Crazy Idea: European Backpacking Trip for 31X31

My question: can I visit 31 countries before I’m 31? 

I made it to Pisa, but not Venice! :/

I made it to Pisa, but not Venice! :/

The Facts:

  1. Right now I’ve visited 18 countries (if I count Vatican City) and I am turning 29 tomorrow (my Magic/Golden Birthday!).
  2. I can’t quit my job (because I love it and I need money, hahaha) so I can only travel on school breaks.  This trip would be for July 2015.
  3. My current travel plans would only put me at 23 by my 30th birthday (Colombia for Thanksgiving break, Bolivia & Peru for winter break, Bonaire for Carnival, and Guatemala for Semana Santa).
  4. I’m a teacher with student loan debt from my two Master’s degrees, so I will be on a budget of $5-6K.
  5. I still want to see my family in the summer so I can only budget 4 weeks for the trip.

So my question is: can I comfortably backpack around Europe for 4 weeks and see 8 countries for Summer 2015?


Instead of spending a few weeks in Guatemala at a language institute, I think I should give myself the AMAZING 30th birthday present of a European Backpacking Trip!!

Possible Itinerary:

  1. Paris, France (train to Amsterdam)
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands (train or fly to Berlin)
  3. Berlin, Germany (train to Prague)
  4. Prague, Czech Republic (train to Budapest)
  5. Budapest, Hungary (fly to Istanbul)
  6. Istanbul, Turkey  (fly to Athens)
  7. Athens and Santorini, Greece (fly to Venice?)
  8. Venice, Italy. It doesn’t count  (fly to Paris)

I will travel to my 31st country by traveling to another country in South America during my three week December 2015 break (maybe Ecuador, Panama, and/or Chile)…but now that I made the list I really want to see all 9 cities!!!

Beyond the crazy idea to just try to reach a goal of seeing 31 countries before I’m 31, I think I would teach in any of these countries, so it would be great to be able to see a country before I jumped into a dream European contract.

Please Comment Below: Is this a feasible itinerary? Can I squeeze in Venice (I never made it there even after living in Italy for three months!)? How can I most efficiently travel between these cities for the most cost effective price? Can you recommend any hostels, Couchsurfers, campsites, or AirBnB rentals for these cities?  Do you know of any salsa clubs that I can hit up? Is my budget realistic or should I start saving more now? Most importantly: does anyone want to join me for all or part of this crazy trip?!


8 responses to “Crazy Idea: European Backpacking Trip for 31X31

  1. Pingback: Make Your Own Travel Journal! | Teaching Wanderlust·

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