3 month europe backpacking recap

3 month europe backpacking recap

on july 1st, we took a risk and boarded a one-way flight to europe with no definite plans or timeline.
we had some unexpected time off ahead of us (i’ll explain more about that tomorrow), and in a
matter of weeks we had decided to pack up all of our belongings, sell the rest, move out
of our apartment in san francisco, and head to europe with a suitcase and backpack each.
europetoday on october 1st, we’ve been on the road nonstop for 3 solid months. hotel to hostel to airbnb
every night. in and out of about 30 countries. it’s been the craziest, best, worst, funniest, most
once-in-a-lifetime experience together that we would never trade for anything. i still have a
lot of catching up to do from our travels… so there will be more posts after this, but i
wanted to mark the end of our “time on the road” today. and, we have exciting
next steps ahead that i’m posting about tomorrow! in the meantime…

three months of travel summed up:

•• in and out of about 25 countries

•• ordered dessert every single night…without fail

•• spent zero days apart…and almost zero hours spent apart

•• countless bad haircuts for chase

•• only one pharmacy visit

•• countless card games on the train

•• 20 books read between both of us

•• thousands of photos and videos filling up our computers (will i ever catch up??)

•• zero thefts, other than chase’s hat on the train in naples – ha!

•• i-don’t-want-to-know-how-much spent on bottles of water and public bathrooms

•• one too many gelatos purchased (just kidding, can never be too many)

•• full european breakfast enjoyed almost every morning

•• don’t want to know how many pounds probably gained (all worth it)

•• thousands of steps walked (I will let you know exactly how many when I check the date on my samsung galaxy active – I managed to keep this safe the whole trip thanks to my secure strap from Mobile Mob)

•• hours of logistics and last minute planning

•• lots of muscles gained from hauling our backpacks

•• hours spent finding our hotels from the train stations..and hours of arguing about directions..hehe

•• dozens of last-minute spontaneous decisions

•• zero home-cooked meals, (actually, one made by yennie’s mom here.. but none by me!)

•• one time fully getting on the WRONG train and ending up 2 countries away. it had a sweet ending though.

•• dozens of loaves of bread and blocks of cheese consumed

•• never once passed up a sauna

•• countless hours in museums

•• thousands of whiffs of second-hand smoke consumed ;)

•• chocolate becoming a main staple in breakfast, lunch, and dinner

•• glasses and glasses of sparkling water consumed, always sans ice :(

•• late nights staying up until 3 AM to watch the start of football season

•• hours of facetime sessions with our loved ones back home

eurobackpackingroute

starting in london ? to dublin ? to all over ireland ? to denmark ? to amsterdam ? to paris ? to poland ?
to norway ? sweden ? finland ? to the baltics: estonia ? latvia ? lithuania ? to milan & lake como ?
to interlaken, and through the swiss alps ? to zurich ? through luxembourg ? to munich and neuschwanstein
? to salzburg & vienna ? to bratislava ? to budapest ? onto croatia: zagreb, plitvice lakes, split, dubrovnik, +
islands ? to bosnia ? to montenegro ? across to bari, ? to naples & the amalfi coast ? up to venice ? to trieste,
and ALL through slovenia ? back to salzburg by mistake, which turned sweet ? to HALLSTATT ? to innsbruck,
then onto beautiful zermatt to hike the matterhorn ? to montreux, gruyères, and broc ? to geneva ? back into
france: dijon, tours, loire valley, and paris again ? back to milan for the world expo, to madrid for chase to start
off his MBA part-time program, through london for a month and finally…. i’ll tell you the next step tomorrow!!

i think my favorite new spot was norway, hands down. it was just too incredible.
other favorites were lake como, zermatt, denmark, and gruyeres switzerland.
i truly loved every place, but those were some very favorites. taking chase back to meet
my french host family was also the biggest highlight. we’ve truly loved it all, good or bad,
because it’s been hilarious and adventurous and new. i feel like i’ve learned a lot
more this time in europe about the people, the culture, the history, and other issues
since we’ve had more time here and been able to soak things in more over time.
europebackpackingi strung together an idea of our route to show how we did it, but now by the end
it just looks insane – haha! we did cover some good ground though.
this one above is a bit more zoomed in, but it’s tough to show it all ^^

i don’t feel like i’ve even been living real life – that might sound dumb, but it has been so surreal to
just be in new places every day and constantly on the go. it has been amazing and terrible all
at the same time. haha! (way more amazing than terrible, but just crazy in general).

