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  1. Flight to Vienna anyone? I’m ready to sample coffee and cheesecake like my sweet Oma used to make!

  2. Your pictures of the Pantheon are some of the best out there–use a few of them here. Susan

  3. Wow! I hope you are around when I want to tour Rome. I don’t think there could be a better guide. Thanks!

  4. Hi John,

    My name is Luke and I have seen your YouTube videos and love them! I’m currently in College and studying German for one of my majors! I plan on moving to Germany once I get my degree! I’ll have to either get a job over there or Marry a German girl to live there! But want I want to do is travel Europe like you!!! I love traveling!!! I have several questions for you and it would be greatly appreciated if you would please help me! First off after watching your videos not to get personal but do you have a lot of money to be traveling the way you are? Okay so when I go to Europe/ Paris France and all over Germany should I plan ahead when it comes to staying at hostels and taking the trains? What did you do when it came to staying at hostels and taking the trains? What do you recommend? Btw if you don’t mind me asking what is your college degree in? I’m guessing you have one! But how much money should I bring to see Paris and most of Germany for a month? I want to have a really good time and will be staying at hostels and riding the trains! I have some friends over there and may stay with them but most likely ill be staying at hostels the whole month! As you can tell ill be backing Paris France and all over Germany on this trip! So how did you save up a bunch of money to do what your doing if you don’t mind me asking? I’m kind of jealous lol Jk! I’m just trying to get advice from someone who knows what there doing! If you could please email me at xxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com that would be so cool! John I really look forward to hearing from you and thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Please email me back it would help me so much! Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks so much!
    Luke,

  5. Why torches? Why the celebration? No doubt to commemorate an ancient victory ore the English crown? Seen Mel Gibson yet?

    • haha not yet! And I think it has something to do with celebrating the shortest day of the year and therefore they bring light or something like that?! To be honest, I wasn’t that much concerned with the why of everything during this new years haha

  6. I can’t beleive photos are allowed

  7. 3 days!! they definetly know how to celebrate something 😉

  8. […] I will get back to that at the very end of the post.  What I want to start with is that I am still sick, but with different symptoms than I had after New Years and Hogmanay in Edinburgh. […]

  9. Dear Mad Man….I watched you video of Terror and Chaos in Pamplona July 8…..I believe I am the one the bull hit at about 0:59 seconds into your video….I would like to confirm that you shot that on July 8 …..it really is something to see me (?) go sailing through the air after the hit…..wow….

    I am going to download that video but is there any way to get a better copy of it….maybe not, but I sure like what you do

    Thanks….and running with the bulls was an experience of a lifetime…..btw, I am 68 years old….

    Robert

    • Yes, it was done on the 8th. And man, was that a crazy experience. I think you were a lot braver than me getting so close to the bull and hit by it and surviving! I replied on youtube or on the facebook page to your message and will see what I can do about the video.

      Are you traveling around Europe or do you live here? What made you decide to run with the bulls?

  10. I sure would like to have the raw footage if that is possible….thanks, Mad Man

    Robert

  11. So again, I have a question…. Did you or did you not try famous bled cream cake??? Please say, that you did. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • ummmmm, ah, bled cream cake… maybe I didn’t :/ I had no idea what to do there lol. I did try some type of cake thing back in Ljubljana a week or so later though, but I don’t know if that is the same thing. But if it’s some special local thing, then I will just have to come back for it 🙂

      Generally, I don’t know much about a location before I go there; I kind of like the idea of being surprised but, as a result, sometimes I miss things 🙁

  12. Gotta say the picture did not look inviting at first glance. However your description led me to thinking I might really like it.

    Your travels sound awesome.

    • Thanks! And yea, the pizza looks really odd at first but its actually not bad. I might try it on a digiorno pizza or something one day haha.

  13. The gypsies at the Eiffel Tower are a pain in the butt. At least the guys selling the miniature Eiffel Towers are selling something. We had a beggar bother us, we were eating ice cream while sitting by Seine near the Ile Sain-Louis. This man saw me and new I was not Parisian. I am very blond and don’t look French. Now my friend who was with me looked French and he did dot say a word to her. He kept shaking his cup in my face mumbling something at me in French. I finally had it and we got up and walked away. He then told us no don’t leave.

    • It is sad. You try and have a nice time in Paris, which really is a beautiful city, and these people can ruin it. I hope you were still able to have a good time while in Paris though!

  14. Hey

    Your last video was two weeks ago, man. Those of us vicariously living through you need some more live commentary. Did you consider a commentary on the virtues of traveling alone, and whether company now, at this stage, is welcomed?

