Europe is the Perfect Place to Explore

London

Landing in London

It’s hard to believe that after a 6.5 hour flight from Toronto I landed in London, England at the Gatwick airport. It is surprising that I’ve never made it to Europe before with it being so close to Canada. Previous to my year off, my travels always seemed to bring me south, to the U.S., Caribbean, Central America, and South America. A 6.5 hour flight seems short compared to my 13.5 hour flight from L.A. to Sydney. With all of the flying I am doing I am getting uses to it, or as used to it as you can. My 65th flight in 12 months landed me in London.

For some reason Europe always seemed so far, so big, and so daunting. My fears kept me from venturing off to Europe before this year. Horror story after another, I always worried about traveling alone in Europe. Europe was always the place where my friends experienced their worst travel memory. Yet, I always dreamed of getting there, but I just didn’t know when or how. I finally made that “when” a now and booked a one month trip through Europe. Getting ready to fly to London was one of my most nerve wrecking pre-travel experiences I have had since I first started traveling in my late teens. My palms started getting sweaty while anticipating my departure. I worried about how I would get from the airport to the hostel, would I be safe traveling alone, would I get lost, or if my stuff would get stolen? I overcame my anxieties and boarded my flight hoping for the best and knowing that everything would work out fine.

London

After arriving into Gatwick airport I quickly went through customs and retrieved my bag. Getting a train from London into the city was fairly easy, especially since I booked it in advance. Although I got lost a couple times walking to the hostel from the train station, I made it eventually with the help of some locals. All fears, anxieties, and worries subsided knowing that I can do anything! If I put my mind to something I know that I can do it even if there are some surprises along the way. It’s ironic to end my 14 months of travel with a place I’ve always pushed to the side due to silly misconceptions. Although I am ending my 14 months of full-time travel, my travels are really just beginning, because I know that Europe will change me and my perspective on travel.

Europe is the perfect place to travel because it’s not that far from Canada and all of the countries are extremely close together, yet each region is rich with its own unique culture, landscape, language, and customs. I’m excited to explore more of this world and to finally venture to a place I ignored for years. Europe has welcomed me with open arms and arriving in London was a breath of fresh air (literally and metaphorically speaking). I couldn’t have been more happy to welcome the wind through my hair and the cool rain on my skin in the 18 degree temperatures, because I knew that I took a leap of faith to do something I didn’t think I could. London is not scary afterall, although a huge city, I surprisingly felt safe traveling in the city. I am excited to explore more of London which I am saving for the end of my European travels before I head back to Canada.Paris

London is the perfect place to begin and end my adventure in Europe because it was my first stop and will be the last place to I will see in Europe. It’s incredible that I landed in London and the next day I drove through England to Dover to take a ferry over to France. After driving through France, I arrived in Paris! Only in Europe can you be in London one day and in Paris the next. Europe is so much better than I expected and it is unfortunate that I put it off for so long, yet this is the perfect time in my life to experience it, appreciate it, and grow from it.

42 thoughts on “Europe is the Perfect Place to Explore

      • And next time Spain will be included?
        Nice you had the posibility to have a break from your job and just travel. So wonderful and you will be back at the job as a great new inspirated teacher Jessica πŸ˜€

      • Yes, I so want to visit glorious Spain. I’ve met girls who just recently returned from there and its one of their favorite countries.
        The break has been amazing; I’ll be ready to teach full steam ahead when I go back to work.

  1. Oh, I’m envious! Glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed it during your first visit. I’m still saving for mine and hopefully I can experience Europe in the nearest future. Cheers!

  2. I hope you are enjoying your Eurotrip!! The thing I most love about Europe is that you can be in 4 countries in one day, only driving… there is always a nice weekend getaway, ohh I love it! I think I cant leave Europe anymore πŸ˜€

  3. Have a great time ~ I enjoyed Paris Cafes, Cafe au Lait, and Petit Pain avec buerre. I enjoyed having a glass of wine at sunset in the Eiffel Tower, visiting the castles on the Loire Valley, and exploring Versailles. I enjoyed seeing painters painting in Montmartre under the stare of Sacre Coeur.

