why do we travel (and where, and How)?
Barbarians don’t travel. They simply go to destinations or conduct raids
Olga Tokuraczuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018 and this is arguably the most famous quote from her novel ‘Flights’. Anyone visiting European tourist hotspots might be reminded of Olga’s observation: Hordes of sightseers moving from one photogenic location to the next, ticking off boxes on some ‘top-things-to-see-and-do-in-XYZ‘ list, whilst capturing well-practised poses in front of some tourist highlight, before releasing the image onto social media, where very similar versions of those images can already be found. The scourge of modern life is FOMA: the fear of missing out on a list of much-see and must-do experiences, aided by a tourist industry that is promoting ‘instagramable’ photo ops to which everyone seems to flock to. And so the hordes march on, like crowds in a theme park going from one attraction to the next. Here is me in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona, and here is me riding a tram through the old town of Lisbon. Ticking off this list might be great fun to some, but does it really get us any closer to a meaningful travel experience?
We will not offer a minutiae guide on accommodation, restaurants, or precise bus or rail timetables since the internet and several apps can do that so much better, so we are merely mentioning these travel support vehicles in the individual guides. The usual suspects including booking.com, thetrainline.com, rome2rio.com, viamichelin.co.uk, or alltrails.com will help you greatly in planning your own special journey. Hopefully, the guides might inspire you to get on the road (or train, or boat, or bike) and to soak up what Europe has to offer. And be sure to engage in JOMA: the joy of missing out!