standing in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

It has been three weeks since I returned from my first ever trip to Europe. The high of that trip is long gone (diving straight into work upon returning helps), but I still get mild doses of enjoyment whenever I reminisce about my two short weeks there.

I’ve gained a greater appreciation for a lot of things on that trip, not the least of which is the joy of travel itself. Europe to me is what is “exotic,” and the differences in culture and history certainly made me love traveling even more. Indeed, throughout my trip, I was like a wide-eyed kid (most of all when I saw snow-capped mountains at a distance from inside my train).

It’s impossible to see and do everything in two weeks, so I didn’t try too hard to do it. I may have missed out on a few museums, tourist attractions, and experiences, but at least I didn’t feel too rushed or too stressed out. It was never a checklist or a to-do list for me; I was open to anything and everything out there. As a result, while I may have to answer the question “Why didn’t you do/see/go to (insert attraction here)?” I still feel fulfilled, content, and most importantly, happy about what I did get to do.

What definitely made the trip for me were the people. About half of the people I met on my trip were friends I had made and travelers I had hosted here in Singapore, while the rest were friends of friends, or other CouchSurfers. Indeed, I was CouchSurfing for 100% of my trip; I didn’t stay in a hostel or hotel at all during my two weeks in Europe, and all my hosts were wonderful people. Everybody I encountered on this trip turned out to be amazing people who were friendly and hospitable. If it weren’t for them, life on the road would’ve been lonely.

I hope to blog more about this experience in the coming weeks. Don’t expect a full narrative, just tidbits from the trip I took, but I do hope to impart as much of the joy and wonder I experienced to you all. Just be patient… this might take a while. 😉

For the curious, this was how my trip went:

View Eurotrip 2011 in a larger map

02 May: Departure from Singapore
03 May: Arrival in Munich, Germany
04 May: Munich, Germany -> Cologne, Germany -> Maastricht, Netherlands
05 May: Maastricht, Netherlands -> Amsterdam, Netherlands
06 May: Amsterdam, Netherlands
07 May: Amsterdam, Netherlands -> Enschede, Netherlands
08 May: Enschede, Netherlands -> Amsterdam, Netherlands
09 May: Amsterdam, Netherlands -> Rotenburg (Wuemme), Germany
10 May: Rotenburg (Wuemme), Germany
11 May: Rotenburg (Wuemme), Germany -> Hamburg, Germany
12 May: Hamburg, Germany -> Berlin, Germany
13 May: Berlin, Germany
14 May: Berlin, Germany
15 May: Berlin, Germany -> overnight train
16 May: arrival in Munich Germany -> Salzburg, Austria -> Munich, Germany -> Departure from Munich, Germany
17 May: Arrival in Singapore

You can check out all my photos on Flickr.