Need a new travel challenge? I definitely felt that way after experiencing most every possible travel situation: traveling with family, friends, and solo; traveling using tour companies; and traveling while planning every detail myself. Luckily I had some adventurous friends who were feeling the same way, and we decided to challenge ourselves and have each meal in a different country!
Our day’s itinerary: breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Liechtenstein, a snack in Austria, and dinner in Germany. Not only that, we wanted to incorporate different types of transportation, including a bus, train, and a ferry. Read on to see if it was worth it or if everything felt too rushed!
Sometimes planning a trip too much can lead to disappointment because of unmet expectations. In contrast, sometimes a minimal amount of planning, along with some assumptions about a city, can actually increase anticipation because you don’t really know what to expect. I used to watch Passport to Europe on the Travel Channel religiously because it was one of my goals to travel to around Europe. The host, Samantha Brown, made traveling fun and accessible. Every episode, viewers got to see highlights of one European city and the fancy hotels Samantha stayed at. I loved the show so much I even bought the first season on dvd and downloaded the second season on iTunes. This blog’s title was even inspired by the show!
But I digress. Anyway…. back to Vienna. That little spiel was mainly to say that what I knew about Vienna before my trip, I learned from the Vienna episode of Passport to Europe. That episode showed the very posh and extravagant side of Vienna. In that episode, Samantha visited the Spanish Riding School and attended the Officer’s Ball at the Emperor’s Imperial residence. Because of this, in my mind Vienna didn’t seem very relaxed or welcoming. It seemed like one had to have a lot of money in order to enjoy visiting Vienna. I was curious to see if this was actually how Vienna was like, but because of this assumption and my lack of thorough research about what to do and see, I was the least excited about visiting Vienna on my 3 country trip. Surprisingly, Vienna turned out to be my favorite city out of them all!!
I have to be honest, when planning a trip to Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Budapest, I was least excited about visiting Vienna. It was time to plan a summer trip to celebrate my submission of my PhD thesis (Finally!!!) and a friend’s PhD graduation/last big trip before she left Iceland so we tried to think of cities neither of us had been to but wanted to visit before we had to move back to the states.
We decided that Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Budapest were all close enough that we could travel to all of them in a little over a week. In our research, it looked like Vienna was the best option for traveling to and from the other cities. For me, Vienna was essentially the hub that would take us to more exciting destinations – boy, was this mentality totally wrong!