European Year Off: Frequently Asked Questions

10 Days till Heathrow…

PragueLast weekend I visited Vassar to say hello before I escaped away to my cabin for another week. It was great to see everyone, and I noticed almost everyone had the same questions about this European trip I’m about to begin. For the people who I haven’t been staying in touch with, I can’t imagine how many questions you guys have. And so, I feel it is probably the right time to write a Frequently Asked Questions for my year off:
Where are you going?
I can tell you where I’m starting, and where I’d like to go, but I have no absolutely guaranteed destinations except for my first: London. Cities I would be foolish to miss include: Copenhagen [Denmark], Vienna [Austria], Prague [Czech Republic], Rome Venice Florence Bologna [Italy], Berlin [Germ.], Paris [Fr], Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba [Spain], Amsterdam [Ho],….
How long will you be over there?
From 7-10 Months. I have a ticket back from London on May 1st (because I may return for Founder’s Day) but I may stay longer.
What are you bringing?
I’m taking a Gregory ‘Whitney‘ backpack filled with what I hope will be all I need for the Fall seasons. I’m bringing minimal clothing (3 Shirts 2 pants 4 socks 1 pair of boots and a roll of duct tape {and some more goodies}) and I’ll experiment/throw things out as I go to lighten the load. I’m keeping the gadgets to a minimum. Only a Petzl headlamp and a Garmin Etrex GPS receiver.
Will you visit me when I’m in AmazingCity, EuropeanCountry?
Yes. If you have sent me your address, I will do my best to come see you and share with you hitchhiking stories and hang out.
So, like, you’re just not studying at all?
Nope. And on top of that, I was reclassified to 2008. It’s like I’m in an undefinable gate of heaven–in limbo between real academia and absolute independent worldy experimentation. It’s bloody awesome.
So that’s all groovy, but what exactly will you dooOOoo for all that time?
Phew. I’m glad someone finally asked me that, because I wasn’t sure myself. Honestly… only in the past month have I considered all those hours, weeks, and months on my own. The first phew weeks of planning I focused on how to get from one place to another. As a general rule, I’ll take one city at a time, leaving all options open. I may have stints where I travel around with like-minded Euro-folk I meet in hostels… there may be weeks where I spend a lot time in modern art museums.
I know for a fact that I’ll be spending a lot of time hiking around Interlocken in Switzerland in the Spring. As a rough-around-the-edges thought experiment, here’s a sample itinerary for Dublin: I’ll wake up in a homely ol’ hostel and give myself a little stretch and feedmeself some jam and bread. I’ll cruise over to the wall map of the surrounding area, and find some trails to hike. I’ll trek through the mists and over rocky mounds, then brunch on wicked strong cheeses and powerful sausages atop thick Irish rolls. I’ll saunter back to the city, peak in some museums, and socialize with the townies. Thing worth seeing, I’ll see. And doings worth doing will be done. A few weeks of this might satisfy me for even 3 cities, but I’ve got 7 months, sugar.
Only cities? But why?
Unless I can find a place to stay in the lesser-populated areas of Europe, I’ll be spending most of my time in Hostels and places accepting payment.
Are you scared?
Yeah. Scared I’ll have too much fun and crap myself.

Do you have a question? Respond below or click here.

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