haha to the "fuck you" as a compliment.
Mark, how long will you guys be spending in Scotland? Just long enough for RyG or at least a couple of days? Strongly recommend Edinburgh if you have even an extra day. The train runs many times a day, it's less than an hour each way, and is around $30 round-trip. I liked it so much more than Glasgow.
"The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken
Reposting in a more appropriate venue for commenting.
One of my friends and I had this wild idea to travel the Mediterranean - to visit every country with a coast on it, starting in Portugal and ending in Morocco. There will be a couple of places we'd probably skip because of safety, but I am open to even going to Algeria, Libya, etc, provided the situation at the time is not extremely dangerous.
We're planning 3-4 months. My friend has been to Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. I have been to Spain and France only. So far our agenda would be: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy (including Sicily), Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco. The places that may get added in if there are no serious political or safety problems: Israel, Algeria, Libya. If we have the time and money also Slovenia.
It started as a whim, but then I decided "Why not?" Unfortunately the scheduling of the trip keeps getting pushed back due to finances and work obligations, but we're still pretty serious about doing it.
Also because, as we told friends, they said they wished they could go too, we decided we will leave most of the trip unplanned but have several milestones (such as "we will arrive in Rome on MM/DD") with some fixed plans, as to allow others to join us. For example, one of our friends wants to go to Greece with us, my siblings to Sicily, and possibly another to Egypt.
And yes, Tom, I know Portugal is not on the Mediterranean. Neither of us have visited it though, so we thought it would be a good starting point to fly into before heading out on our adventure. (Plus I love port). If the time and funds work out, I'd also be ending in the Canaries, also not part of the Mediterranean. I'm not a purist.
Last edited by chiapet; 08-24-2009 at 12:59 PM.
Oh right, so the point of posting that is -- feel free to make suggestions for places we should definitely visit, things to see, restaurants or bars, places to stay. We are hoping to use hostels mostly while in Europe, interspersed by a nicer hotel stay at least once a week. When we get to Africa, probably hotels the whole way.
this is such an awesome idea. I am jealous. However, I wouldn't do that trip in summer. southern spain, for example, is like Arizona then.
Andalucia is wonderful. Go to Ronda. go to Seville.
Provence is one of my favorite places on earth. Go to Gordes. Go eat at Le Moulin de Mougins (it is not cheap though). go to Antibes. Avoid Cannes and Marseille.
Italy: Cinqueterre in Liguria. and of course Venice on the other side.
I have never been to Croatia but would love to go there.
If you go to Morocco you might do some research and consider avoiding Tangier. it's really really touristy.
As far as finances, save your chunk of needed funds, see where mgmt is by then and if they're not into it. Quit. Leave. And see where the road takes you. It is possible to live illegally in other countries. It's just not as easy as here.
I traveled around Northern Europe by myself for a month and it's amazing how little money you can spend on a day to day basis. If your friend get's her act together have her meet you. I met my friend in London and we zig zagged south with the plans to get to Greece, but we ran out of money in Florence after 2 months.
You're recommending she quits her job and lives illegally in foreign countries?
Yes, I would have if the opportunity and cajones were available.
Tom, Andalucia is my favorite of the places I've visited so far, so it's definitely on the list and hopefully we'll be spending about two weeks in Spain, focused on Andalucia, Costa del Sol and Barcelona. I've never been to Italy at all so that is the part I'm most excited about.
algunz, that is my plan, provided I have the $$ and cajones. If I have enough money to last out my travels and be able to come back and pick up my life or a reasonable reproduction of it, I would do it. Of course my attitude has become less brazen as I watch my friends get laid off from their jobs.
Mark, it would be incredibly cheap to stay on somewhere in Africa or in Turkey (and even Spain is not that expensive outside of major cities), and it wouldn't even be illegal strictly speaking, provided I'm not staying in a place long enough to require a visa.
How do you support yourself in these foreign countries if you are living there illegally? Are there employers that don't care about the laws or are the laws not enforced?
costa del sol is very touristy.
barcelona is very nice too, though i like sevilla better.
I was speaking strictly about living there for an extended period of time where a visa would be required and it would be illegal as Gunz said.
Sounded like silly advice. I'm all for traveling the world and hopping country to country but I wouldn't stay in some foreign country to live for any extended period of time without the paperwork nor would I understand why anyone would try when avenues can be taken to do it legally.
Tom, I'm trying to talk my friend into starting the trip in late September, southern Spain will still be exceedingly hot but we should end up in northern Africa for a more reasonable time of year. We considered inverting the trip and starting in Morocco but I think it would be a less wonderful experience for the touristy-ness you mentioned and also being thrown into weeks and weeks of a language (Arabic) we don't understand.
That makes sense.
I was in Spain late Oct/early Nov last year and it was perfect in the south, but cold up in Madrid.