    • Hey there! No worries. I haven’t forgotten I have just been working on a new way of putting my videos together in order to, hopefully, make them more interesting and the first installment of that should be up tomorrow (I hope). And yes, I have thought about traveling with company a million times and I wish I had more introspective commentary in my videos but I will include more of that in the upcoming videos that I am creating that should show more of the adventure.

      • cool.I left a post on the about me section and to not be redundant will just comment in this section as you update travels.

  15. I started following your blog and videos, I have the money but not the time to travel the world. Im curious how you finance your trips, and would welcome some philosophy and introspection youve developed on your trips. Life, people, solitude, etc…a taste of your views summarily and how your solo travles have changed you.

    • Such a lovely topic to cover :). I have to be honest, I have been wanting to write a book about this experience, covering the topics that you mentioned, since the first year of the travels. It is amazing the psychological toll and subsequent transformation that you go through when embarking on a journey like this. I’m glad you’re interested and I will try to get some articles out about this. And as for the money, I put it like this “a lot of hard work combined with some luck.” 😉

      • Sounds good man. A book would be a good idea. It takes spine to set off alone having left the states and quit your job. Ive watched many of your videos and have developed an idea of your nature…the hostels and people you meet allow you a certain comfort and safety net, my guess is soon you let the more introvert/philosophical side take over and challenge yourself with a more isolated local. Psychiatry isnt my specialty , but it seems you carry a bit of the old pain and some demons around with you which are being exorcised. There are many blogs out there, many by assholes and people with limited depth…my take on you is, give people more philosophy, creativity, truth and make your entries in part paragraphs from your book. i do enjoy the occasional profanity and ad libs, some rather funny. Its not hard to see youre a quick witted intelligent dude…while everyone else focuses on more mundane bullshit you have a chance to make a unique blog. If I could pack up and take a few years off Id join you man, too much responsibility for the time being. Look forward to your travels and a more of your summaries, comical and serious.

        • I don’t have much to say except that I am pleasantly surprised with you insight. I definitely hope to be adding A LOT more stuff soon. As you have noticed it is hard for me to think clearly enough to put out decent stuff for those times that I am traveling 100%. Also, my new video should be up today on youtube, make sure to tell me what you think either on there or facebook or here; I’m trying to put out a small video series to show the adventure/journey/travel aspect of all of this now starting from the beginning and that is what I have been working on the past 2 weeks.

  16. John, very well done dude, I see a career in writing for you man. First day in Paris and almost throwing down with the local vagrants, classic.

    Keep em coming, hopefully you get a following here.

    • Thanks! I just posted the second one and there are more vagrants… God Paris is just special, like short-bus special sometimes haha.

  17. John, had to catch up on your travels, laptop out of commission for a while. So you’re breaking loose and starting off somewhere new…excellent. More self reliance, a requirement for bigger balls, and above all, doing this when young, as a high functioning creative mind can make life a bit interesting as you get older, and not always in a pleasant way….

    It seems you’ve alit to the fact that happiness not shared pales to the joys of sharing it with a suitable companion…you should have pursued the woman you met on the bench dude, that stuff doesnt happen every day. Alot of guys dont get the chance to meet and interact with women all over Europe, you have the chance to stumble onto the right woman…by becoming less of an introvert? Maybe, but then again maybe you wont have to. Ive always been amazed at how hard it is for people to just be themselves and give free will its chance…

    Looking forward to seeing how your new approach works out, it should be all positive, if a little difficult at first.

  18. John, this and the more recent posts are well written and a delight to read. Enjoy the romance of the twenties before this gives way to the requisite working drudgery and stress of the thirites, followed by the cynicism and mild despair of the forties.

    I see a writing career for you in the works, consulting is a bit more left brained and it would seem your environment is firing the nondominant hemisphere well now. Your writjng is excellent, only maybe superceded by a video soliloquy verbally administered…you are after all in Europe, lots of scenery available as a suitable backdrop.

    You have a firm grasp on the raptures a good chemical attraction can bring about…and I have to disagree that the prize is the lover who is also the companion….luck dictating whether she wears a ring which thwarts your future efforts or not…finding that prize and not able to violate the moral code which restricts your attaining it can be a real bitch however. Luck is tricky, but your travels provide measures to get on luck’s good side.

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about giving some more monologues as I travel and letting people see a bit more of what it is really like to travel for a long period of time but I worried that that might be boring. I will try and do some more thing though and maybe make them like my Dubrovnik video that I put on Facebook or Youtube or both, I don’t remember. And yea, I sometimes have to remind myself that, though tumultuous, the journey and relationships are certainly exciting.

  19. Hahahahaha you are awesome!!!
    Straight to the booties and boobies!!
    See you my friend

  20. So true! I just got back from Paris and since I am a Basset person and the Basset is French, I was hoping to spot one. Not one in sight. But Munich is full of them. I guess they love those sausages!

