28 Lessons from 28 Countries

When I first moved to Europe to teach English in Spain, I dreamed of visiting every country on the continent.  At this time, it was just that: a dream. I had no actual plans of traveling to each country, to be honest, I didn’t even know how many countries were in Europe. It wasn’t until I realized how easy it was to travel through Europe and how to take advantage of that that I saw my dream becoming a reality. (link that post, my tell-all secrets to conquering cheap travel in Europe – still working on 😉 ).

After spending two years living in Madrid (and becoming best friends with the RyanAir flight attendants, and mastering the skillful art of cramming a weekend of clothes into a tiny bag), I wasn’t close to my goal of seeing all 50 countries in Europe. (Yes, I just googled it, there are 50 countries in Europe. Some being more accessible than others, some with greater restrictions than others, blah blah). As bummed out as I am (still currently that is) that I haven’t seen all 50 countries in Europe, I did manage to alter my extreme dream of conquering ALL 28 EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES.

For those of you that don’t know (we’ve all been, no shame); the European Union “is a unified trade and monetary body of 28 member countries. Its purpose is to be more competitive in the global marketplace. At the same time, it must balance the needs of its independent fiscal and political members.” Basically, it is a clique of countries at the cool kid’s table.

These are the lessons, failures, mistakes, whoopsies that I learned from each EU country. Each photo has a special story behind, ask me about it!

and let me know your travel stories! 

Austria: Even if it is one stop, get a bus ticket. If you get caught, they will follow you to the bank and watch you pull out money to hand over to the officials.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Austria

Belgium: Never have the same beer twice 🍻

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Belgium

Bulgaria: print your bus passes beforehand, they charge for the use of paper & you might get bedbugs from the bus.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Bulgaria

Croatia: Don’t be afraid to take the backroads, you’ll find gems hidden along the way.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Croatia

Cyprus: You might lose a hubcap and have to switch your car twice but don’t let car rental companies walk over you because you aren’t a local. Cyrus is HOT 🔥 , places you didn’t know could sweat will produce copious amounts of sweat, make sure you are hydrating.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Cyrpus

Czech Republic: Shots before a 7AM train departure are never a good idea.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Czech Republic

Denmark: tourist places can be overrated, visit them then go get lost in the city. Get the Copenhagen Card!

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Denmark

Estonia: Try the chocolate. It’s frozen and draped in cheese 🤤
28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Finland

Finland: Be open to trying new foods. It may seem wrong to you, but remember, it’s a delicacy to them. It may look like mushy colored chunky shit in a bowl but it tastes like heaven.
28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Finland

France: Try speaking French, it is a sign of respect and they enjoy watching you try.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | France

Germany: If you really want to go into the castle, book your tickets ahead of time.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Germany

Greece: Don’t be afraid to repeat old adventures.
If someone asks you to dance the Opa! you dance.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Greece

Hungary: Go outside of your comfort zone, even if you’re in a pool where no one speaks your language. Charades will get you far enough.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Hungary

Ireland: Don’t take your phones or valuables out with you at night! Sometimes being stranded is okay because a strangers kindness is priceless.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Ireland

Italy: Never say no to a second helping. Never. Stay up for the sunset. The best and most magical time to see the Trevi Fountain is between 2AM-5AM.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Italy

Latvia: It’s always cold. Bring a scarf.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Latvia

Lithuania: Eat the dumplings. Even the weird flavored ones.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Lithuania

Luxembourg: Remember when the last bus is. Always, check the bus schedule before you leave.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Luxembourg

Malta: When the bell keeper offers you a private tour up 500 steps, do it. The view is worth it. Plus, you booty and calves will thank you later.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Malta

Netherlands: Use and abuse the free Amsterdam pass. Also, a café is not the coffee café you might think it is. It may be rare to get a cup of coffee in a café.
28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Netherlands

Norway: Some of the most breathtaking, jaw-dropping scenery Mother Nature has blessed my eyeballs with.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Norway

Poland: When visiting places that deserve more than your respect, give them that. Don’t disrespect history or the deceased to capture a photo. C’nom people.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Poland

Portugal: drink the vino verde. eat a pastéis de belém. go to Sintra.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Portugal

Romania: don’t rely on credit cards, always carry the currency. And also check the times, for buses and castle.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Romania

Slovakia: do the walking tour. you’d be surprised some of the things you learn about the history & traditions.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Slovakia

Slovenia: Get lost in nature outside of the city capital. It is a lot harder to row a boat out to Lake Bled than you would think.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Slovenia

Spain: Three words: pan. con. tomate. My life.
Indulge in the lifestyle as Spaniards do.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Spain

Sweden: The meatballs are actually better than the ones at Ikea.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | Sweden

United Kingdom: Don’t try and fake a British accent. Spend hours in the museum, it’s worth it. Prepare for instant downpour after cloudless sunshine.

