I have made an executive life decision: I’m traveling to Europe.
I don’t care who the hell else wants to come, but it’s happening. I refuse to keep putting it off for reasons like “oh I’ll do that later, when I have time to make intricate plans” or “I’m saving up a week’s worth of vacation to go back home” or “I don’t think I can take time off work”. I mean, all three of those things are important to take into consideration, but all I’m doing now is making excuses.
Yesterday I was watching Anthony Bourdain travel across Quebec and Tangier, and then the travel bug bit my butt. It wasn’t just the food — though I would definitely need to be adventurous about that, if I were traveling in Europe. It was the entire idea of sticking yourself in an unknown situation, with minimal resources and an entirely different culture. The dream, the whole idea behind this, is the image of me sitting in some random cafe, listening to people speaking a language I don’t understand, eating something I can’t get anywhere else, looking through a foreign newspaper and making a game out of figuring out what’s going on (root words, yeah!).
Normally I would’ve said London, Paris and Berlin were the cities I’d hope to hit up, but I’m now switching gears entirely and thinking Eastern Europe, exclusively. Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia are all on the table now.
Ideally, as I was discussing with another friend, you’d do Europe on a long-term trip, or split it into five or so trips. One would be the UK, of course. Then you could move slowly eastward, covering France and the Netherlands, working inwards to Germany, detouring into Italy, back up to the Eastern European countries, Romania, Bulgaria, giving Ukraine a nice wide berth, then coming back around somehow to Greece, and then Spain and Portugal. Possibly by way of Algiers or Casablanca.
Now that would really be something.
But unless someone’s paying me to write about sourcing vegetarian options for adventurous travelers in Europe, I can’t make all that work. So I’ll have to pick a region and just… go.