    “Garcon. Une autre bouitelle de vin, s’il vous plait.” *Cheers*

      • Just one trip ~> to Brussels, Paris (and the surrounding area), and London. Most of the trip was spent in France since I went with the French Club in High School.

        Still on my list ~ Scotland/Ireland/England and a Mediterranean Cruise.

      • It all sounds like a great trip to me. Brussels would be amazing, I’m not going to have time to add that to my trip this time around (next time!). Do you still speak/practice French? My boyfriend would love to do a Mediterranean cruise, so we will probably do one in the future.

    • Everything is just so close! I wish it were like that in Canada (and Australia). Traveling around ones own country shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Stay tuned for my European adventure–it’s the last BIG one this year (I’m sure there will be smaller trips, but this is my last big trip abroad before I go back to work).
      Jessica

  4. Welcome to Europe! Even though I have lived here for my whole life, I still feel excited for you. I am interested to see where you choose to visit – you have so many wonderful options – and whether you go to places that I have never been! Good luck and I hope you have lots of fun! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much! Where exactly do you live in Europe? I am excited beyond belief! I hope that I can share some things with you that you didn’t already know, show you places you haven’t been, while also showing you my perspective on places you have visited. It will be a fun exchange!
      Jessica

      • I live near the river Rhine in Germany. It’s a nice central location that allows my wife and I to go visiting lots of places at the weekends with our dog!

      • I’ll be visiting Munich, Dresden, and Berlin in Germany. I love weekend getaways, they are sometimes the best kind of trips because you can go away often and they don’t cost that much. Would you agree?
        Jessica

      • I’ve already travelled from Montreal to Niagara Falls, and I lived in Whistler BC for about 5 months. I’d love to travel further north than Montreal, but I have no plans at the moment. I’m planning to go to Alaska next year, and I’m hoping to be able to venture across the border into Canada then and see a bit of the north west.

      • Well then, you have done quite a bit! Northern Canada is beautiful with so many natural experiences. Have you seen any of my posts from Northern Ontario? You always have time to make plans in the future. Alaska is amazing! You will love it. You’ll definitely be able to get over to the Yukon while in Alaska.

  5. At last, you’re on our side of the pond. Yay! I am surprised that it took you that long. It’s ironical that North Americans are daunted and anxious about Europe. We feel the same abou you. Not so much Canada, but of the US! I’ve been to America and we were so scared of the stories we’d heard of the crime and security Levels. It was fine. We had a great time!
    Have lots of fun in France!

      • We spent a month in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. It was winter but we went to about 4-6 National Parks I think. I couldn’t believe how nice and friendly everyone was. Just like the movies!
        ps. When are you coming to Berlin? You know you’ve got to, don’t you. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • I love California! I’ve probably spent an accumulated 3 months in California in my lifetime. I’ve yet to visit Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, but I have heard good things. The national parks in the U.S. are amazing. I’m glad you had a positive experience in the U.S.

      • California was amazing. You’re so right. I’d happily go back. San Francisco was also amazing and the National Parks, especially the Grand Canyon were “Wow!!” Next place in the US an adult-only Broadway, Bars, and fancy restaurants, week in New York. Probably next year!

      • San Francisco is amazing, although it is expensive! Did you make it to Yosemite national park? I wrote about it on my blog.

        New York is another exciting U.S. city. It seems like we can go and on here.

        Jess

      • We did go to Yosemite, it was awesome, but back to Europe. You’re going to have a fantastic time. Yes, some places are expensive but if you attach yourself to the locals, you’ll be surprised how many things are cheaper than you expected or even free on certain days and at certain times. I’ll let someone else “talk” now. Have fun! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Yosemite is really awesome.
        Europe is more expensive than I am used to (or expected), especially the big cities like Paris and London. Free and cheap is always good!

  6. Jessica, I have now travelled to Europe 8 times in the past 12 years and each time it gets better and easier. I have never been afraid or worried but I sure have ended up in some unpleasant situations including being robbed by gypsies at termini in Roma but I survived it all unharmed. Each time I go I learn more ways to make my trips easier and more affordable. So I wish you a fabulous journey cause I know – once you have been you are constantly thinking of and planning your next trip. Lyn

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