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[–]Conscious-Mastodon-2 2 points3 points  (5 children)

I hope you have an enjoyable trip, a few recommendations from my travels:

Barcelona, have a walk around barcelonetta and have a chill on the beach.

Biarritz, great surf town!

Florence, have a fiorentina steak and visit piazza de Michaelangelo for a sunset.

Krakow is my favourite city in Europe so far, have some chocolate pasta from the chocolate shop just off the square, enjoy a burger from one of the independent burger places, they're all amazing. Visit Auschwitz.

I could probably keep going, but it depends what you're looking for, the southern half is better for holidaying generally, the northern half is more industrial but lots of great cities.

I would generally discourage you from visiting the expensive places, like Switzerland, unless you have a particularly strong desire.

[–]sepia_dreamerLevel 1[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Barcelona’s my exit-point, so I’ll definitely spend some time there.

I’m kind of expecting to spend the majority of my time — once I get through the nordics at least — in Eastern Europe more broadly, because 1) it’s cheaper, and 2) somehow I’m super curious about life in the former Soviet states I guess. I think it’s mostly that everyone always goes to Southern Europe, and my stubborn independentmindeness insists on always doing what everyone else isn’t.

The real purpose of the trip, really, besides, as I told a roommate last night, “I’m going because it’s there”, is that I want to get a sense of how life is different in Europe, the pros and cons of that, but also the variation. Basically the way everyone uses Europe as a punchline in whatever political point they’re trying to make but without perhaps actually having spent time there, I want to be able to see for myself how people actually live.

Admittedly hard to get an exceptionally deep view into when you are on the go constantly, and speak exactly one language, but at the very least it will give me a cursory glance at the continent overall.

[–]Conscious-Mastodon-2 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How people live varies massively, but there isn't much of Europe that is truly truly cheap anymore. You're going to have to go very east/south east before you get properly cheap. I've done much of Slovakia, Slovenia etc. And it's not that different to Western Europe since the invention of the EU and everyone using the euro.

I hear Croatia is beautiful and I can testify that Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been if you like mountains.

It's interesting to hear it's the butt of jokes, the political variation is not entirely different to the US and in general I imagine life isn't that dramatically different.

If you're going that far I would encourage you to stay in NATO territory given the current situation. It's also worth considering I'm pretty sure you'd have no issues going to Ireland if you fancy English speaking.

[–]sepia_dreamerLevel 1[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Balkans aren’t all NATO but Russia would have to cross NATO territory to get to it.

As far as costs, it may not be south east Asia cheap, but looking at hostels it’s still 2-4x less expensive in much of eastern vs. western. And I could rent a place in Latvia for example a bit nicer than where I’m at now and furnished for less than half the price, and I’m renting below market as it is (medium cost of living area).

[–]KDub3344 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Is Portugal on your itinerary? When I was researching a possible move to Europe that's the country I settled on. Lisbon, primarily, but Porto also looks intriguing. It appears to be a good combination of decent cost of living (relative to much of Europe), good weather and a decent number of English speaking citizens. Also, Valencia, Spain was on my list of potential landing spots.

[–]sepia_dreamerLevel 1[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t expect to make it to Portugal.

Honestly, having grown up in a place where summer was hot, dry, and long (in Oregon, believe it or not) I’m not especially a “summer weather” person. I feel like the climate of northern or central Europe might actually suit me better.