Beginning world traveller Laura plans her European trip

Remember Laura, the beginner-traveller I interviewed back in November? She’s preparing to do some long-term travel and although last time we chatted, she was planning to head to Thailand first, her plans have changed and she sounds so excited about it that I just had to interview her again to find out all about it.

Laura, first of all, what made you change your mind to head to Europe first, instead of Asia?
The thing that made us change our mind was the fact it was our first official “travellers’ trip” away. We decided to stick to a few more familiar places. I was constantly thinking about the culture shock we may have, as we aren’t experienced. We do still plan to travel to Thailand, as we do think it will be truly amazing.
(I’ve been thinking about Laura’s change of plans and realised I did the same thing, and did a “safe” first backpacking trip within Australia before I went off to see the world. A post on that is coming up soon!)

Laura’s going to Berlin – one of my favourite cities!

You’re planning to visit Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and France. What made you choose these places?
We chose these places mainly because we wanted to go to Bruges, Berlin, Prague, Rome and Florence.  However, we decided to choose some places that we didn’t know much about, so we wouldn’t have any expectations of the place, and can discover it on our own. We’ll be travelling by bus from country to country – it was the cheapest option! Plus I thought if we travel by bus, then we will be able to see a lot more of the places we go – even if only through transit.

Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral

Can you name the one tourist attraction or city that you’re most excited about seeing, and why?
There isn’t really one attraction in particular, however,  I can’t wait to taste some chocolate from Belgium, ride on a gondola in Lake Garda and eat some spaghetti in Italy.
(See, I knew I liked Laura for a good reason. She’s a traveller who’s all about the experience, not the “tick of the attraction” style of travel! Oh and she likes chocolate, too.)

How long are you planning to travel in Europe for, and what will come after that?

Due to work commitments, I was unable to take a long break, so unfortunately, I will only be travelling for roughly three weeks – which means we only get a couple of nights in each place! After Europe I think we would like to travel to South America, and we have been looking into doing an Inca Trail in Peru.  There are so many places we want to go that we can’t fully decide right now.

Devin Castle ruins and the Danube River, Slovakia

Thanks Laura! I’m very keen to continue following Laura’s travels. While many of her British mates are going on repeated holidays to Majorca, Laura is keen to get out there and see the world and of course, I love that. Heading off for some long-term travel is a massive step, so although her plans have now been scaled back from her original Asian odyssey dream, I’m betting this taste of Europe – especially the places she doesn’t know too much about, which I’m guessing are countries like Slovakia and Slovenia – will double her thirst for seeing new places and she’ll find a way to get on the road again very shortly after. And if she makes it to the Inca Trail any time soon – I’ll be extremely jealous!

What are your tips for beginner travellers?


  1. I’ve never seen such beautiful places. What’s the most exciting place do you look forward to in Europe? I love Prague’s Cathedral above.

  2. I initially thought Laura may be travelling for 3 months with her list of places she is visiting. My tip would be to stop and smell the roses and don’t try and do too much. You may have to come home for a holiday! Have a great trip Laura

    • Ha ha I agree Jenny, but then I remembered that when I first started travelling I was a bit similar! In fact I’ve got a blog post coming up about how I eased into being a “slow” traveller. Watch this space 🙂

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