Inter-Europe travel and the true meaning of being overwhelmed

Life is full of choices and when you’re studying in a delightfully centrally located European country (France for those of you just tuning in), the prospect of selecting a route to travel for nine days is both exciting and terrifying. So many choices and so little time!

For reasons that still remain unclear to me, my spring break here is during the last week of February (long before any flowers will be brave enough to call it spring!), so I need to begin planning and booking my trip because I have just one month before I will be benignly kicked out of my Strasbourg housing. Students are scrambling all over our Abroad center, finding travel buddies and coasting through the web to book all the best flights and the cheapest hostels from Lisbon to Kraków.

For me the prospect of traveling essentially anywhere in Europe is like offering a child the full array of Willy Wonka’s factory… and then telling that child to take only as much as she can fit in one palm. I want it all, but when forced to choose, I’ll have to go for quality. So I set my heart on Madrid and began planning, assuming that somebody else would think a city with such vibrant night life would be a great idea…. Alas, it seems that in my overeager fervor I may have gone about things in the wrong order. I now have an exciting Madrid and Lisbon itinerary planned, but nobody to travel with. Lacking the bravery to go it alone on my first adult-free foray outside of my own country, I think I need a travel buddy.

Which returns me to the chocolate factory, now nearly salivating at the possibilities. Process of elimination? Some students are going to Central Europe, but I dislike their intended travel pace and intend on going there on my own after the semester anyway. At least one person is headed to Ireland, but I’m shivering at the mere thought of heading further north without a proper coat. Others have thrown around the appealing idea of Greece. And then there are the music students. They’re a part of our group, but a little separate as they take classes at the conservatory. they keep to themselves a lot, but I have the great fortune of pre-existing friendship with one of their number who has introduced me to the others. These delightful non-classmates can’t resist the temptation to go to Italy, home of the best violin shops on the planet. And who could resist Italy?! So tomorrow begins phase two of Spring break planning… perhaps.

The options are overwhelming, but not nearly as overwhelming as the thought of being locked out because I didn’t book my trip soon enough!

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