Spring into summer.
Where to begin? No, seriously… and in what order should I proceed?
If coming directly from Hong Kong, then I assume London will be my port of entry. Presumably, other stops in the British Isles and Scandanavia would follow before continental Europe, right? I’m wide open to suggestions about this.
One thing is certain, I plan to spend some time with good friends Rudolph and Venda in the Czech Republic. (They are the parents of Jan, with whom this RTW adventure begins in Alaska.) They have been renovating an old house in a Bohemian hamlet called Zumberg. I hope to lend a hand with heavy lifting and other labors, and to spend time musing about the world’s woes and wonders over coffee and delicious food.
The following is what I’m thinking about the rest of Europe. As with other stops, I’m planning to do farm-stays (e.g., WWOOF) Couchsurfing, and engage with SERVAS for accommodations.
I’m curious about life and work in places which have high taxes and regulations accompanied by quality services and civic engagement. Call it what you will, but I’m fed up with the right-wing phobia of “socialism” in America. (Yet our military, mining, agriculture and many other federally-subsidized industries somehow escape this label!)
Furthermore, many European countries are far more advanced in their planning and operation of waste and resource recovery programs, producer responsibility laws, and so on. Thus, I’m very interested in these career options here. Europe has some great (and old!) universities and I appreciate the self-driven tradition for graduate study, so that is on the table, as well.
Before I ramble on too far, here’s the short-list of other countries where I wish to travel. I look forward to your suggestions within and beyond them:
The British Isles, particularly England and Scotland of my ancestry, but also Ireland where I plan to meet a geographer of garbage governance.
Scandinavia, which is also part of my heritage. As noted above, I’m interested in an honest assessment of socialism in practice by citizens who embrace it as part of the cultural fabric (as with capitalism, too). Plus, how can I resist Viking lore?!
Holland, because I love bicycling, flowers and windmills, among other things that make the country distinctive.
The Mediterranean coast, presumably centered around Italy.
The French countryside (wine, cheese, food!) and the Iberian peninsula.