Olivier and I decided some time ago that it was the time to take a real break from our routine, to go and explore the world. Since we purchased in June 2008, through Ebay, a second-hand Ford L Transit Van equipped as a camper, this idea of travelling could have been thought of as an option. Last year we did have the opportunity to travel around with our camper in several regions in France and liked the opportunity and the liberty this way of travelling offers.
Both of us have travelled to different regions and continents of the world and for ones we wanted to stay close to where we live currently (Paris, France). We were both interested in planning a road trip. Why not visit the neighboring countries we know so little about?
From July to December 2008 the French government presided over the European Union (EU), so during that period there was much talk about different aspect of the EU. Also the intercultural aspect has been taken into consideration as the year 2008 was named; "European Year of Intercultural Dialogue".
While doing some research it came more and more obvious to us where our intentions to visit the Eastern European countries, originated from. We know so little about countries that are either within the European Union or negotiating to become shortly. Travelling to visit Eastern Europe and get to know the different countries, their people and culture, would give us a possibility to bridge the gap that we feel exists between people living in the same economical community.
The idea is to go one way and come back through another. We looked on different maps and set-up an itinerary, we thought to be interesting. We decided to start and end in France and travel as follows: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. In total we are going to cross 14 countries and 11.500 kilometres.
We would be using our van as our mean of transportation and also our main place to accommodate ourselves. We can be completely independent in our van, as we can sleep and also prepare our meals. Thinking more and more about this adventure, we decided that we wanted to find something that will bridge the distance between us and the inhabitants of the different countries.