Though not entirely cemented or anything, I’ve added a new page to our site with our proposed travel route for what I’m formally deeming “leg 1.” Check it out!
What’s all this talk about legs you say? Well, it seems that after doing my homework, I have learned something new about traveling in Europe. Yes, it is true that I do not know everything (a sad realization, let me tell you). There is this mythical and magical invisible zone called the Schengen, which is made up of over 20 countries in Europe (read: most).
After reading more about it, I can tell you that it’s not exactly magical, nor mythical (though it is invisible)–rather, a giant pain in the ass for would-be travelers who plan on staying abroad for a long period of time. The gist of it is that although US citizens don’t need visas to visit the zone (America, fuck yeah!), we are permitted to stay within in it only 90 of every 180 days.
90 days to see Europe? Ouch. That certainly had our alarm bells ringing.
We initially planned to start in the UK and go slowly, eventually trickling into France and Spain. From there, we figured that something would guide us onward (probably, a, uh, guidebook). Now, it seems that we have to adjust our plans accordingly. We have to have a little more organization, a raison d’être, if you will.
Okay, relax. Be strong. Plan B.
The new route page (plug #2) addresses that very issue. So we’re splitting things up into more legs than a KFC family pack (but less vomit-inducing). Spend a little time here, dip outta the Schengen there, then come back.
It’s kind of like going from swimming pool to hot tub and back.
Our Pax Romana (don’t get literal, folks), or Leg 2, will likely be spent in England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales. We have to spend 90 days outside the zone, then we can come back in. This 3 month period will serve as a rest period for us, but also a time to volunteer and give back. We hope to spend the summer (July, August, September) working on organic farms or helping out families in need. It could be a really rewarding rest period. Say that 3 times fast.
After leg 2 ends, its (hopefully) back to the quest! We have the option of hitting Scandinavia, going back through parts of Western Europe, or spending time in lovely parts of Eastern Europe like Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia, etc.
Where should we go for leg 3?