the best part has been the obvious things: beautiful new places, amazing food, constantly being amazed
and inspired and learning so much. the worst part has been not feeling settled for such a long period of time.
i have definitely started to really crave and need a place to call home soon! we met people on our travels who had relocated to andorra, who said that they found it was worth having a look at renting an apartment in Andorra first before committing to buy, which makes sense, and is probably good advice for anyone looking to relocate overseas. it’s been both exhilarating and
bizarre to just hop around from place to place and never have anything familiar. but, that’s why it’s been so good …
completely out of our comfort zone experiencing the world every single day, with no breaks.

every single day we went to bed and woke up feeling so lucky to have this time. We KNOW it isn’t normal at all.
We worked hard, saved up, took a leap, and truly lucked out with how things came together. We lived on
a budget and actually spent less over here than we did on rent and living in San Francisco. A friend who lives in France did suggest something about renting a bike from agencies like riderly.com, and these are available in most major cities around the world. We didn’t rent any bike, but I guess it would have saved us some more money. I was fortunate
to have a few writing assignments and blog partnerships which helped make some destinations doable
for us, and outside of those we lived off baguettes and cheese and nutella, slept in reasonable places
each night, and did it as smart as we could while living it up. Everyone is in a different situation,
but we did what worked for us and we are so grateful for the memories to last a lifetime. we know some people might not have the budget just yet to be able to do what we have done, and we know people who are trying their hand at cryptocurrency with the help of things like this Depotvergleich guide to decide where to deposit their money to hopefully get a good return and help fund their travel goals.

everyone has asked about chase & i spending 24/7 together every day for 3 months. it hasn’t been perfect
but i wouldn’t trade it for anything. i know it’s cheesy, but it has been my biggest dream to do this
with him. half the time i’ve been like a giddy little teenager skipping around showing him things i love,
and discovering new things together. we’ve had the best memories and times that we’ll never forget.
some days have been a joke, with us at our WORST: so tired, in unfamiliar places, homesick, or
annoyed and that has been the pits… but we can laugh about those days now, and all together
we’ve both felt so lucky to have this time and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. i think our stage
was a perfect one to do this when we’re not brand new newlyweds, but we also don’t have kids yet, etc.

a video of our adventures here:


the best way i could ever sum it up is with the simple words on this wall we came across:
oh, the times we had! we will never forget them.DCIM100GOPROG0030536.the towers we climbed + colorful town rooftops we saw …DCIM101GOPROG0081332.the nature we explored…
IMG_2777the train rides we took …
FullSizeRenderthe thousands of steps we walked…
IMG_39751the number of photos we took…
IMG_4469the amount of mid-day naps we took.. (ahem, chase ;)
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
the luggage we hauled around (that white suitcae was stored in london when
we first arrived, then i took the small duffle + backpack only. chase had a
similar sized patagonia bag and backpack with his drone inside. packing light!
IMG_4513 IMG_4978IMG_4230 IMG_2931DCIM100GOPROG0010319. IMG_3341timeswehad2IMG_0912DCIM100GOPROG0035190.
IMG_5233 IMG_7739Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_5177before afteri’m afraid after all this time on the road we will be trading out the mantra
on the left for the one on the right for just a little while ^^ :)

thanks to anyone who has followed along and been supportive of our craziness!
i know the blog has turned into a lot of destination recaps because i want to
remember everything and have been trying to stay organized as we go, but now
i’ll be able to finish catching up and getting back to normal over here. then i can
post some more helpful guides/ tips/ things we have learned in europe. for now,
see ALL of our time backpacking here, (more to come) our one month recap here,
(forgot to do a two month recap, haha) and i’m working on a video of our travels!
i am working on a post for tomorrow to update on our life and next steps!
timeswehadIMG_5307
? xo



44 thoughts on “3 month europe backpacking recap”

  • This makes me feel so much bittersweetness for you. What a darling recap and amazing adventure. So impressed with what you two have pulled off, and I can’t wait to see where you are ending up next!

