Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

My Next Travels: Fall in Europe!


By now, I’ve been home for two and a half months.  I realize that I’ve been blogging nonlinearly, and I apologize if it’s been confusing!  While traveling Asia, I was approximately a month behind in blogging, and I don’t want to get that far behind again.

So here is a review of what I’ve been up to since leaving Asia:

April 21: I flew out of Bangkok.

April 22-May 11: I spent time in the UK: primarily in Chester, visiting Dave, whom I met in Vietnam.  After exploring Chester, Liverpool, York and North Wales, I returned to London for a few days.

May 28-June 4: I visited Sayulita, Mexico, as a guest of Nourish Retreats, enjoying a week of fitness, yoga, surfing, no electricity, and the most incredible food.

June 26-July 9: Dave flew to Boston.  During his visit, we explored New England, including New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the coast of southern Maine, and Cape Cod.  We also ate ourselves into oblivion.

So what did I do the rest of the time?

Spending time with friends and family, seeing a bit more of New England.  Nothing TOO too exciting.

But most of the time, I’ve been working from morning to night, from the moment I roll over and grab my iPad to check my email until I force myself to shut down the computer at 2 AM.

The work is varied, and most of it can be divided into two projects: the mundane and money-making, and the labor of love that could be a success or a huge waste of time.  We’ll have to wait and see.  In addition to that, there’s running

So I’m very eager to leave the States and get back on the road once again.

However, I don’t feel like I’m in backpacking mode at the moment — for the near future, I need to spend time in places just working.

So where shall I work?

I’m spending the fall in Europe!

Here it is, as far as I know so far:

August 3-7: The Race to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.  The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau invited me to compete in three days of Amazing Race-style events, and I will be teaming up with my sister against other bloggers!  Read more about it here.

August 18-19: I fly from Boston to London and get a coach up to Chester.  My original plans fell apart for this leg, but spending a few days in Chester sounds just about perfect.

August 22-24: I fly to Munich.  I’ve never been to Germany before, and I’ll be spending two nights here before leaving for Innsbruck, Austria.

August 24-30: I will be attending the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Innsbruck!  I’ve heard so many great things about this conference, and I’m excited to attend.

September 1-??: I fly from Munich to Manchester, England, on September 1, and I will be returning to lovely Chester.  Dave and I might visit the Lake District, and we will definitely spend time with our Vietnam travel buds, Mike, Ste and Darren.  In the middle of the month, I plan to spend around two weeks visiting Scotland.  I’ve never been before, and I hear September is a fantastic time to go.

After this is where it gets murky.

Most Americans don’t realize that it’s challenging for us to spend extended time in Europe.  We get no working holiday partnerships, unlike you lovely Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders, and when traveling, we need to abide by the rules of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area covers most of Europe, and you can spend up to 90 days within a 180 day within this zone.  You can’t spend 90 days in Italy, then 90 days in France, then 90 days in Spain — everything falls under the Schengen Area.  And you can’t do a visa run and come back — the 90 in 180 rule precludes that.

The UK is not part of the Schengen Area and Americans can stay there for up to 180 days within a year.

The UK border is especially tough, and I’m terrified of getting flagged as a traveler spending a suspicious amount of time in the country.  So I do not want to come close to the limit — in the UK, or in the Schengen Area for that matter.  I need the wiggle room, just in case I get an opportunity or need to spend more time than planned in either place.

So if I am to stay close to Europe, I need to spend time in non-Schengen areas as well.  These days, that leaves: Ireland, Turkey, and the Balkans (excluding Slovenia).  There are a few other places, but some, like Russia, are visa headaches in their own right.

Luckily, the Balkans have been high on my list for a very long time, and I will probably spend time in Bosnia and Croatia this fall!  All in all, I think I will be spending one third of my time in the UK, one third of my time in the Schengen Area, and one third of my time elsewhere.

When will I be home next?  Possibly Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I want to avoid the New England winter again this year, or at least most of it, and thankfully the big snowstorms don’t start until January.

I’m also going to focus on establishing more partnerships — which could lead to some unexpected detours around the world!  Who knows — this whole plan could be dropped for the sake of a travel opportunity!

So anything could happen this fall.

Once again, I’m jumping in with no idea how it will all go down.  As always, we’ll see what happens!

