Well, the end of yet another Winter semester is quickly approaching. Every year seems to be passing by faster and faster. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I started university almost five years ago. Ew, don’t even want to think about that. There are so many things people do after they graduate university and I think one of the most common things to do these days after school is traveling. Europe seems to be the most popular spot that people are hitting. If it’s your first backpacking trip I think Europe is the best place to start, yes it’s expensive (from what I’ve heard) but in terms of the culture it won’t be too shocking for most North Americans. My first backpacking trip was Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I have family in Singapore so it wasn’t too hard for me to get around SEA and my parents had family friends in a lot of places so traveling this part of the world wasn’t completely exotic.
This summer, much like most university students graduating, I’ll be traveling Europe. I’ve got my Lonely Planet, Europe by a shoestring book and I still need to go through and make note of all the must see places. Europe seems to be the trendiest place to travel (maybe next to Southeast Asia now), but still a super popular place to visit and I feel like in my 13.5 weeks in Europe I won’t get to see all the places I want to see. Not to mention my budget will not last me that long, I’ll be living frugally. I’m having so much trouble deciding which places I want to go to and how long I want to stay in each place. 96 days is a hell of a long time to travel without work, yet it doesn’t seem long enough to full capture the culture, beauty and history of Europe.
My journey starts in Dublin (and don’t worry, you’ll be reading every step of my journey just like my SEA trip). I fly into Dublin at the end of April and fly out of Dublin at the end of July so my plan is to travel Europe in sort of a circle. I think a main issue I have is that I’ve talked to so many people about Europe and people have told me where to go and where not to go and everyone’s opinions are different. I just don’t want to be missing out on some really neat places. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to see the major tourist cities like Dublin, London, Paris, Rome, Athens, etc. but I really want to go to the little towns and meet locals who can really show you what life in that country is all about. Dining in little pubs, small local restaurants and cafe’s sound much more appealing to me. I want to see the countryside of Italy and drink the house wine, I want to go to Pompeii, the city that is completely covered by volcanic ash. I really want to do things off the beaten path, and I’m hoping my small budget will allow me to do a few of these things.
Here’s a little taster of things I want to do. Spend a day or two in the major cities and then branch off the to places less traveled. http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-europe-pg-photogallery.html
I’m excited that Europe is a continent that is well traveled by young recent graduates like myself. It will be fun to travel with a few people close to me, others I will meet up with and alone. It will be a great experience and yet another learning curve in my life. It’s the bridge between closing one chapter and beginning a new one. Signifying finally being done living in Waterloo and moving to Toronto. A sense of growing up (scary but exciting!!).
I’m sure the next time I write will be in the airport waiting to board my flight to Dublin. Most likely blogging about how frustrating my gopro is because I can guarantee I will struggle trying to figure it out. Or how waiting at Toronto Pearson Airport sucks because it’s so god damn expensive. Or how excited I am for what the next three months has in store for me!
Until Next Time,