It was my junior year of college and I knew that I would never have quite the time in the summer as I would as being on summer vacation as a student. Summer 2008 was the last time I could take a month off: no bills, no career, no rent. I could travel freely without the responsibilities of adulthood to tie me down.
I knew a lot people who dreamed of taking such a trip, but they said they would go when they have the time, when they retire, or when they have the money. Newsflash: you’ll never have the time, you have to make the time; you’ll never have extra money just sitting around, you have to budget for travel. As for waiting until you retire… how sad. As I believe, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I didn’t know anyone who had ever backpacked before, so the whole planning experience was based on research. From buying the plane and train tickets, to where to stay, and what to pack; my spring semester was full. Where does one even begin in planning of such a trip?
First I decided when I wanted to go, for how long, and how many countries I wanted to get under my belt. I picked the middle of May to Friday the 13th of June; a whole glorious month in Europe. I chose this time period based on trying to avoid the summer tourism and to beat the summer heat for walking around with a heavy backpack on.
Laying out a plan of the path I would take through Europe to cover the most ground proved to be a great strategy. London, England stayed as my base of travel as I did a clockwise route through western Europe.
I will go into more detail about how to prepare for a month in Europe in my upcoming blogs, as well as my experience there.