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 AdventurousKate.com.
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!