I was lucky this year – I had about twelve days off work for the spring break holiday. What was I going to do with those 12 precious days?
Pick a spot in Europe, start there, and go forth!
And go forth, I did.
I started planning about a month and a half out, and I brought up Google Flights, thought about where I wanted to go, and looked at the geographic possibility of it all.
Within moments, I had it – Vienna. I would fly into Vienna, and I would leave from Krakow. And what to do between those two cities? I would visit Bratislava, Slovakia’s little yet mighty capital city.
I would have to drive hard to see what I wanted to see, maximize my time and all that, but this would be my test as a solo traveler.
Could I face the inevitability of getting lost in many different countries? Buying the wrong ticket? Ending up in someone’s alley, like I had in Ho Chi Minh? Having no language foundation? Asking questions and using gestures?
When I ended up booking a Finnair flight from Hong Kong, I was left with one less day in Europe and with a day’s long stopover in Helsinki. I embraced the challenge of another day, another city. Another possibility of ending up in the wrong spot.
Reading the map wrong and ending up in the wrong spot – my travel MO would become quite ingrained by the end of this trip.
Thus begins my epic European adventure involving all sorts of transportation – minus a donkey cart – and learning the reason why people backpack across the continent, not suitcase.