    • haha nice! I actually had no idea they were French until you posted this but yes it was awesome to see one in Paris. I hope your travels are going well! 🙂

  21. What city is that in the picture btw?

  22. Thank you for your very informative post. One question: how many days after your interview did you receive your passport?

    I’m in a similar position — applying for a long-stay via at the French consulate in Chicago — and wondering how soon I might reasonably expect to receive my passport. I know they say ~14 days, but I wonder if it’s possible to receive it within 7-10 days.

    • I actually got mine back in 9 days, but I would not count on this. If you go during a busy time, I wouldn’t know when that is, it might take longer than two weeks. Unfortunately, I am not aware of a way to have them expedite the process. To make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, make sure the documents that you provide are well organized, complete, and easy to understand.

  23. So the weary traveling narrator has waxed a bit cynical and less patient with assholes now it seems…looking out the train window as you say is very cathartic at night, its good down time to reflect.

    My years observing the human race and societies in general leads me to summarize that no matter where you go, you have buildings, places to eat, shop and drink, and in terms of people: kids growing up and learning, adolescents dating and learning, later to date and sow oats, married couples working and having kids, and seniors biding time until the reaper shows up. Ive summarized human behavior as applicable universally regardless of social customs and am sure in your travels youve figured out human constants as well.

    I am too busy with work now to even think of traveling for a year, but to sit back, get mildly intoxicated and act like something of a wildman or asshole sounds good right now-but I think youre tiring of this a little, maybe because without a true purpose and utilization of talents as men we wither .

    But I do envy your getting to throw a few down and reflecting on a city or life in general on some semi secluded bench somewhere.

  24. Mate, it sounds like you hate travelling. Better stay home.

    • I love traveling! But that doesn’t mean that I like everything that I have done while traveling. I hate it when people say they liked something just because other people expect them to say that. I am NOT that kind of person – I call it like it is.

    • Thorn sounds like you are one of the Aussie people that MadTraveler is talking about!

  25. Even online they’re creepy. There’s this one guy I used to talk to and he didn’t know that I straight away found him on FB and he’s got a wife and kid! So after that everything I told him was a stupid lie, to see what fantasy land he’d come up with. It was hilarious and I felt like I had the last laugh. His poor wife, she is clueless, I don’t know how anyone can be so blind just because someone is “OMG Italian”. Creepy with a foreign accent is still creepy. I’m not bigoted against Italian men in any way, but I’d never blindly believe what they say.

  26. Very useful information.

    Life is to travel. Travel is to live.

  27. Hey. I didn’t really know where to post this but we were talking about were to go in between bled and Greece. A little bit about me I took a year off of college and I just working. I decided to finally do this because it’s something I have always wanted to do. Me and my serious girlfriend broke up. And I still didn’t have any direction in life so I tooktime of because j feel like I have something to find. I’m not looking for anything other then find more understanding about myself. I believe you find more out about yourself when you put yourself in situations that are uncomfortable or unknow and I think traveling by yourself and being self reliant is that. I was wondering where you would suggest and also just anyothe words of wisdom.

    • No worries. I was thinking about this last night after my response on youtube and if I was starting in Bled again and going down to Greece, this is how I would go, assuming you want to stick to the cities. I would go to Zagreb, train it to Belgrade, bus it to Sarajevo, bus it to Mostar, bus to Split, bus to Dubrovnik, bus to Kotor, bus or train (not sure) to Kosovo, train to Skopje, then go to Bulgaria (I have not been there) and down to Greece or just from Macedonia to Greece.

      I have been everywhere that I mentioned except Bulgaria and Kosovo (I got really sick and had to stop last year).

      Once you get down to Montenegro and also Macedonia, there will be a lot of nature related things and beautiful scenery if you want to experience that. There are many more cities that are wonderful in each country but this should provide you with a basic framework off of which to base things.

      I can tell you that it is easy to make this trip as long as your are or become comfortable using buses once you get below the top of Croatia or out of Serbia. I made every leg of the journey that I just described except the Kosovo and Greece and Bulgaria part. (also there is a train that leaves from Ljubljana to Belgrade (Beograd) and to do that from Bled, you can take the bus to Ljubljana and then take a single train if you want to skip Zagreb.

      I hope this can set you off in the right direction! 🙂

  28. By the time Santa has finished his job in Europe it’s already Christmas morning in America.
    Do you need more explanation?

  29. Hey mate, I was thinking of doing this tour myself – But I am rethinking it now! Thanks for this blog, it was a huge help

    I’m an Aussie and I know how stupidly wild we can get together! I apologise for the behaviour of my compatriots! I’m not a big drinker or partier – I was thinking of doing this tour for the relaxing, meeting people sightseeing and SOME partying (maybe for the big nights)

    What I hear you saying is that you can easily DIY with hostels etc!

