If you are reading this, there’s an excellent chance you are arranging a visit to Europe. The trip of a life, possibly. The trip of a life in which you wish to watch and experience and eat and odor and absorb as much as you can.
You’ve likely been thumbing through heaps of manual books, spending hundreds of hours clicking through sites, and establishing an itinerary that is about two miles long.
How do I know that? Since I get tons of emails every week from people asking me to look within their forthcoming trip. And, with the rare exception, almost everyone has packaged their visit into the gills.
HERE IS MY ADVICE TO ALL TRAVELERS: Make the time to absorb the areas you go to.
Now, I 1000% know why you would want to see as many areas as you can. And, if you are an American, then you receive a laughably small amount of holiday time to travel, so you would like to feel as if you are making excellent use of your time.
I had the specific same mindset within my first visit to Europe. I spent three days in London, four times in Ireland (I visited three towns), two nights at Kraków, two nights in Budapest, two nights in Prague, two nights in Munich, two nights at Switzerland, a day excursion to Salzburg, 1 night at Frankfurt, three nights at Amsterdam, 1 night at Bruges, three nights at Paris, per night in Glasgow, two nights at Edinburgh… I believe you get the notion.
Looking back now, I understand that I recall hardly any of my excursion. And that is really depressing. I never let myself the opportunity to encounter each place as well as I ought to have.
In reality, I had been moving places so frequently I could barely recall all of the things I’d done the week before… that brings me to my second point…
Among the biggest risks of travel at breakneck rates is that the inevitable burnout. I could not stand to see the other museum, I was tired of eating out all of the time, I was physically tired since hostels are not the quietest places to sleep, and that I did not wish to package and unpack my backpack each 2 days.
So back to my first point: SLOW DOWN.
Give yourself an opportunity to encounter each city you see — even if this means seeing fewer locations. Because what is the point of saying, “I have seen 13 countries” in case you can hardly remember anything you watched. Europe is not going anyplace. You’re able to return.
Another thing I have noticed after speaking to folks who have traveled fast is that they have a larger amount of negative encounters. As an instance, I know a great deal of those who have loathed Paris after seeing it but just about all of them just spent two or three times dashed times there. That is because Paris, and towns like it, take one to slow down to genuinely enjoy it. You are intended to stroll leisurely through the streets, like a glass of wine in a sidewalk cafe for 2 hours, and allow the atmosphere beverage in. But if you dash from landmark to landmark and museum to museum you are likely to come off with a hurried and warped perspective of town.
It is absolutely fine to make a complete itinerary, but do not go overboard.
You will return.
Enjoy your journey!