You wish to get out and go somewhere, but you won’t because you don’t have anyone with whom to travel.
You can comfortably pull off whatever needed at home all by yourself, but for some reason, you hesitate when it comes to soloing out into the world.
The need to travel with someone else is something I still wrap my head to understand.
Where is Moldova?
It’s in the top 100 places to visit before you die. Moldova snubbed France last year for the number one tourist destination in Europe. It is the Alps of Europe’s the Far East. The capital of Moldova, Chisinau, is fast becoming the tech hub of Eastern Europe. Moldova is becoming a lot of things.
So you want to visit a new country each month for 12 months and later on to see every country of Europe or any continent.
First you lay out an annual calendar and marked all public holidays on it.
(Read the first part “The Germanized Slavs“)
I found a new love. I loved spread sheets. I loved everything that had columns and rows so I could put bits and pieces of data into cells. By using spreadsheets I was able to dig into the giant blob of the travel industry, organize my research and record my activities. I listed every day and broke it into blocks of time like first half, second half or morning, day and evening. I identified every possible action points including simplest task such as “taking the bus to the airport”, “getting from the train station to the guest house” or “check-in online”. I filled the next columns with details of the places, contact information, reference numbers, etc.
Wait! What about surprises? What about just let things happen? (Read “How a Missed Bus Turned into an European Extravaganza“)
You can forget that dealing with Czechs.
The Czechs are strange kinds of Slavs. They don’t resemble other Slavs I have encountered, who are more slovenly in their habits and actions. In contrast, the Czechs are fastidious in nature, possessing a weird sense of orderliness, not only uncharacteristic for Slavic people, but also for people from post-communist countries.
If you live in Prague, you travel to Budapest. If you’re on an extended Central European trip, you make Budapest and Prague parts of the journey. These two cities are twins, iconic representatives of the former Communist Central Europe.
Seriously? A sound recommendation on how best to run away from home is to find another home and settle down?
When I was a child and then teenager, I fixated on idle boat ride on shallow water and bumpy ship journey across open sea. As I got older, overnight train, long-distance bus and road-trip got added to the mix. In this millennium, online shoutout and social hash tags boat voyage and land transport are shortened to #rtw, glorying round-the-world trip spanning major continents and world cities.
So I didn’t get to driff off indefinitely and tag my vagabonding as #rtw, but I stumbled into another kind of traveling, less roaming and less world-bound. I moved to one region, stayed put and became region-bound. I became Eurocentric.
For starter, this kind of traveling is much easier than the traditional #rtw where you will likely need to sell everything or put everything away, quit everything and do nothing but rounding up the world.
I arrived in Zurich by train from Feldkirch, Austria quite early in the morning and had almost half a day until my bus back to Prague would depart. Three days ago, I took an overnight bus from Prague to Zurich, hopped on a train from Zurich to Feldkirch Austria, my base to visit Liechtenstein. I quickly stored my backpack at the train station and inquired about the free bike service. Yup, you could rent a bike for free in one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Perhaps the city wants to encourage people to switch to bike and free the streets of cars, attract more tourists or experiment different method of advertising.
While researching for the trip, I found a travel forum that suggested biking in Liechtenstein. When I stayed in Feldkirch, Austria, a city located on the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein, I checked with other people about biking to Liechtenstein from here but got talked down. Tourists at the hostel where I was staying all took the bus to Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. At first, I didn’t want to go. My overeaten-breakfast stomach and discouraging comments from other hostelers almost convinced me to buy a day pass and hop on the Liechtenstein bus to enjoy a smooth ride. Thank god my curiosity got over my laziness, and I took bus no.2 to Hotel Gasthof Löwen to rent a bicycle. (www.hotel-loewen.at)
Feldkirch is a no-name little town in Austria. You have no business of going there unless you find yourself scratching your head and wondering how will you do Switzerland and Liechtenstein in a limited amount of time and under a shoestring budget.
Living in Central Europe is great. Where else can you make a very last-minute decision to go to another country, not one but three other countries, a few hours before the actual trip?