Europe: The Craziest Thing I Did in 2017


Would you travel to six countries in two weeks by yourself?

Well, that’s what I did last summer. After graduating college I needed to do something out of the ordinary, call it the “post-grad crisis”; so I booked a one-way flight to France, called some friends I knew in Western Europe, and was on my way to my first Eurotrip.

[Disclaimer: I was booking flights and Airbnb very close to my arrival time in each city. I got great deals but advise anyone taking a trip overseas to make sure the flights and places are available way in advance.]

Countries I visited:

Paris, France

I had family friends here so it was a good start to my trip. I got to see the tourist spots as well as spend time with locals who knew how to get around well. I am grateful that I did not get lost and did some amazing shopping (i.e., Colette). I was there during Men’s Fashion week and got a glimpse of a show.

Barcelona, Spain

I missed my flight to Spain which cut my time there to only 48 hours. Once I arrived, I had a 3-bedroom Airbnb to myself, right off Las Ramblas, for $50. I had the best sangria, felt like a Cheetah Girl, and partied on the beach hours before my next flight.

Florence, Italy

This place topped in the history and food department. I ran into the members of DNCE twice and saw the sunrise at Piazzale Michelangelo. You know that scene in the Lizzie Mcguire Movie where she's on a moped ride in Italy? Yes, that was me. Before going vegan, I had the best T-bone steak of my life in Firenze.

Me in Italy.

London, United Kingdom (2x)

Already sleep-deprived, I met up with my friend to continue the second half of the journey. I hung out for a few days in London before we went to Amsterdam. The most memorable place I visited was Nando's...kidding it was Duck & Waffle.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

No comment.

Brussels, Belgium

Aside from the apparent animosity between the Dutch and the French, the city is amazing. I went to a festival called Couleur Café and saw amazing acts live like Princess Nokia.

I had a long layover in Iceland but missed out on the Blue Lagoon.

Tips for travel:

  1. Google Flights is the GOAT.
  2. Use Airbnb or hostels if you are trying to save.
  3. Carry cash, make sure you are charged the country’s currency if using credit/debit card and not the USD.
  4. Lonely Planet helps to plan out attractions.
  5. Ask locals where to visit and eat.

the Take Away:

Every few days I was on a plane headed another country (the flights were ~$50). I made it a point to visit a very high point in each city in order to get perspective. I felt really small in these new places but happy because I was fortunate enough to experience the culture. The USA has a short history compared to Europe and enjoyed seeing the older architecture and art. The food was richer and the people were very proud to tell me about their home and represent their country as an ambassador.

Pierrah Hilaire