The Delights of Europe through the Eyes of a 20-Year-Old Have a Very Long Self-Life

I spend most of my work time addressing the travel needs of adult travelers and marketing to that segment of our traveling population. My son, Andy, who’s running a tour program for students in Europe, does the same–but for the 20-year-old crowd.

I love watching Andy’s promotional video and putting myself in the mindset of a college-age traveler. I’ve been at this for over 30 years now, and it’s inspiring to see the ways things have changed…and the ways they’ve stayed the same. Today there are dirt-cheap plane flights, disposable cellphones, the same coins in nearly everyone’s pockets, bullet trains, hostels serving gourmet tapas, and no need for travelers’ checks. There’s a tunnel under the English Channel, and you can Skype home to Mom for free. Yet the adventure and thrills of good, old-fashioned vagabonding survive.

As a travel writer and teacher, one of my favorite discoveries is that the journal entries I wrote as a scruffy 20-year-old in 1975 still resonate with the generally much-less-scruffy 20-year-old American exploring Europe in 2013. Today the same timeless magic is there…and it’s a lot more convenient and comfortable to find it. As it was for me a generation ago, students are still awakening to the wonders of our world and establishing the parameters of their worldview.

Immerse yourself in a 20-year-old’s wanderlust for 100 seconds and let this video clip connect you with a vivid and people-filled Europe that has nothing to do with a having lots of money. Smiles spring, taste buds pop, sunsets warm, and the world opens up like a Dutch tulip in springtime…even on a student’s budget. Then, in the Comments, share a vivid, perspective-bending experience you had on your student European adventure…perhaps so long ago.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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