Mark, if I overstayed my vacation, I would not be staying in one country indefinitely. Worst case, you move across borders to avoid the need for a visa. I have friends who've done it for years at a time. If I ran out of ideas and felt like I was having too much trouble getting by, I'd end up back in Spain. I can speak the language well enough to get by, the less urban areas are cheap, and they couldn't care less about you being in the country unless you try to draw on public services/assistance. I left/re-entered Spain a couple of times and have not a single passport stamp, including no passport control when arriving from the US, so I'm not too worried about it
Ok, we're heading to London and Bath next month. We're heading to Bath first, actually. We'll be there for about a day and a half and then move on to London for four days. We have the typical tourist stuff planned (British Museum, etc.). What other things are a "do not skip"- shopping in Chelsea, a river tour, what?
I saw a pretty awesome Jewish Unity demonstration while I was there. There were Palestinian supporters across the street taunting them dressed as Hasidics. It was really intense to watch. This was about 2 blocks from Big Ben in some plaza if I recall correctly. It was much more fun to watch than Big Ben too.
captn: go to theater. Check if there's anything playing that your interested in, or see whats big at the National. Maybe see if the royal Shakespeare is putting anything on, I think they normal have those at the Barbican.
My trips to London have been very heavy on museum visits, which are incredible and completely free. I love the Tate Modern, and they run film, music and lecture series from time to time which might be interesting if something aligns with your trip. (This is where my friends and I saw Throbbing Gristle in a weird Jarman film retrospective, which seems a bit pretentious but was not at all -- drinking alcohol sitting on pillows on the floor of the Turbine Hall and nearly getting into a brawl with drunks near us...).
Tower of London was interesting to me in the same way Alcatraz is... military installments are not my thing but the history was interesting and the Yeoman warders that do duty as tour guides do a great job of entertaining.
London Eye is one of my favorite things, a bit pricey but the view cannot be compared. If it's very crowded, you can buy advance tickets and come back later to much less of a line. I've never waited more than 5 or 10 minutes for a ride.
For shopping, the only place I've really spent a lot of time (and money) is Oxford Street. There is great window browsing in other areas but I was far too cheap to buy anything elsewhere. We take a quick run through Harrods just because but don't end up buying anything there.
Definitely check out show calendars to see if there is a band you can see while you're there. There are numerous small-ish venues all over the city and a few large halls which have popular bands.
Having tea is something I thought would be silly and stuffy but to be out to be one of my favorite outings of my last trip. We went to the Orangerie because it did not require reservations, was smart casual dress, and quite a bit cheaper than a lot of the alternatives. Everything was tasty, it was a bit noisier than we expected but the upside was that the staff was very friendly.
Normally I don't like tourist buses but London is the exception for me. The ticket is good for 24 hours and the routes circulate around tourist attractions, of course, but also let you see a lot of central London neighborhoods and give you a better feel for the layout of the city. If I'm traveling with people who've never been there, I do the bus for a day when we'll be doing a lot of short stops and mostly just wandering around, then revert to buses & tube when we have longer destinations to go to (ie, museum & shopping days).
I suppose that's all touristy stuff, but with four days in a city, I'd be an unabashed tourist. I just try to get away from tourist areas for food and drinks
Last edited by chiapet; 08-24-2009 at 03:15 PM.
Oh i'm certain there are lots of places you can spend much less than in the USA but how much are we talking that we need saved up for "years"?
Even 2 years I would think you need well over 10K, which may not be hard to save up for some, it would all depend on how much you are making at the moment I suppose but how much would one need to save to do this?
I'm asking all these questions not to challenge, though i'm sure I come off that way I'm genuinely curious as to how much it would take to leave and live abroad for a few years if planned properly.
Okay, well, then let me re-state my position. They were definitely not poor, but are not what I'd consider "wealthy". They live under their means, save money when working and invest. Does being able to save money make one wealthy? I don't think so.
I don't know how much money any of them had saved but I would assume probably closer to $20K. One of them I'm sure got the bulk of the money from being laid off. When I've gotten laid off I've ended up with usually like $20-30K cash after taxes. I was stupid though and never did anything fun with it, just paid rent while waiting for the next job.
Edited: That made me sound like I wasn't grateful for the money. What I meant is I looked at it like "this money may have to last me for more than a year" rather than "woohoo! I'm rich!"
Wow if I got 20-30K for being laid off I would be in the "woo hoo! I'm rich!" camp and head off to Europe for a couple of years. I'm with ya, a couple of years over seas would definitely be the way to go rather than paying rent and looking for a new gig right away. I would have thought the opposite about 6-8 years ago. I hope to come into 20-30K some day. I can't think of anything better to do with that money than have some more life experiences and see the world!
I can't wait to hear more as your trip develops as well Heidi, sounds like a whole lot of adventure.
Im too jealous on you guys traveling around who are free to see all the great wonders in this world. I on the other hand have to wait for atleast a couple more years to start traveling. I'll surely will start around asia first.