It’s true, it will be one of the most eye opening, liberating, exciting, amazing times in your life. There is no way around it. But what no one tells you is how exhausting it is. Unless you are fifteen different types of superperson, you cannot possibly travel to twelve countries in 20 days and not be exhausted. Even 12 cities in 20 days is outrageous. Sure, there is enough time to show up, take pictures, and go on to the next place, but you miss what traveling is really all about.
With all due respect, you can only see so many churches before they all start looking the same. If you go from one European city to another without taking time to fully stop and appreciate what is different about each individual one, the same applies to cities. Europe is not going anywhere, but I STRONGLY URGE you to be realistic about your energy reserves. Plan an extra day to go to the beach and nothing else. Know that if you’re traveling for a month, two of those days you should be able to just relax and talk and reflect and read and be immobile.
I say this because I learned the hard way through Barcelona. One of the most amazing cities (from what I have been told) I spent burnt out and completely unable to appreciate because every moment I was experiencing the city, I was thinking about experiencing my bed. Two days is not enough to experience any city larger than 50 sqkm, so do yourself a favor and wittle down that ”to do and see” list to a more traveler-friendly version. I promise you’ll thank yourself later. These places are amazing, so take the time they merit to sift through and figure it out for yourself. Tripadvisor can only do so much.
And P.S. I promise there are better restaurants than those on main streets. Turn left, turn right, get lost, and stumble into a place without a sign, it’ll be the best food you’ve ever tasted. xo