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51 Responses to “My Next Travels: Fall in Europe!”
  1. And a working holiday UK visa is not an option for you? It might be worth it.

  2. Vivi says:

    If you wish to come to Switzerland but find it too expensive, I have a tiny list of 2 places where you can stay almost for free (first one, free, is a couchsurfing option, second is not, would be around 5$ a day and depends on the time you’d get there ^^ )

  3. Hi Kate,

    Your plan sounds great, Munich is pretty cool, Scotland I can take or leave but I think im in the minority there.

    I am gonna be in Spain from the 3rd of August till mid September (desperately need some waves) then back in Leeds the heading to Munich for Oktoberfest so let me know if your paths will cross.

    If you can handle boats apparently Sail Croatia do a cool 8 day trip from Spit to Dubrovnic or round the other way too…

    Take care along the way

  4. Steph says:

    Yessss Bosnia and Croatia! Some of my faves. Let me know if you want some tips. I spent a month in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia. AND I did a Sail Croatia cruise. It’s a great part of the world.

    Very excited for you, I can’t wait to get back to Europe myself.

  5. Awww…us poor Canadians have to abide by the Schengen too (stupid rule!) We might cross paths in Europe Kate, maybe we could meet up somewhere along the way?

  6. Amanda says:

    Can’t wait to read about your European adventures next, Kate! I’m sure you’ll have some great ones.

  7. Sheryll says:

    Cannot wait to read about your European adventures! I’m headed to the UK and Europe in November, and I’m sure I’ll be reading and using your tips along the way.

  8. Ashley says:

    Aaaah, so excited for you!! A good friend was going back and forth to the UK for awhile – staying about 3 months, coming back to the States for a bit and then back to the UK. Immigration only gave her trouble when she took a short trip to Berlin in the middle of one of her 3 month trips.

    And I highly recommend Bosnia and Herzegovina! It’s gorgeous!!!! I absolutely loved Sarajevo and Mostar – they completely outshined Croatia.

  9. Good luck my friend, may the European wind fill your sails and bear you off to more awesome adventures!

  10. Greg says:

    So jealous that you’re on your way to Europe (soon)! Can’t wait to read and see all about it. Munich is amazing and, if you’re there, make sure to check out Castle Neuschwanstein, which was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Magic Kingdom!

    I have lots of pics from my trip through Bavaria at Beer, Hitchhiking From Mad Max’s Disney Castle and Other Germany Tales.

    Have a blast on your continuing adventures!


  11. Sounds like quite an exciting trip! Munich is one of my favorites! Bavaria is such a beautiful place to visit – full of beautiful scenic villages and, of course, the castles.

    I’m going to TBUIBK too! It will be great to meet you 🙂

  12. Jenna says:

    I loved Munich– one of my favorite travel experiences was doing a German course there. This sounds very exciting, and I just love that you don’t know exactly where these months will take you. Savor the freedom!

  13. Pete says:

    I’ll be heading to Europe next year so looking forward to hearing your stories!

  14. I’ve been to Europe many times in the Fall! Best time of the year to travel! I even have a post on 5 reasons and where you should go (I’ll share below since it relates to your travels)! It’s my favorite place to travel in the world. I still have lots I want to see and do there but so far 15 countries covered!!

    As for Croatia, see my recent post on Plitvice! It’s a place you must visit!! Good luck working out all the details for the rules! Yikes!

  15. Tom says:

    Bosnia & Croatia sound lovely! Also, I’ve heard great things about Montenegro – looking at photos on the web, it looks gorgeous (they filmed parts of Casino Royale there *I think*) and the weather in September time will be beautiful!

    If you’re back in the UK again, make sure you get yourself to Manchester, Leeds or Newcastle – the 3 main northern cities! Newcastle’s amazing – famously friendly locals, and it’s party central!

    Your plans sound great, can’t wait to read more once your adventures are under way 🙂

    • They did film it there, Tom, and I do plan to visit Montenegro as well! I’d love to visit all of the Balkans, but I believe I will be spending the most time in Croatia and Bosnia.

      I think I’ll definitely be getting to Manchester this September as well! A few of my favorite travel buds live there and are now home.

      • Tom says:

        Ahh so I didn’t pluck the Casino Royale thing out of nowhere haha!

