The start of a beautiful journey, via Werner Beyer on Flickr
Everybody likes to travel in a slightly different way. Some pack light and go with the flow, others prefer structure. Some like to go in a group and others fly solo. For each individual there are aspects of their personality that dictate what they want when they head to pastures new. It’s not the most common choice, but here’s one I’ll put to you – do it yourself. Formulate your own plan, the places you want to go and drive there yourself.
Getting on the road in foreign countries can be quite daunting – some of them drive on the opposite side, there are unwritten rules we can’t be expected to know, and some of them are just downright crazy. But aside from occasionally fearing for your life, it all adds to the intake of culture and a one-ness with the locals.
Most places will have some familiar basis with regards to their road signs. If you’re unsure you can also always brush up online with free road signs tests so you’ll have a base level of competency at least for reading the fixed objects. Learning to read how the native drivers will react is a whole other ball game that will take much more than a bit of online rehearsal! Essentially, though, the same tenets apply across the world even if they’re not as a hardily enforced.
Depending on what you like to see and do, you might be able to avoid any hustle and bustle altogether. Busy city centres and main shopping districts can be a nightmare, but opening up on the country roads and mountain climbs can be an absolute pleasure – especially when you’re one of the few vehicles actually using them.
It widens your options tremendously. No longer are you bound by a coach, train, or even a plane. From anywhere in Europe you can access a plethora of hot spots without ever getting off the ground. Hell, you could drive to China if you wanted, it has been done, although I’ll admit that’s a bit further than my remit takes me.
Just imagine it – the High Alps route that takes you through four national parks and 16 mountain passes in France, or the Costiera Amalfitana in Italy, hugging the coast in the beautiful sunshine. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do both on the same trip, and see plenty of the continent in between.
The next time you’re thinking about going to a destination, maybe use the travel as a part of your holiday and not just a means to an end.