pretty darn good at saying “please” and “thank you” in Romanian…
Eat ALL The Food
The vast range of diversity in Europe means SO much amazing food. I’m going to eat waffles every day in Belgium and stuff my face with Italian food. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to try many different new cuisines and street foods.
Learn The Truth About Ryanair
I have heard really mixed things about Europe’s famous low-cost airline. Ryanair is notorious for nickel-and diming their passengers- similar to the reputations of low-cost airlines in the US like Spirit or Allegiant Air. However, I know that if you familiarize yourself with all their policies, Ryanair can be a budget travelers best friend. I bought my flight from Belgium to Romania for less than $6. Yup.
Try Out Couchsurfing
There are also some mixed reviews about couchsurfing. What exactly is it? Well, it’s people across the world opening their homes for travelers to stay in. It does not always mean crashing on couches- often people have whole guest rooms available. I haven’t couchsurfed before, but I know it’s a great way to keep costs low!
Despise Museums Less
It’s a little known fact that I’m really not a huge fan of museums. But with all the art, history, and incredible artifacts on display throughout Europe, I’m going to have to get over my issues with museums. I probably won’t be hitting up any art museums, because…just…bleh. But I have found some others that sound like they won’t bore me to tears!
I will be flying solo on this trip, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be all alone! I’ve found that traveling by myself opens up lots of opportunity to meet new people. I have met some of the coolest people while traveling abroad and I can’t wait to meet more!
Manage to Not Get Sick
I….tend to struggle with this goal. Last year, I came home from Central America with Zika virus. I managed to completely lose my voice for a whole week in Australia. And I won’t even go into the mountain of fun tummy troubles I always run into abroad. So, it is my goal to go through this trip and return home as a healthy, normally functioning human being. Can it even be done? We’ll find out…