I’ve been living in Europe for almost a full year now (yes it’s possible even with just a USA passport!) but I’m almost ashamed to admit how little travel I’ve done in Europe.
When I first arrived in Berlin last summer, I had all sorts of ideas in my head—get a job in London, live like a hipster in Berlin, go home to America and grow up. In the end, I kind of mixed it all together but just stayed in Berlin, really. I hardly did any travel except with a few short trips during the winter. Pretty different from my original plan (which wasn’t really a plan):
I’ve been looking at cheap holiday offers, specifically in Eastern Europe where I was originally planning to visit (but never made it to because plans change). I’m arriving in Berlin and want to spend some time there to get a good feel of the city (which I hear is very hipster). A million other cities have popped into my mind, all destinations from Berlin. But I can’t honestly say which direction I’ll go.
—Me in June 2011, Going on a Eurotrip
Whether for monetary reasons (I wanted to build up a small savings again) or because I’m just lazy, I actually haven’t been to much of Europe. The number of countries I’ve visited in Europe in my lifetime I can count on two hands: Iceland, Ireland, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Austria & Czech Republic. And almost all of those I didn’t visit for more than a handful of days.
There’s so much I want to see in Europe; it’s why I wanted to live in Europe for so much of my life. But when push comes to shove, it turns out I’m a homebody. Who knew?!
I’ve loved being able to live in Berlin—to have a city I call home. With so many wonderful friends, my favorite local restaurants and hotspots, Berlin has somehow made a way into my life. But I know my time in Europe will be limited and I better start taking advantage of it while I’m here.
There are lots of places I want to visit in Europe, but these 5 European tourist hotspots are ones I really should have seen by now. They’ll be on my mind the most this summer as I make my future travel plans.
Lots of people book all-inclusive holidays to Greece. Some friends here in Berlin flew there last autumn to support the Greek economy. An interesting way of mixing politics and traveling.
My friend Cheryl continuously raves about Amsterdam (as do most people). I skipped a visit to the city when I studied abroad in London years ago but now it’s a city I want to see more than most. For all its street art & quirky tourist sites (like this cat boat)!
When I first wrote a tentative itinerary for my RTW trip, Italy was going to be the first country I visited. At the last minute, I changed it for Spain. My love affair with Italian food, culture and men has never ceased and I’m happy to say I’ll be visiting the country for the first time next week. And then again in June! You have no idea how excited I am!
Yes, I’ve been living in Germany for almost a year and I haven’t seen the country’s most popular tourist destination. Oops! With its famous beer halls and a travel blogger friend of mine living nearby, I know I could have a lot of fun in the city. While Berlin is pretty and nice in its own special way, Munich is (allegedly) actually pretty. And, hey, I just learned that drinking beer makes you clever!
Turkey was one of the countries I originally planned to visit on my RTW trip but ended up skipping for a longer stay in Israel. Turkey is high on my travel bucket-list no just for the food but for the beaches and the culture, too.
Sometimes I really can’t believe there are countries that I’ve dreamed of visiting for so long that I still haven’t seen. It’s funny how life works out like that. The best way to knock them all off my list would be an epic road trip, but that’s unlikely because of the high cost of fuel, getting European breakdown cover as an American, and the hassle of, you know…getting a car!