The grass is always greener on the other side. I think that this is what drives people to travel. I have many friends and acquaintances overseas; some that I met online, some that I met or showed around here in the Netherlands and obviously many that I met on the road or living, travelling abroad. All these people are from different continents in the world, male, female, gay, straight, old, young, extravert, introvert, religious, atheists… I can keep going forever. What I wanted to emphasise was that all people I know are very different and still they have something in common. Whether someone is from Australia, the United States or South-America, there will always be a time when I read their ecstatic facebook-status updates about them having booked a flight to Europe.
Personally, as a European, I never quite understood what all the excitement was about, until I leared to see the beauty that can be found in many countries close to me, almost in my own backyard even. Europe has a lot too offer and all destinations are rather close by, seems perfect right?
Unfortunately, everything being relatively close to each other often results in the same mistake, stereotypically made by Americans, but in reality made by any foreigner: wanting to see too many places in too little time. Seriously, I have heard stories of people who were trying to fit 10 countries in a fortnight. This is theoretically possible, but can you imagine only viewing all those beautiful sights passing by at top speed from your train window? The trip will be nothing but packing, unpacking and being on the move, without the opportunity to breathe in the wonderous new world that you found yourself in.
For your own good, please take my advice and don’t make the common mistake mentioned above, but instead read about two or three places that you want to explore and enjoy your time there. Life will give you plenty of chances to return to Europe and collect all the countries (and since many are tiny, there are quite a few of them as you can see below).
Countries in Europe (16/55)
*bold, underlinded, italic countries I have visited
*linked countries have got their own page already
*countries in brackets are transcontinental states. Partly in Europe, partly in Asia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
– Northern Ireland