I’ve been traveling in Europe for about a year now, and I’ve come to realize (perhaps too late) that some of the most interesting and peaceful stays aren’t in the cities, but in the smaller villages. Unfortunately, I don’t have a car, so the logistics of this might be a little tricky. Have any of you travelled for significant periods of time through villages without a car? If so, I have a few questions:
- How did you deal with transport?
- Did you feel comfortable and content, or did you get bored? (I assume that without a car, you’d be spending much more time in the actual village than in the neighboring areas — unless you biked, maybe?)
- What kinds of people usually live in villages? Is it mostly older people or is it a mix?
- How did you deal with the language barrier? I assume that English isn’t nearly as common in villages as it is in the cities. Did you feel uncomfortable or out of place?
- Was the internet OK?
- Any places you’d particularly recommend?
- What are some areas around the world where you could get around easily and see lots of beautiful areas with a bike or scooter? I’ve heard this about parts of Thailand and the Amalfi coast. Also, if you don’t know how to ride a scooter/motorcycle, do you need lessons or is it easy to pick up?
- How easy is it to find affordable stays (via Airbnb or others)? My definition of affordable is no more than, say, $40/day, but ideally less than $35/day.
- Is there a good way to balance the desire for contentment and serenity found in villages with the lust for the multi-sensory spectacle and newness of city life (while not having a car)?
I realize it’s a general topic but I don’t have any specific destinations in mind. (Currently looking at France, Italy, Germany, etc.) I also realize that “get a car!” might be the optimal choice for most people, but for me, not only is it too expensive, but it just doesn’t mesh with the way I live my life. So even if there’s no good answer, I’d love to hear any and all tips you might have!