The Beginner Traveller – Destination: Europe

Lake Bled - Slovenia

Are you a beginner traveller?

Desperate to travel, but don’t know where to start? Are you a beginner traveller, but are a little nervous? We all have to start somewhere, and we chose Europe.
In the next few blog posts, we will cover our trip around Europe.
This will include:
The planning stage
Our experiences
Things we learnt along the way
Everything else we feel a beginner traveller needs to know

We both agree that from personal experience, Europe is potentially the best place to start if you are a beginner traveller, for many reasons. So in this first post on our ‘Destination: Europe’ series, we will talk about why.

So, why Europe?

For us personally, Europe worked perfectly for us as beginner travellers. We live in England, so being part of Europe (let’s not talk about Brexit…) even before research this seemed like a logical to start. Factoring in the fact that we have a mere 6 weeks for our big adventure, we needed somewhere we could cover the most ground the quickest.

Our trip would have been a non-starter if it wasn’t to do with Europe’s exceptional transport system – trains, buses and underground. Most people have heard of someone going “interrailing” and we figured we’d give this a go ourselves. It enabled us to get from point A to point B with ease – and didn’t cost an arm and a leg! Not that any point A and B are too far away in Europe (I think our longest train was roughly 6 hours).

Another great appeal is the history. From walking the same streets as Julius Caesar in Rome, to experiencing the emotional atmosphere of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. There is something for everyone no matter your favourite period of time. Nearly every street has its own story to tell, some up to 2,000 years old. Take in every site, because you’re bound to stumble across what looks like a real fairy tale castle in Europe.

For those who favour the great outdoors more than a good museum, we experienced some jaw dropping hikes, and beautiful parks. You can almost guarantee a choice of walking (or cycling) tours in every major city. Our two personal favourite day trips out were Lake Bled in Slovenia, and Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.

Plitvice Lakes - Croatia
Plitvice Lakes – Croatia

As mentioned, we were on a limited time scale. This meant that we had to be a little fussy on where we went and for how long. We wanted an overview of Europe, and both agree there are places we would love to return for an extended period of time to fully appreciate and explore. This unfortunately also meant we had to miss out two massive countries we wanted to visit; Poland and Spain. This was due to them being a good 10 hour+ train journey, so we just did not have the time.

We are also exceptionally lucky (and lazy) that the English language is such a common language across Europe. Hands down other European countries make a much greater effort to learn English than vice versa. Leah knows some basics of German – which helped in Germany, Hungary, and Austria. But asides from that, we worked with learning the basics “hello”, “please”, “thank you” and “goodbye”. We would highly advise learning these as a bare minimum. We found manners (and the attempt) went a long way, and even the most broken attempt was appreciated – usually brought out a smile and a response in better English than my own!

If you are a massive foodie, you will love Europe. Hayley has a massive sweet tooth – croissants, pain au chocolat, waffles and crepes made up 99% of her diet whilst we were away. Leah just loves bread. Everything came with, or in, bread. (No.1 in Leah’s Best Sandwiches of Her Life ranking was in Berlin). Overall, Europe is home to some amazing food – from being brave with escargot in Paris, extensive cheeseboards in Amsterdam, to the best lasagne with a stunning Florentine view.

Have we persuaded you yet?

We hope by now we have convinced you that Europe has so much to offer. We have just highlighted a few key elements of our own experiences that consolidated Europe of our first travel destination. In the next few blog posts we’ll cover our planning stage, some do’s and don’t’s, as well as some of our favourite adventures across the content.

Thanks for reading, and please don’t forget to comment. Let us know your own thoughts on Europe!
Leah and Hayley x

Bled Castle - Slovenia

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