📆 Days in Europe
Anne-Sophie Redisch is a travel blogger from Norway who has travelled to every country in Europe and almost all major cities. She believes Europe's variety of cultures and languages make it an attractive destination, and she suggests limiting the number of places to visit to experience each culture. Anne-Sophie primarily uses walking or metro to travel around the cities in Europe, and her favourite destination is the Caucasian countries. She has travelled during COVID-19 by socially distancing and taking road trips.
Every journey expands my outlook.❞
Hello! What's your name, where are you from, and where have you travelled to in Europe?
I'm Anne-Sophie Redisch and I live (for the most part) outside Oslo in Norway. I have travelled all over Europe, to every country and almost all the major cities.
In one sentence, why should someone travel to/through Europe?
The sheer variety of it! You can travel for one hour - by car or bus or train - and be in a different country, with a different culture and different language.
What motivated you to take your first trip to Europe?
I was 15, travelled to Austria to a language school - without parents for the first time. My ntention was to have fun. Which I did! And maybe learn a little German.
What went into planning your first trip to Europe?
Not much. Working to save up a bit of money. Applying to the language school course. Generally, travelling around Europe doesn't need that much planning. It's easy - and fun - to be spontaneous. Often, I show up in an airport with nothing booked in advance. I might fly to, say Brussels, then maybe I happen to see a poster in the airport for a concert in Luxembourg, and catch a train there and find somewhere to stay when I get there.
If you had to plan one final, perfect Eurotrip, what would the itinerary look like?
There is no one perfect Eurotrip, but hundreds. But as an example: I adore the UK, and so do my kids. We've taken numerous road trips all around the country, and they're all so different. Seems almost every city, town and even village have managed to keep their individuality.
What's your advice for first-time Eurotriprs who are just starting to plan a trip?
Hard as it might sound if you want to see it all, I think I would advice limiting the number of places to visit, simply because there is so much to experience everywhere. And you really don't want to spend all your time in a car or on a train. If it's important to get in several countries in one trip, I would probably recommend Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Liechtenstein/Italy. Distances are fairly short - and let's face it, nothing beats the Alps. If you're on a tighter budget, Eastern Europe is a great choice, too: all the countries there, really.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced when planning your Eurotrip?
Can't think of any. Europe is easy! So my best advice: you be easy, too!
In your opinion, is Europe an expensive place to travel? Why / why not?
It can be, but doesn't have to be. Even Norway, famously expensive, have lots of free things on offer, especially outdoors.
What are the 3 most important things to consider when packing for a trip to Europe?
Plan on wearing layers; the weather can be tricky.
How would you pack differently for a 1-week trip to Europe versus a 1-month trip?
Not very! Clothes can be washed. In summer, you can easily travel with carry-on only, even for a month. It's a bit trickier in the other seasons. For winter - and even autumn and spring - I'd be sure to pack light-weight woolens, and again, layers.
How do you primarily get around a typical city/town in Europe? Walk / Bus / Cab/ Uber / Metro?
Offhand, I can't think of a single European city where walking isn't an option. Metro/tube works well, too. I live in Norway and Uber is illegal there, so I don't really use it much in other countries either. But I hear rave reviews.
What is your favorite destination in Europe? Why?
Too many to mention. A quirky favourite is the Caucasian countries. I love Tbilisi and Yerevan.
What resources (books, apps, devices, etc) do you use while on your Eurotrip?
Before smart phones, I used Lonely Planet a lot, and was used to - and liked - the format of the (printed) books. They're not quite what they once were, but it's still kind of a default option. But mostly, I just Google.
What was your first trip to Europe like?
How do you find social connections while traveling around Europe?
In Europe, you can be as social - or anti-social - as you like. If you want to meet people, you will probably have to take some kind of initiative, most of the time.
What are some of your favorite foods in Europe, and in what countries are they found?
I've had delicious food in so many places - like cold Borscht (beetroot soup) in Lithuania or Poland, or ... and cheeses in Norway (particularly in Western Norway) is to die for. (You didn't see that coming, did ya?) or something simple like pan tamate (simply toast with tomato rubbed on with a bit of olive oil). But more than a specific country or region, I like variety in a meal, different flavours, so lots of small dishes, like tapas or meze, tend to be my favourites.
If you've travelled through Europe more than once, what has changed in how you plan your trip now from your earlier trips?
Travelling in Europe has always been easy, in my opinion. And if anything, travelling is even easier now, with everything at your fingertips.
What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?
Surprises. The unpredictable. The people you meet (if you want to). The sounds, sights, smells... different from home.
When you come home from a trip to Europe, has it changed you? How?
Every journey expands my outlook....
Given COVID-19 is still a problem, when do you think it will be safe to travel around Europe again?
I've managed to travel a bit still. The trick is to socially distance, which obviously dampens things a bit, but it's better than nothing. Road trips is the way to go in these circumstances. Last year (in 2020), I did a road trip in Greece with two friends, and this year, we did the same in Poland.
What do you wish you knew before your first trip, that you know now?
Nothing, really. I'm a bit more careful now than when I was 15, obviously.
Where can we stay up-to-date with and learn more about you and your travels? What can we expect from following you?
I have visited about 125 countries around the world (many of them with my two daughters), and we've covered most of them on Sophie's World (www.sophiesworld.net). You can expect a focus on the world's curious and often unsung places.