        Awesome if you could go to Manchester! I have no idea what to recommend there though – each time I’ve been, it’s been for a bit of shopping (check out the Selfridges – fancy!), followed by a gig and then getting horribly drunk on Canal Street afterwards haha!

        Bring an umbrella.

  16. My-Tien says:

    awesome, I’m sure you’ll have the same fun you had in Asia 😀

  17. Alex says:

    Hey Kate,

    I just spent about 6 weeks in the UK and went through the border twice. The first time was fine, they second was quite nerve wracking. I went with stating I was a student (a lie as I graduated in May) as I thought that would be better than saying “unemployed” or “freelance designer” but they asked me about a million questions and had me pull my UK friends I was traveling with out of line to confirm my stories.

    I would recommend to make sure to have a fake (refundable) ticket back to Boston. I only had a ticket out of the UK and into Greece and they were not big fans of that. They insisted on knowing when I was going “home.” I finally gave in and said September (another lie).

    The world is not friendly to the perpetual traveler!

  18. Lauren says:

    Awesome! I just started off my trip in Croatia and Bosnia – you’re going to love it here, it’s so beautiful! 🙂

  19. How exciting that ANYTHING could happen! Can’t wait to follow your journey…

  20. sooooo fabulous that you’re continuing your travels this fall! I knew that you would 🙂
    Europe and all the places you’re visiting will be so much fun to explore. and the travel bloggers and amazing race events sound like a blast! you and your sister better win!

  21. Carla says:

    Move to BELGRADE! I lived there for 6 of the most amazing months of my life. Highly recommend it!

  22. Adam says:

    Yay! Enjoy Europe. It looks like I’m staying in Berlin for the long haul at the moment, so I may very well head down to Innsbruck as well. You should try and get to Berlin – Europe’s coolest city!

  23. Anthony says:

    “Fall,” you Americans and your funny quirky words, hehe 😀

    You’ve just taught me something about my own country, Kate! I had no idea about the border thing and the Visa’s in Europe for a US citizen!

    Looking forward to meeting you in Austria. It’ll be proper weird considering I’ve read your blog for like a year!

  24. HIL says:

    What about Morocco? You speak French, and it’s an absolute breeze to get to from Spain. (And cheap, if I remember correctly — we took the ferry from Algeciras to Tangier and went onward to Rabat from there.)

    Also, hieeee.

    X H

  25. Looking forward to meeting you at TBU!!!!!!!

  26. Lissie says:

    Consider Turkey as well – or at least Istanbul and the coast (it will be getting cold inland after Oct) – awesome country, cheap and very cheap to get to on a cheap flight from pretty much anywhere in Europe

  27. Jack says:

    Hi Kate!

    I spent a year already traveling around Europe. I was lucky, as that was before the new regulations… Just like I was lucky to visit Cambodia before it takes off.

    I’m spending a few months in Washington, D.C. until December and then I’m going to do South America. I’m *really* looking forward to this one just like I was for Asia. And this time I’ll even be able to speak some of the language (albeit a tiny fraction).

    • Jack says:

      Eh, and now I’m replying to myself. I’m not crazy…

      I forgot to add that I’m also lucky because I’m a US Passport holder with a “leave to remain” in the UK (that is, I’m also a British resident). Did I tell you I used to live in England?

      So there you go, just get married to a Brit 😛 (that’s how I got mine…)

  28. Yvette says:

    As an American you *do* qualify for a working holiday visa in Ireland. Of course this is likely too short notice, and I doubt you’d be able to find work in Ireland with their current economy anyway (they also count in the UK 90 days scheme, which is nice cause they’re cheaper).

    I will be moving to Amsterdam in two weeks for grad school btw (yikes!) so do drop me a line if you’re passing through and all that jazz.

  29. Kirk says:

    Sounds like you had and will have a lot going on. So far things look great up until Sept that is can wait to see what you end up doing around that time. Europe sounds like its going to be a blasts, didn’t know the rules were different for us in the US as opposed to Canada and other places.


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  1. […] yet) , but we had not even thought about the trouble for Americans traveling long-term in Europe. We can only visit for a max of 3 months? Crazy! The only thing crazier is AdventurousKate not prolonging her Munich trip by two weeks to […]

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