Step 1: Decide to go.
A few months ago, I decided that I need a break. A break from school, a break from always planning ahead, and a break from stress. I have always wanted to go backpacking through Europe, so I just decided to do it. When else in my life will I get a chance to spend several weeks roaming through places like Scandinavia, the Alps, and the Mediterranean?
So I’m going.
Step 2: Decide when/where to go.
This part was pretty easy. I’ve been to Europe before, but mostly been in the “big cities” like London, Paris, Rome, Athens, etc. I knew that this time I wanted to explore the country side and some of the smaller places. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty may or may not have had a lot to do with this idea. And since I’m in college and have an amazing summer job lined up, my travel window was basically decided for me!
I’ll be going for 26 days (I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!) and visiting Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Croatia. I honestly couldn’t be more excited!!!
Step 3: Plan plan plan!
I started this idea with the thought of backpacking around Europe with no real plan of where to go or what to do. Since then, I’ve changed my mind. With the help of Rick Steves’ wonderful travel guides, I’m planing my routes, where I will go, what I will see, and how I will get around. Being “free” as a traveler is actually the opposite of what you might expect.
Steves says that the travelers who plan their itinerary and routes are free to explore, and understand the consequences of any unscheduled stops. They don’t have to spend their time, energy, or money worrying about how they will get around or what they will do. On the other hand, travelers who think they will just buy a plane ticket, not plan anything, and then roam freely quickly find out that they are extremely limited. They don’t know what sights/attractions are open, they spend hours figuring out where they will sleep each night, and they spend waaaaay more money than those who take the time to plan ahead.
I’m seriously SO excited for my upcoming trip! I will periodically post updates about my travel plans, and of course I will be posting about it all along the way!!!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tourist Trap.”