A continent the size of the United States, but composed of a multitude of countries so very different than what one will ever experience crossing the Pennsylvania/Ohio border, Europe is a dream for travelers across the globe.
An expensive dream, at times, and for certain, yes. But not one that’s unachievable.
What follows are tales of what to expect, ideas on where to go, and the stories of folks who’ve made it happen–whether Europe was their original homeland or not.
Featured Articles on Europe
Shipping a Van to Europe
The logistics, costs and process behind getting your vehicle from North America to Europe with the intention of traveling the continent by van.
A Brief Introduction to Camping in Europe
The different types of camping, generally, available across Europe.
Vandwelling in Europe: Interview with Here Today Vanagon Tomorrow
The exploits of a Canadian family who shipped their Vanagon Stormie to Europe to travel, find themselves and live a closer life.
Interviews with Travelers in Europe
Family Without Borders
Meet Thomas and Anna, their two daughters conceived and reared as they travel the world. Our best interview yet, and it was easy; this family is as genuine as leather and as beautiful as silk.
The Roaming Nomads: From Germany to the US & Back and Forth Again…
A family of three from Germany immigrates to the United States, adds another little one on the way, can’t figure out where to settle down so just travels the world instead.
The Real Buslife of Cheshire
A Brit and an Australian were traveling by van when they decided to mix things up – with a skoolie! Check out their homesteading lifestyle in England out of their converted school bus.
More Articles on Camping in Europe
The Valley of Wonders: Prehistoric Hikes in the Mercantour
Hiking, camping and more to see in France’s Mercantour National Park
The Best Low-Key Hiking Destinations to Discover in the Alps
Small towns and great hikes to explore, from Italy to Slovenia, Austria to France.
Hiking the Incredible Lakes of the French Pyrenees
Small towns, hiking trails and historic sites to explore on France’s southern border.
The Best Way to Travel in Iceland and Things to Do
Tips for traveling Iceland, from a Lithuanian. Where to stay, how to get around, what to see and the wild things you’ll eat!
Roadtripping in Sweden. General info, ideas and 6 favorite places.
Info on Sweden’s nationwide free camping, great places to go and general info on traveling the country.
Blog Posts About Europe
The Astralship and How We Lived in the Hacker-Pirate Community in the UK
Deleuze and his family stumble across an artist’s paradise in Wales.
Not the End of the Road
In Jo’s last post on Wand’rly (for now at least!), she struggles with the notion of life’s changing parameters, of a traveler who stops, and what that means…
The Train to 1950
Jo, our resident hitchhiker, revisits her mother’s town of Filey in the UK.
The Adventure Travel Film Festival 2015
Jo inspired this year’s festival organizers to theme the event around hitchhiking!
Trapped in Essex
Like every service station, Thurrock Services is an alienating and frankly quite terrifying place. Crowds of people swarm around ignoring each other and giant signs assault me with information in garish colours. I have packed away my tent and wandered into the service station. I’m in need of coffee, a plug socket, and most of […]
The Perfect Hitch
Quintessential female hitchhikers dwindle one by one as they go off in their respective directions, until Jo Magpie eventually catches the perfect hitch from a tattooed punk rocker back to England.
Jo revels in the sheer number of hitchhikers at the hitchgathering, and finds plenty of interesting women to interview for her upcoming book.
The Meeting at the Bottom of the World
Jo’s adventures in hitchhiking, this time trying to find a hitchgathering in the dark.
The Last Hitchhiker
I navigate my way clumsily around the train station, bumbling my way onto the wrong side of a security fence and getting ticked off by a very uptight woman in uniform. Barcelona’s morning rush hour chaos engulfs me. Following the directions on Hitchwiki, I buy a one way ticket to a station just outside the […]
Train Ride on a Blue Moon
Goodbye Spain, goodbye Hrach as Jo Magpie heads north on her own…
The Place Where North Meets South
Granada is a city of travellers. Hippies stroll through town barefoot with long swaying dreadlocks; buskers strum on street corners. The squares and dry brown parks are filled with young people playing drums, reading books, or drinking sangria. This is a meeting point, geographically close to the point where Europe almost touches Africa, but culturally […]
How Capitalism Stole Hitchhiking
Jo ponders the differences between paying for rides–via sites like Rideshare–and old fashioned, free, hitchhiking.
Just a Weird Camping Holiday
Hitchhiking in Spain proves more difficult than Jo recalls from her youth…
The Stinging Nettle in Barcelona
Like the stinging nettle, this community germinated without sanction or permission, and provides healing and precious nourishment. It does so for both its dwellers and the surrounding communities, through its vast vegetable gardens that are open to the neighborhood, their convivial social and cultural activities, their full and radical implementation of sustainable practices, and by their sheer example of what the world could be like. And like the stinging nettle, it has had to and will defend itself against uprooting, if necessary.