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | United Kingdom

Moral of the story: guys, we all make mistakes, get locked out, miss the bus, forget our wallet. It happens. But those are the parts of travel that make it that much more.
Embrace it, learn from it, & share it. 

Let me hear your stories about your mishaps or whoopsies while traveling!

28 Lessons from 28 Countries | Chasing Krista | United Kingdom

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23 Replies to “28 Lessons from 28 Countries”

  1. Yes yes yes you give us much to think about and follow your wandering inquisitive personality !! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. I absolutely loved your post!! So what was the mushy shit? and how was the chocolate draped in cheese? You commented on so much I have not thought of but I am going to write them down so I don’t forget!

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  3. I had no idea that there are 50 countries in Europe! This is such a cool idea for a post, I loved the way you set it up and wrote one lesson from each country. It definitely makes me wonder about the stories behind the lessons! Your bus mentions reminds of staying in a hotel way outside of Venice and needing to catch the last bus of the night back. I knew the stop we needed to get off, but my friend insisted it wasn’t it…….I’m sure you can imagine that we ended up who knows where and had a night of adventure 🙂

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  4. This is so fun! I love that you were able to conquer all EU countries 🙂 I cannot wait to do the same – tackling Budapest & Venice this week!

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  5. Haha, I love the lessons you learned. And that’s the best part about travel anyway – all the lesson that you learn along the way. I completely agree about exploring the backroads in Croatia because you will land up discovering hidden gems. Also, I have not been to Estonia but I love the idea of trying frozen chocolate draped in cheese. Oh, and learning a bit of French if you’re visiting France (especially Paris, I’d say!).

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  6. What a fantastic and hilarious post. Every time you left a recommendation, I was left imagining what in the world happened to you! The Bulgarian recommendation related to bed bugs was a little cringey. I’m now curious about chocolate with cheese. And of course, the mushy “s…”! Have you written blog posts about your trips? You should link them next to each recommendation so people can read more about your adventures!

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  7. I love your energy Krista!! I have to say I’m quite envious you’ve seen all 28 countries, as I’m European and haven’t seen them all! I live half the year in Italy, and yes, you can’t say no to a second helping, everything’s delicious!

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  8. Sounds like you had quite the epic European adventure! Thanks so much for sharing your tips and special memories! I feel like I need to know the endings to some of these stories!

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  9. Goals!! Props to you for doing that many countries in one year! Seems like 2018 was very memorable for you. I’m sure you definitively learned a lot about yourself 🙂

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  10. Wow, all the 28 EU countries! You are a rockstar. And I really loved the lessons you shared with us. Yes, travelling is not all about gorgeous landscape and lovely photos. Its much more than that!

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  11. Those are some helpful and crisp tips for fellow travelers. Thank you for sharing them. Best wishes for your 50 countries target.

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this and yes me too – want to visit all 50 but have done 20 so far!! I totally agree about Finland – tried so many foods that didnt look that good but tasted amazing!!

    Laura x

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  13. Wow, you’ve been so many unique places! Such a fun idea for a post. Travel can truly teach you more than any textbook!

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  14. I love this post! The way you wrote it is perfect, just a one liner of information. I couldn’t stop laughing at what you said about cafes in the Netherlands – so true! I definitely walked into a few where I thought I’d get a cup of coffee and that is NOT what they sell. 😂

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  15. Czech Republic: Shots before a 7AM train departure are never a good idea.Why? 🙂
    I am confused with this one…. I mean, there is always a chance that something goes wrong after shots.

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  16. What a fun post idea! That is so awesome that you made it to all EU member states, and best of luck making it to every country in Europe!

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  17. It was fun reading different lessons from different countries you have visited. I was curious about what’s next! Some of your lessons are actually very helpful tips for travelers.

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  18. I enjoyed reading your story and adventure. Congrats for reach 28 countries and wishing that you keep on your adventure and filing your passport!

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  19. Love this! Such a great way of summarizing different countries all over Europe. Seems like you had fun on your trips.

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  20. Amazing post with real jaw dropping pictures. I liked the tip you have for reader. Hopefully I will refer back when I plan Europe…..

    Like

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