As with all my posts, I’ve been meaning to get around to this one for a while now. It has been a bit over a month since I got back home from my nearly month-long excursion in Europe. I had decided to travel on a bit of a whim with my cousin who had made the suggestion, so there was a lot to sort out prior to actually getting to Europe. I had spent hours and hours planning and budgeting leading up to the trip, but eventually it all came together after meticulously laboring over the many details. (Low key, I rekindled my Excel love because of this trip).
Our travels commenced in Belgium, right before the start of “peak travel season”. (See map of destinations on this trip). We were able to enjoy some peace and smaller crowds early on, but as we creeped into June, peak season was on full blast and every touristy spot was brimming with people. Even in terms of weather, we had anticipated it being a little more temperate in the northern parts of Europe. Much to our surprise, however, it was really hot for the majority of the time – aside from a few days in Germany and Austria. (I can’t lie, I was a little upset I hadn’t packed more shorts to keep myself from over-heating – definitely would’ve kept my suitcase a little lighter as well!)
Because of the number of places we intended on visiting, we were constantly shuffling from one city to another, making the trip more like a sampler of Europe. At times it was tiring (mostly from lugging around my suitcase – it could have been lighter), but the vibrancy and energy of every place we visited was more than enough to keep our spirits alive and well to keep moving forward and exploring. Because we were both working on a post-university/broke student budget, we didn’t have the luxury of spending excessively. So to cut costs, we took buses and trains from destination to destination. For most of our longer journeys, we opted for night buses or trains which definitely helped save time by getting us to our next stop by the next morning and money by eliminating the need an extra night of lodging. (Hopefully, I’ll write up a post later on how to budget efficiently and how to decide whether the Eurail Pass is something you should consider for a trip to Europe).
Despite all the fun, food, and culture we were soaking up there was an unfortunate twist in the latter half of our travels. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, my cousin and I had to part ways on our last few days in Austria. With her having traveling back home, I was left with the decision to continue onward or head home as well. Ultimately, I decided to continue on with the trip and finish off on a high note in Italy. My last week or so in Italy ended up being a solo trip, but was amazing nonetheless.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and one that I had been dying to do since I was studying abroad in London. I was so glad that I was able to make it happen, despite some of the hardships we encountered, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was truly an adventure of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to go back to each place and spend a little more time there to really absorb and get a better feel of the cultures. For now, stay tuned for more detailed posts on each country I visited on this trip!