Two Old Friends
Istanbul is caked in white icing. It glitters in the early morning sun. Street dogs nuzzle empty plastic bags in the bus station where we arrive, bleary and sleep-deprived, after 12 hours shifting into ever-decreasingly comfortable positions on the night-bus from Marmaris. We make our way to Taksim Square as the city awakens and bustles […]
The Storm that Stopped the Boats
With but a day left on Hrach’s visa, Jo Magpie and her husband find themselves seemingly unable to leave Turkey.
The Most Beautiful Country
Turkey is beautiful, Jo Magpie proclaims, but “the most beautiful country”? Hmmm…
Hitchhiking Memory Lane
My friend Lisa and I lived in a small chalet in Kaş (“Kash”), the tiny holiday town at the southernmost tip of South-West Turkey, for a few weeks in the spring of 2011. Now Hrach and I are hitchhiking in that area, it feels a bit like coming home. Four years earlier, Lisa and I […]
The Hitchwiki Hackathon House
Jo Magpie hitches to Antalya in search of other hitchhikers, and shares the resources for their fellow thumbers being created.
Bananas, Ruins and a Campervan
We wind around mountain roads, truck by truck, car by car. One driver is particularly speedy, knocking us against the side of the car as he swerves round bend after bend. We overtake a camper van with bikes strapped to its rear, and gape as it slides from view in the back window. It’s been […]
Finding the Sun
Generous truck drivers and the Super Mario police as experiences on the road change very much for Jo and Hrach after leaving a war zone.
Hitchhiking to a War Zone
Jo and Hrach hitchhike into the war between Kurdish fighters and ISIS.
The City with Many Names
Even as a Kurdish city, Diyarbakır is unique. Kurdish separatist movements have always been strong here and the Turkish police recently instated a curfew on the city in order to suppress a potential uprising – in response to closing the border to Kurdish-Syrian refugees.
We hitchhiked to the city after a long cold wait on the south bank of Lake Van, with Recep, an enthusiastic Kurdish historian, who grew up in Istanbul but is originally from Kars.
Armenian Ruins and Breakfast in Van
“Let’s go that way,” Hrach says suddenly. This is my first time in Van, one of the biggest cities in the area of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. Van is a university city, very modern, with a bustling air of people getting things done. We head down a side street and soon come across a […]
The Road to Van
“There is no work here,” he says. “At school, we learn only Turkish. No Kurdish.” It’s a story we will hear over and over again on this journey, now we’re in the part of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. The Kurdish language was banned by the state until very recently. Town names were changed and Turkifised. Kurdish names were banned for children. It was illegal to speak Kurdish at school, or to print books in the language. It was a very successful campaign, most adults today either do not remember, or never learned the language.
The Other Side of Ararat
“I’m Sorry!” I tell the driver, “We’re hitchhiking. We don’t want a dolmuş.” “Ok, come, no problem!” he says, hoisting our bags onto the roof. “Teşekkür ederim!” we say, climbing in and grinning at the bus full of passengers, who murmur greetings to us. I slide past the legs and bags, past a man holding […]
The Coldest Corner of Anatolia
Mehmet slams on his brakes as soon as he sees us huddled in the snowy blizzard. He’s as astonished to find us here, miles from anywhere in the coldest corner of Anatolia, as our last lift was when we told him to stop the car. He had dropped us, astonished, by the place the road […]
Hitchhiking Georgia with Giorgis
Giorgi seems bored with his job. He tells us about his children, flips through pictures on his phone, showing us one daughter, then the other, at school, at home, in the park… He glances at the road occasionally, but seems disappointed to find it still there, still a highway, going straight ahead.
Hitchhiking Armenia in Winter
“That bus is free”, Hrach tells me, pointing towards a rusting orange Soviet minibus. We’re waiting at the bus stop outside the Opera in Yerevan city centre, surrounded by our luggage. I’m armed with four zhingali, a bottle of tan (salted yoghurt drink) and some smoked cheese sticks for the journey. I look in the […]
A Very Yerevan Birthday
Vodka, the Vernissage Market, and failing recollections of Santa Clause.
The Backstreets of Beyoglu
Jo Magpie extols a day in the life, from Istanbul.
How the Road Rose Up to Meet Us
Introducing Jo Magpie, the latest addition to the Wand’rly family of bloggers. The Rising Road is all about hitchhiking around Europe and beyond…