In case you missed them, check out all of my Europe recaps!
- Collioure and Marseille
- Marseille and Aix en Provence
- Barcelona Part 1
- Barcelona Part 2
- Barcelona Part 3
Learn from your (or my) mistakes! And your (or my) successses! Learning is an important part of life. Here are my top 5 lessons learned from EuroTrip 2017.
- If you REALLY want to do something, try not to save it for the last day. Paella was probably the one food that I was most excited to try in Barcelona, and we saved it for the final day, a glorious finale. But due to unforeseen circumstances (in this case, a restaurant whose Facebook page said they were open when they were not), we were denied our paella and now must wait for a return trip to get the real thing. Although Ox and Stone‘s paella is pretty damn good in the meantime…
- Check the local news. We had stayed well up to date on the Catalonian political situation leading up to the trip, so we were aware that we might have to be flexible if any craziness started to go down. Knowing this coming in, we did not get overly frustrated when the pro-independence crowd shut down every major roadway back into Barcelona. OK, we did get a little frustrated, but we did not panic. We rolled with the punches and had an exciting road trip through the Catalonian back woods instead.
- Have a backup plan. Related to the point above, I also needed a separate backup plan just for myself. I had planned to propose to Rachel in Girona on the day that we were stuck in traffic! But, knowing that transport might get tricky, I had made a backup plan to propose in Parc Güell later in the trip. Unfortunately, that plan did not work out either for other reasons. But the point is, it’s good to plan ahead for things that might go wrong, so that you don’t waste too much time scrambling or panicking when things don’t go exactly as planned.
- Learn some of the local language, and don’t be afraid to use it. I had previously learned French in high school and some Spanish in college, but I was a little rusty. It was fun to dust off my skills using Coffee Break Spanish and French, and Duolingo leading up to the trip, so that I could execute some basic conversations in the local language. Although almost everyone knew English, it did come in handy in a few situations, and the locals generally were appreciative of the effort. I even learned a few key Catalan phrases as well, to try to win over some of the Catalans in Barcelona.
- Work some relaxation time into the itinerary. I am always guilty of violating this one, as you may be able to tell from some of my jam-packed trip recaps. I won’t lie, the last day of this trip was pretty rough. It was our fourth day in the same city, and the travel time finally caught up to us; we were dragging for most of the day. Luckily we summoned some energy for a great final dinner, but working in some more down time, especially after 24 straight hours of travel on the way to Marseille, might have helped us keep the energy up consistently throughout the trip.
With that out of the way, now for the fun stuff! Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip. Let me know what you think about EuroTrip 2017 in the comments! Where should I go the next time I visit Europe?