Nic Freeman

Sharing the wonders of travel & everyday adventures

Now is the Time: Travelling Europe in 2012

I have something so amazing to tell you that I am having trouble sitting still…Next year, I will be travelling Europe for nine months!

It’s a dream about to come true; an empowering, daunting, slightly overwhelming but oh-so-wonderful reality.

As I write this, I’m sitting on my favourite red park bench in Brisbane’s King Edward Park, looking over tropical gardens and the CBD traffic. There are men in suits on blackberries, construction workers on their way home, well-dressed women chatting over a sandwich… I look around and wonder what it will be like being an outsider to this world for a whole nine months.

Instead of jumping to the sound of my alarm and trudging off to work every morning, I will be waking up in a new place, ready to explore new sights and cultures, keen to meet new people. I will be leaving my lovely Brisbane bubble (such a wonderfully vibrant comfort zone) and stepping into an existence that is conscious of choice over routine. I will not be wearing office-appropriate clothing. I will be missing my own bed and my family. I will be challenged and inspired and confronted. And I will be free.

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Since starting this blog last year, I have maintained that daily life should be about choice, freedom and adventure; it should be lived with the same enthusiasm and intrepid spirit as a holiday. This is a hard thing to do. And while I think I’ve had some great successes, I also think that sustaining that mindset will be a lifelong goal. So, to keep myself invigorated (and my readers vicariously through me), I’m off to travel again.

The decision to do this big trip (finally) has come from many things. I have a wonderful partner with whom I can’t wait to travel (a first for us). We have lovely friends tying the knot in Oslo in January, which was the practical catalyst for our decision. And, as life becomes more complicated with careers and houses and rooms full of stuff, I find myself constantly reminded that now is the time; we need to do it now before we get side-tracked or are, for some reason, unable.

Oh, I can’t wait to share this travel adventure with you all!

But now, there is so much to do before we leave in only 10 weeks. <Insert excited yet overwhelmed face> Of course, it will be my pleasure to keep you updated as we plan and plot, pack and prepare for a life contained within a backpack and a big wide world.

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9 comments on “Now is the Time: Travelling Europe in 2012

  1. mschristiner
    November 1, 2011

    Very exciting! Is there a reason why you chose 9 months to travel? Is this something to do with the Aussie-UK visa? I have friends wanting to go soon.

  2. Nic Freeman
    November 1, 2011

    Hey mschristiner, thanks for reading! Yes I’m so excited. I feel like now I’ve announced it, it’s actually, really happening. The 9 month time frame is for a few of reasons – fitting in with events at home and abroad, money and visas. We’re thinking our budget can support us of 9 months of pure travel (no working). We’ve also found that the EU visa requirements for Aussies (and Americans I think) require us to be a bit strategic. As tourists, we are allowed to be in Shengen nations (mostly EU members) for a combined total of 90 days in every 180 days. After the 180 day period, if we’ve left the Shengen area, we should be allowed another 180 day period (or another 90 days of travelling). If we mix our travels between Shengen and non-Shengen nations over 9 months, we should be able to see everything we want to see (at least on this trip) within 9 months, without having to apply for addition tourist, study or working visas within the EU. I’ve actually found that this requirement has prompted us to look at places that weren’t originally on our list… there are so many places to fit into 9 months! Nic

  3. mschristiner
    November 1, 2011

    Well researched, I had no idea bout all these different visa agreements between Australia and Europe. My best friends are moving there soon but are using the Tier 5 visa (Youth Mobility Visa). What an exciting journey for you and best of luck! Not that you’ll need it – you’ll be living it up in Europe :)

    • Nic Freeman
      November 1, 2011

      Thanks! Looking forward to roaming freedom – no work, no study, just travel.

  4. daz
    November 2, 2011

    God bless my EU passport!

  5. Sarah
    November 7, 2011

    Sounds amazing Nic. To travel Europe for 9 month… very envious. So true though…fitting everything in will be a challenge. Looking forward to hearing your tales.

    • Nic Freeman
      November 7, 2011

      Hey Sar, Thanks for reading! We have high hopes of fitting it all in, but where ever we end up, I will just be happy to be travelling for 9 months. Do you have any favourite places you think I should go? I can’t wait to see Paris!

  6. theburntmap
    February 3, 2012

    Very interesting write up, Nic. I am longing for a long trip after reading this! Have an awesome time in Europe! Bon Voyage from India.

    • Nic Freeman
      February 3, 2012

      Cheers for the comment! So far the trip has been amazing and I can’t even wrap my head around all that is still to come.

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This entry was posted on October 31, 2011 by in Travel and tagged .

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