I’m a 22-year-old student who had the amazing opportunity to travel around Europe the summer before I graduate college and step into the real world. 6 weeks around Europe has been on my bucket list and I was so excited for the chance to actually do it.
I have been to central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico but have never traveled to Europe until now. When you travel half way across the world for the first time, you think things like “What have I gotten myself into?” and “Well, crap..” It is a very nervous, overwhelming, and riveting experience. Not knowing your way around a new place is nerve racking. You’re never going to feel comfortable. But being completely out of your comfort zone, I learned, is the best part.
Lost in the city? Good
Don’t know any basics of the native language? Good
6 weeks of constant travel was exhausting. It isn’t always as pretty as you think it would be. But the journey will change you. It will inspire you and you will be in awe of everything around you. I’ve never been so tired in my life. But I’ve also never been so happy. I experienced history in the making as a country was torn apart as the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I experienced the continuous excitement of numerous soccer fan from all over the world cheering for their home country during the Euro Cup in Paris. And I stood atop of an active volcano in Italy. I learned so many things while traveling. I learned about people outside of my home country. I learned about other cultures. I learned to open my mind more. I learned to be more accepting. I learned how to be alone. I learned how to let go and to enjoy the adventures as they come.
9 countries, 17 cities, in 42 days and they all had something great to offer.
Spain taught me how to dance like no one is watching
Italy taught me that going back in time is real and eating pizza and gelato for every single meal is completely acceptable
Switzerland taught me what it means to be unique
Germany taught me that there are many true stereotypes as there are false ones
France taught me how to get really lost
The Netherlands taught me to expect the completely unexpected
England taught me to love new things
Wales taught me to never underestimate anything
Ireland taught me the importance of tradition
Whoever said “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends” wasn’t kidding.
I took something home with me everywhere I went. And I can’t wait to go back.