So I have decided what I want to do with my time after I finish up grad school in May. Instead of buying a motorcycle and touring the states, I plan on backpacking through Europe. Now, I have never been across the pond, but this doesn't bother me. I plan on doing some research on how to conduct my travels. At the current time, I am looking at buying a rail pass, and trying to hit a few countries. The ones I was thinking about were Germany, Italy, France, Spain. I don't know anyone over there, so I am content with spending my nights in a hostel, but if there are some E2ers out there that wouldn't mind putting me up for a night anywhere in Europe, I could try to plan my route and save a few dollars for the bars. Or at the very least, if there are some extensive travellers out there that may have some advice or suggestions of how to go about my travels, I am all ears. I know somebody in London, so I was going to get a one-way ticket there, and at the same time buy a one-way ticket back to the states coming from Spain or Italy a few weeks later. I am not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it certainly sounds good to me...I just have to make sure I get to the airport by the time it leaves.

The last thing I want to do is make a dead-set plan of where to go. I would like to get over there, then find opportunities of places I could go, and work from there...but I don't know how expensive it would be if I just showed up at an airport and wanted a flight back to the states.

Anyway, I am really excited to do this, and I think it would be very good for me. I plan on doing plenty of saving in the next few months so that I can stay as long as I can over there. I have been told that the easiest way to handle the expenses is to just use my ATM card and pay the $4-5 fee. Is this wise?

Sidenote, I am reading a lot more now, and have taken an interest in "coming of age" books. I'm not really sure how else to explain the kind of books I want to read, but similar to "Ham on Rye" would be a good description. If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.

On my way to self discovery,