When I was a senior in high school I was dead set on joining the army and heading to basic training as soon as possible after graduation. My Dad, a retired 1SG who joined during Vietnam to see the world told me "the army will be there, take your summer and backpack around Europe. You may never get the chance to again". He told my brother the same thing. Neither of us listened.
While I got to see a lot of the world throughout my hitch, it was usually under a rucksack or plate carrier or during an amount of free time measured in hours. So as my time for retirement drew near I thought back on that European trip i'd passed up to get into the army as soon as I could. From those thoughts blossomed an 8 week adventure of doing whatever the hell I wanted within only the confines of some self imposed rules.
Within those 8 weeks I visited 18 different countries with the goal of going to as many places as possible while not breaking the bank, stressing out, or missing out on the "big" sights of every location I stopped in. Most of the time it worked out. Sometimes it didn't. Hopefully this and the next few articles will help you, should you find yourself alone and unafraid for eight weeks of doing whatever you want in Europe.