Euro Trip 2014
When I told my friends and family I was grabbing my backpack and heading to Europe for three months, I had mixed responses. Many were very excited about my solo Euro Trip, many were very concerned, and a few wanted to even come along!
These were the only accommodations and travel plans I made before I left the States:
- 8/5/2014 Fly from San Diego, CA to Dublin, Ireland
- 8/5 – 8/8 Times Hostel – College Street Dublin, Ireland
- 9/22 – 9/24 4You Hostel, Munich, Germany
- 9/24 – 9/25 Townside Hostel, Bremen, Germany
- 9/25 – 9/26 Summit Zero, Lithohoro, Greece
- 9/26 – 9/7 Refuge A Spilios, Mt Olympus, Greece
- 10/1 – 10/13 Cruise with family starting & ending in Barcelona, Spain
- 11/5/2014 Fly from Dublin, Ireland to San Diego, USA
The rest of my trip, I used the “fingers crossed and play it by ear” method. Some people said that was really “brave”, while I felt like they really meant to say was “dumb” and “scary”. I like to think of it as “creative” and “adventurous”. Sometimes, it did feel a little “dumb” and “scary”, but mostly it was “exhilarating” and “empowering”. If you manage to get around a foreign continent without a plan and without dying, you feel like you can handle just about anything! And you are really excited to see your friends and your own bed!
I started north and followed the warm weather south as winter approached. This limited the need for bulky warm clothing in my backpack (ugh) and limited the time spent in colder weather (eww). Armed with an iPhone full of amazing apps like HostelWorld, Rome2Rio, Skyscanner, BlahBlahCar, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor, I was able to make reservations, book transportation, get directions, and find places to eat!
So, this is what actually happened:
- 8/5 – 8/8 Ireland
- 8/8 – 8/13 United Kingdom
- 8/13 – 8/18 France
- 8/18 Belgium
- 8/18 – 8/23 Amsterdam
- 8/23 – 8/30 Germany
- 8/30 – 9/4 Czech Republic
- 9/4 – 9/7 Austria
- 9/7 – 9/12 Hungary
- 9/12 – 9/15 Slovakia
- 9/16 – 9/21 Croatia
- 9/22 – 9/25 Germany
- 9/25 – 10/1 Greece
- 10/1 – 10/5, 10/12 – 10/16 Spain
- 10/5 – 10/12 Mediterranean Cruise
- 10/16 – 10/20 Portugal
- 10/20 – 10/29 Italy
- 10/29 – 11/1 Germany
- 11/2 – 11/4 Ireland
It’s hard to believe I managed to fit so much into just a few months! When I went to Europe, I had my round trip plane ticket, reservations for my first hostel, accommodations in Greece, and I made sure to book my Oktoberfest reservations early (You gotta have your priorities!). I had a general idea of where I was going to go but otherwise, I played it by ear!
I decided to let the spirit of travel guide me and I made my plans for my next country a few days ahead. It worked pretty well for me and it was nice not to feel tethered down to any itinerary and I could move faster or slower depending on how much fun I was having. I got stuck in Bratislava for awhile and I extended my trip to Prague a few times because I loved it so much. There may have been a few teary-eyed calls home when things got frustrating, but for the most part, I loved exploring Europe one step at a time.