I feel like a really lazy expat in Europe.
When I first came to Switzerland for a study abroad experience, all my other friends were traveling all over Europe for around one month before their terms started in Germany. I was the only one in my class heading to Switzerland so I chose not to join my friends traveling.
I had a paid internship in Ohio and while my parents were generously paying my school tuition, I had to foot the study abroad bill myself. I refused to go into credit card debt or take out a loan for study abroad, so I limited my travel to what I could afford and headed to Switzerland after a long summer working.
For three months on my visitors visa, I spent almost every weekend within Switzerland traveling to different towns, large and small, so I could feel like I really got to know Switzerland itself. After my stay was up and I needed to exit the country, I planned a train trip through Germany to visit all of my friends in their respective German locations. During my entire stay, I never needed to pay for a hostel or hotel!
It worked out well. My budget was happy and I felt like I got to see a fair amount of Switzerland and Germany during my stay, but I missed out on a lot of European biggies. France, Italy, England… I didn’t see any of them and when I returned to the States I really felt like I would have to come do a big European backpacking trip to make up for it.
Now I’ve been living here for four years and shamefully, I haven’t gotten around to doing a lot. In fact, it took me FOUR years to take a 4 hour train ride down to Italy. Blasphemy.
It seems that “There’s always next month…” has derailed my travel excitement. Between Kay’s flighty schedule and my laziness, I just haven’t gotten around to traveling around Europe that much. Since those university days I’ve been to Paris, Stockholm, Dublin, Madrid, Vienna (thanks to Kay this summer!), a few more German cities and finally Milan after I told Kay that I refused to travel to Germany again before we went to Italy.
Here are the top European cities I would really like to visit on a long weekend in 2013:
Oh my God… I haven’t been to England yet. This is also blasphemous. I cured my Italy-visit status, but if I am to be a real member of European society, I must, must visit London this year and soak up all the English breakfast and tea I can get.
Although I’ve been to Italy once now, it wasn’t nearly enough and I know there is still much more to explore. I’m really meaning to visit Venice before it sinks so that I can enjoy a coffee on the waterside.
Yes, another biggie. I’ve been planning to go to Rome for a few years now, but it’s always a question of when and how as it can be very hot in the summer and uncomfortably cold in the winter. Autumn seems to fly by with Kay’s military time and spring is expensive with Easter. There’s never a good time!
I have a bunch of other cities and countries around Europe that I would like to visit, but I’m keeping this list short so that it remains somewhat realistic. We haven’t started planning our 2013 holidays yet, so there’s no telling where we’ll wind up.
Where would you travel in Europe?