When I told people half a year ago I would quit my job to go travelling again, a lot of them seemed excited, maybe even a bit envious, because I had managed to escape the routine to go exploring – and they hadn’t.
However, when they asked me where I was going, they seemed to be a bit disappointed (or maybe even releaved?).
“Oh, you are just travelling around Europe…” like: “Oh, you are just going to the supermarket…”
I sometimes get the notion that, being from Europe, travelling in your own backyard doesn’t seem to be exciting enough anymore.
After all, more exotic destinations like South America, Africa and Asia have been on the travel-menu for years now.
However, I want to believe that I chose my destination wisely.
I wanted to start my travels at home. I wanted to go from the top to the bottom of Western Europe – and I am far from having seen it all.
I spend half a year exploring places off the beaten track all the way from Scotland to Portugal and I fell in love with a continent I find myself lucky enough to call home.
In fact, I am fairly certain I could travel here for the rest of my life without ever getting bored.
Reasons why people from abroad come all the way to meet us, are obvious: The history, the culture, the languages, the food, the romance… But are we still aware of the fact that we are living on one of the most diverse continents in the world? Well, I know that I had forgotten about it.
When fellow travellers hear that I live in Berlin, their eyes fill with excitement and they tell me just how much they love my city… well, to be honest they tell me even more.
They tell me about all the museums, clubs, bars, restaurants, flea markets, parks and churches they have been to and I just give them puzzled looks (… often enough I have no idea what they are talking about).
Today I am glad that I resisted the temptation to run off to far-away shores like I did on my very first trip to Australia in 2008. Travelling at home made me understand and appreciate where I come from.
I know now: Adventure is out there.
It is right in front your doorstep. You can travel overnight to the city of romance, you can explore some of the best surf spots in the world, you can have actual winters with snow, you can get lost in the mountains… you can do anything here, really.
As for me, half a year of travelling around Europe comes to an end with christmas – and I can’t wait to see more of it! Thanks to an organisation called workaway I was welcomed into a lot of peoples homes and I am grateful for all the invitations I got to come back one day – which I will.
Because after all, they are only a short plane-ride away.