Picture Europe: A ridiculous mash-up of cultures and languages squished so close together you could walk through two different worlds in a single day. It is the centre of the world and its easy-access give travelers the incentive to go there, spend their well earned money, and explore.
On Oct. 23rd, 2013 we decided to sell all that we owned and set aside some time to travel through Europe. We wanted to thoroughly visit every country in the continent, live with locals, try all the foods, explore cultures and traditions and avoid tourist traps as much as possible. Cut to 22 months later, both Ashleigh and I were completely burnt out, missing home, but very satisfied with what we had accomplished. Visiting 36 countries, volunteering in 17, we developed relationships with people from so many walks of life and learned so much that even now we are still trying to filter through it all.
Travelling for nearly two years would cost tens of thousands of dollars for rooms alone, so Ashleigh and I needed to rely on Work Exchange organisations such as WWOOFing, Staydu, Help Exchange, and Workaway to survive. These websites list contacts from all over the globe offering a place to stay, food to eat, and a chance to tour through the country with their help and advice. In exchange you can help them out on their farm, or their house, or their Bed and Breakfast, or in their monastery. When we did pay for rooms, we liked to use Airbnb. Through Airbnb, we often found a private room for a couple that was much nicer and cheaper than any hostel. Couchsurfing is also an amazing way to live with a local and learn from them. Sometimes all they want is to learn about YOUR culture, and to teach you about theirs. We have been truly blessed and surprised by the sincere generosity of our hosts during our travels.
Hopefully our incredibly long journey will be an inspiration for others who want to travel but don’t have a lot of money, for those who want to experience more than bars, restaurants, and guided tours. There’s something about taking your sweet time off the beaten path that is so much more gratifying. And I hope this page will help anyone who’s planning their own Euro-trip.
Here is a list, in order, of the European countries we’ve visited. Click the link to travel to that country’s page.