Ann's News

American Conundrum When Living in Europe

I love, love, love living in Europe because the opportunities to travel in Europe are endless, and the different type and quantity of activities are mind blowing.  The opportunity to work and live in Europe is a once in a lifetime chance to experience a plethora of cultures, view incredible historical sites, explore the great outdoors, and live a life others can only dream about. Trains, planes and automobiles can take you anywhere you want to go or see anything that tickles your fancy.

Yet how do you balance travel with your daily life and prioritize it all? It’s a nice problem to have…but it’s still a problem, and at times a true conundrum.

The options alone make it a huge challenge to figure out what to do and where. Add on top of that, long work hours and the day-to-day requirements and responsibilities from having a job, a house, and running a blog and it can easily make you feel like it’s impossible to get it all done.

Narrow Down Options Based on your Interests

To ensure you get the most out of your trips (time and money), the best thing you can do is prioritize your trips and how you plan to spend your money base on what you love to do the most. If you love wine, food and beer – plan your trips to cities, events and occasions that match those passions. Do your keyword search online based on your interests, available dates for travel, and place you would like to see.

I’m into adventures and outdoor activities, so I start with broad searches, and based on the results I try to narrow it down. I’ve discovered for cycling/mountain biking it’s insanely difficult – the options all sound so interesting and fun.

Narrow Down by Cost and Availability

Trust me, no matter what your interests are…you’ll get a lot of search results which can become overwhelming. Try further narrowing down your options by some other preference you might have and by finding out cost of transportation, tours, and lodging.

When I researched my trip to mountain bike in Morocco, my goal was to go somewhere that would be warm, while it was still cold in Germany, and I wanted to mountain bike. I sold myself on the idea…without first looking into flights. That was a big mistake. I ended up having to push the trip by a couple of weeks to find an affordable flight.

Take the Tours

Planning trips is time consuming. Planning multiple trips at once is a nightmare…at least to me. The fastest way to plan and book a trip is to join a tour. For the most part, the prices are very reasonable and everything is taken care of.

As I make my plans to visit Belguim, Munich, Venice and Amsterdam, I am looking for tours on Viator. I’ve used the site a few times before; it’s easy to use and it’s reliable. This ensures you have everything booked before you get to your destination and you can make a daily agenda.

Forgo the Clean House

My house is not a total mess…but it’s also not as clean or organized as I would like it to be.  I can spend the weekend cleaning the house, or I can spend the weekend traveling somewhere. Between the traveling adventures, I have to work (and I work a lot of 10-12 hr days), grocery shop, cook, clean, do laundry, blog, pay bills, interact on social media, and plan future trips. It can’t all be done perfectly…so the house is not as organized as it ought to be.

Hire Some Help

How do you want to spend your time? There’s only so much time in a day.  It is important to prioritize what gets done, what does not get done, and what someone else can do. I’ve hired someone to help me with SEO and my social media needs in order to make sure I get my content out to everyone; I know I can’t give it the right amount of time on my own. I should probably look into getting a cleaning lady too!

Don’t Settle in a Routine

The biggest mistake an American living in Europe can make is to forget you are living in Europe because the routine of day-to-day life gets you into a rut/comfort zone. Plan trips, pay for the trips and then make yourself get out there. There is a lot to see and do and it can be overwhelming to plan, but it’s so worth it because it will never be this easy again to have a buffet of travel experiences at your disposal.

How About You?

What steps have you taken to ensure organized travel adventures? Leave a comment and tell me about it or contact Ann Bernard Travel Writer and Blogger here.