Europe Road Trip 2015 Vignette

le mont saint michel


Days traveled: 39

Miles traveled: 8750 km (5437 miles)

Countries visited: 10 (Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein)

Cities visited: 35 (including small towns, villages)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: counting, will sum up at the end of my weekly diaries posts

Money spent: $20,000

Europe Road Trip

The story:

Our amazing Western Europe road trip has come to its end.  It was a grand adventure and the longest I’ve ever been on the road non-stop. We traveled fast, didn’t spend more than a few days at one location and constant change of scenery never let us off the bait. Since we were Europe “virgins”, well my boyfriend was a virgin and I sort of tried some things (Germany, France) but never went all the way J, we were smitten by the beauty, the history and the architecture.

I call our trip “Introduction to Europe 101”, as we didn’t explore places extensively, but rather tried to catch the crème de la crème of European wonders.  I got asked many times if such a long journey made me tired and bored and if things started looking dull by the end of the trip. The answer is no. The more I saw, the more I longed to see and explore. Traveling is like a drug. Once you are hooked, it’s hard to quit. By the time we had to go home, I was already dreaming of our next destinations.

What I’ve learned:

As a Russian expat living in the States for over a decade, I should confess the concepts of cultural identity and patriotism have been haunting me for years. Who are we – expats leaving our roots behind and adapting to new ways, new traditions, new mentalities?  As I currently can’t control my frequent bouncing of English and Russian languages, I respectively couldn’t decide which country speaks to me more. And here comes travel – one thing that blurs the edges to further extremes. Did I love Europe? Absolutely! Could I live there? Without question. I guess the answer for me is simple. I value freedom and new experiences to such an extent that saying I dos to one country becomes merely impossible.  My birthplace will always be dear to my heart and I gravitate towards it or anything resemblant greatly. My current residence suits my needs, brings me comfort and in many ways correlates to my new shaped mentality. However, today I can say with certainty that I am no country patriot. I do not believe in any nation being superior to the other and any country being better than the other. Just as people – they are all different and unique, fascinating in some realms and unattractive in others. Balance is the key.

Champaign Region, France

Spanish Steps Rome

Pompei Italy

Eiffel Tower Kiss

Monte Carlo

Neuschwanstein Castle

Coming up: 

Travel Diary WEEK ONE (Germany, Luxemburg, Netehrlands, France)

  • , , , , , , , , , , ,



    Post a Comment