  • I’ve followed along your 3 month journey and it looked incredible! I was so impressed with how you put out beautiful pictures and lots of content consistently-you are super woman! Enjoy the rest of your time in Europe!! xo

    • you are the sweetest! i feel like i’ve been rushed doing them all but looking back i’m glad i’ve kept some of them up- always worth it!
      xoxo

  • I loved following along this summer on your adventure! I am SO impressed how well you guys did just kind of winging it, I feel like I would have stressed endlessly and then taken it all out on Bill (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here). But you both seemed to really make it work andddd make it fun!

    xx,
    Susie

    http://www.SequinsandStrawberries.com

    • hah you are a cutie. trust me, there were DEF some monkey-covering-eyes freak out moments but that was all part of it! it taught us a lot and i definitely learned to be more patient and enjoy the journey part of travel! xoxo

  • Could not be more jealous of this trip. So excited to hear about your final plans, I feel like you are keeping a secret from me right now and I don’t like it one bit!

    • hahah i know i felt like i was being a TV show host saying “stay tuned…” haha but i just haven’t had time to write it all out and finally am today..so i will tell soon! hope you’re having the BEST day!

  • What an amazing adventure! I’ve loved following along. When I get back to Europe in the future your posts will definitely be a great resource!

    I swear, though, I love my husband…but I don’t know if we could spend 3 months together the WHOLE time without killing each other! I’m impressed with you and Chase :)

  • What a beautiful adventure! And a beautiful tribute to the end of this past journey. I found your blog just recently and can’t wait to go back and read about all of the places you’ve seen.

  • Love this! It’s been so great to read about all of your travels, and I’m excited that there are still a lot more recap posts to come! I think you guys have a (sadly) rare trait of incredible positivity mixed with reality, which makes it so fun and refreshing to follow along on your adventures with you! :) Can’t wait to hear where life is taking you next!

    • you are one of the sweetest people colleen! thanks for the nicest compliment. your comments always make my day! hope all is well in SJ!

  • This is my first time visiting the blog and hearing about your decision to drop it all and go for it. So happy that you did it, not put it off saying we’ll get there one day. Sounds like the adventure of a lifetime. And I completely understand needing to change your mantra in the end. You earned it! That’s so great that you have a reliable partner in crime that you can do this with. You’ll remember this trip for the rest of your life. Hopefully it was all worth it!!!

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

  • I LOVE THIS! I am soooooo happy you and Chase got to have this amazing adventure, even though we are missing you like crazy! It was so much fun to see where you’ve been everyday. Traveling creates a bond like none other, and I’m sure you guys have felt that over the last 3 months! Can’t tell you how excited I am for the next year of your life and all the new adventures you’ll have…hopefully we will get to visit soon! Will has been dying for some FaceTime with Chase T, so we’ll try soon! Love you tons, and I can’t wait to see how you put all these memories and pictures into a book someday ;) xoxo

    • kenz this comment made my day! love you lots, and just counting down until we can get you guys over here!!
      xoxoxo facetime soon!

    • yes that is a good idea! i will list some of them in a post soon! we’ve read TONS of WWII books and biographies since we were in all the same places, we were obsessed! some others too so i’ll share soon! xo

  • The most amazing adventure! I’ve loved following along on your crazy but awesome journey! You’ll have so many stories to share and things to look back on years from now!

  • I can’t believe how time goes past so quickly! It feels like yesterday when I was lucky to bump into your blog and started following you. It looks like you and Chase had the best of times together. I’m currently 5 weeks into our 2 months travel through Europe and I can relate to all of your posts. Keep on writing! We’re eager to read more! :)

    • you are the cutest person – i LOVE that we are over here doing a similar thing at a similar time!! you keep on writing too :) and come visit in london / amsterdam!!
      xoxo

  • Just loved this post and following your adventures this summer. It makes me nostalgic for my own travels … Everything you learn about the places you see, who you see them with and yourself. Best of luck as you settle into your new home.

  • We visited Croatia with a very similar route just at the end of August through Labor Day – Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. I couldn’t quite talk my husband into Bosnia but geeked to have stumbled across your blog to find you giving it some love! Great blog! Happy and safe travels!

  • I don’t know how I missed this post earlier…but this is so great! Norway has a special place in my heart too. I absolutely loved it and it was by far the most breathtakingly beautiful place I have ever been. Did you read books electronically? We always miss reading on travels but don’t want to lug library books around.

  • Did you do all of this in 3 months?! Wow! thanks so much for sharing, I love all of the pictures and your style of writing, I’m so happy to have stumbled across this blog months ago.

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