Europe is this huge continent that has sneakily been creeping to the top of my travel bucket list over the past couple of years, after my trips to Paris, Portugal, Croatia, Corfu & Venice all proved to me how much more variety of culture there was to explore in Europe. I’ve been dreaming of wandering the streets of beautiful cities like Barcelona, Rome, Madrid, Prague, Berlin, Lisbon, Budapest, Copenhagen, Milan…. the list is endless.
Next Summer, I will finally be leaving England for over a month to live out part of my travel dream and see much of Europe. I wanted to delve into exactly why I was so keen to choose Europe as my choice of first ever solo travel, so here’s a few reasons that came to mind when thinking about it…
I’m young, on a budget and a first-time solo traveller.
Europe is ‘on my doorstep’ as some would say. It seemed to me when thinking carefully about where I should go that Europe is a very broad continent with so much to offer but also with a closeness to home. Of course, I will still be far away from home but when travelling on your own for the very first time, maybe knowing that you’re not exactly on the other side of the world brings a little bit of comfort. I suppose I’m taking small steps to gain my confidence and independence and after, who knows where I’ll be?
Much of my transportation will take place on a train.
It’s crazy how before booking this trip and spending every moment of life planning and researching every where I want to go, the thought of travelling by train never really occurred to me. It’s just another mode of transport, right? But I think it’s going to be so much more than that. Traveling by train through beautiful European countries will show me the most incredible views that being 30,000 ft up in the air on a plane would never be able to show me. Plus, you don’t have all that hassle of airport security, baggage allowance, flight cancellations etc…
How many times have I felt envy at seeing beautiful photos of European countries on social media, TV presenters documenting them and celebrity chefs cooking in them? I’m going to say, A LOT. Europe boasts so much wonderful scenery and I can’t wait to see such a large amount of it and go crazy with my camera at every opportunity I get. Then I finally get to be the one making other people jealous! Muwahaha.
Culture, cuisine, colour.
You know what I mean. Europe is a whole continent of diverse cultures and festivities, pieces of ancient history, architecture and famous landmarks. The cuisine is something I’m MASSIVELY excited about – trying tapas all around Spain, sipping Sangria under the sun, all those spaghetti dishes, pizza slices and cannolis in Italy, maybe the odd snail in France, pasteis de nata (custard tarts) in Portugal and the enormous amount of hummus and pitta that I’m going to devour in the Greek Islands. Dammit, I’m hungry now. And as for colour, what I mean is the vibrant array of colour and life that exists across Europe. The green in the countryside and the mountains in Interlaken, the multi-coloured houses in Cinque Terre, the orange hues of terracotta roofs in Portugal and Spain, the deep turquoise shades of the Ionian sea.
Fulfilling my goals by seeing as much of Europe as possible in one year.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve had trips in Europe which I have absolutely adored and it’s like a game of domino’s almost, once you’ve knocked down one, you have to keep going and knocking down the rest. What I really mean is I’ve seen a little bit of Europe, and now I just want to see more and more. It’s a personal goal really and once I have achieved this and ticked off as many countries in Europe as I can, then I can think and plan to travel further afield and I’ll have the confidence to do so.
All of the places mentioned in this post are included on my 2016 European tour. All of the photos in this post were taken on my recent trips around Europe over the past couple of years. To find out how I made my final decision to travel solo around Europe, check out Travel Decisions Part One and Part Two.