by Erin Elaine
I’ve just booked a trip to Barcelona for the first 4 days of November! Also 2 days in Segovia next weekend. I’m excited to get out and see more of Spain!
The way I’ve thought about traveling in Europe has changed a lot since I got this job. Before, I would assume that I could save up for 2 years and take a 2 month trip to Europe for one summer break. It would be the height of tourist season, and I still wouldn’t be able to see every place I wanted to see, but it would be a great trip. A lot of people don’t even have the luxury of being able to take 2 months off. For most people, a 2 week trip is all they can manage, so 2 months is pretty lucky. In 2 months I figured I could fit in Paris, Rome, a couple Greek islands, Ireland, Bavaria, a little bit of Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Now that I’m living here, I’m considering possibilities I’ve never considered before. I’m learning about places I never even knew existed – such as Plitvice Lakes in Croatia! I’m considering going places I wouldn’t have had time to visit otherwise – such as the ruins of Pompeii, or the fjords of Norway, or the Cinque Terre, or any number of places. Now that I’ve got time, I can really plan trips that I wouldn’t have been able to consider otherwise. It makes me feel so excited and grateful to be here.
It’s kind of funny that I’m making less money than I would be if I were employed as a teacher in the US. But with this money, I’m able to do more with it, because I’m so close to all these cool places. Should I go to Rothenburg in the winter, or in the summer? Should I spend 4 days in Paris or 5? Should I spend 5 days on the Amalfi coast during spring break or should I make it 3 and do 2 days in Rome? Should I take a train to France or fly? Should I see the Swiss Alps in March or May? So many choices! Life is grand. 🙂
Exactly. A choice for Europe isn’t just a choice for your particular country or city, it’s a choice to be able to cheaply travel on the regular, instead of saving up for one trip every year or few as if it was a huge luxury. Traveling anywhere from the US west coast is insanely expensive, as you know all too well!
Yep! I’m loving Madrid, but I would’ve jumped at the chance to teach anywhere in Europe, because I love traveling. Everything is so close together here, and so much variation and diversity in such a small area! Traveling within the US mostly means traveling to see different *places*, with very little variation in culture, food, music, language, history, etc. In Europe you can travel 100 miles away and be met with a completely different and exciting culture! I can’t wait to explore. 🙂