    Can you give me any links to the ferry companies?

    Or what if I did the tour but booked it directly through Katarina lines? I see they offer their ships themselves for a lot cheaper than bus about! Did you meet any people who’d done this?

    • Glad to help man! And I just want to remind you that I actually did party every night lol. So, if you just want a neat little package and you want a bit of sights and a bit of partying and you are either in a group of your own friends or don’t mind lots of Aussies and Kiwi’s and you have the money to spend on this trip, then it might be worth it! Since you are an Aussie you will be accepted more easily than I was, just a fact though, I’m not complaining about it. But, if you want to create your own experience, which can be very similar to the sailing experience if you want, then take ferries.

      So, I just want to make it clear that I don’t hate Aussies. I am, however a straight-shooter and tell people like it is. Often people think I am complaining when I give you the cold hard truth as opposed to telling everyone everything was perfect for no reason – check out my post on Fairy Tale Travelers and note what I say at the end about myself too lol.

      Getting back to helping you though, check out this page: http://www.hvarinfo.com/travel-to-island-hvar/

      I just found it so I can’t vouch for it. But, it gives you a great idea, if you read through it, what islands you may go to and how you may get there. Make sure to look at Google maps when reading about the islands so you can get a feel for where everything is because it is REALLY close to each other.

      Personally, what I would do is to go to Split or Dubrovnik and spend a few days there enjoying the city and find out about the ferries from the people that are staying or working in your hostel or other tourists. Many ferries leave from both of these cities and all of the main islands that you will want to visit, including Hvar. I am familiar with the area so that is what I would do, but, honestly, the areas have good tourist facilities so you won’t be lost if you do it this way as long as you are comfortable asking around.

      As for booking with Katarina lines directly, I personally wouldn’t do that. Do this, figure out what kind of cruise and experience you want and book accordingly. If you want a big party atmosphere book something like Stoke and if you want a quiet atmosphere book an air-conditioned boat. From what I hear though, you may actually really enjoy the busabout experience that I went on or doing it yourself. If I go again I will spend at least 3 nights in Hvar though.

      It’s a long answer, but I hope it helps man! Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi 😉

  30. Thank you for writing this. I am a 22 year old canadian and was considering going, I put in my deposit but was worried how much partying there would be vs. actually seeing the islands. I’m traveling more to see the islands and explore. You’re right it would probably be cheaper and save time!!

    • Glad I could help! Also, the last (very long) comment that I made on this page should give you some more info about how to do it on your own. If you need any other tips about the area or anything, just let me know. 🙂

  31. […] article is similar to the one on Fairy Tale Travelers.  But, here, I will first explain what a Travel Liar is and then cover why I am NOT at all […]

  32. John, you lucky bastard, still at it for almost three years. How are you financing the trips?

    BTW never replay the mistake you made at 17 with the German girl, the regret will nag at you without cessation….

  33. hahaha I KNOW. I felt so stupid after that! And I never ever imagined this would go on for so long! Life simply cannot always be planned; I was supposed to be in a cubicle since I graduated from school lol. As far as financing goes, I am not always traveling, I do make it back to the states and I save up money basically, nothing special.

  34. I’m actually preparing to stay in France for upwards of a year myself. If you don’t mind me asking, what is a suitable amount of savings necessary for this type of visa? I have read several other blogs and they list upwards of $8000 in savings.

    And to renew this visa, is it necessary to go back to your home consulate in the USA?

    Thanks so much for all the help!

    • Glad to help! 🙂

      It is not necessary to go home to renew it. As long as you follow all the rules for extending the visa you will have no problem. It is best to ask these questions when you go to apply for the visa though since they can change the rules at any time.

      In regards to the savings, you need to show that you have enough savings to be able to live in France without having to get a job. For the city that you want to live in, find out how much it will cost to get a place there and average living expenses and just make sure to have more than that. If you have only $8,000 in savings, I would say that you might not get the visa. I would recommend saving up as much as possible before you apply and then just apply and see what happens. There is no magic number, but if you can prove that you have enough savings to live where you want to live for the amount of time you want to be there, you should be OK. Remember, the type of visa that I got can be thought of like a “retirement visa” in that you can’t work over there with it.

    • Sorry about being semi-vague on the money issue but they simply don’t tell you anything during the application so no one really knows. I basically showed that I had enough to live in Paris in a hostel for the 6 months that I would be in France.

  35. what is the fare

    • Everything depends on the route so there is no single answer. I have paid from 10 euro to go a couple hours to 90 euros to go 20 hours, all tickets purchased at the day of or before departure. Booking in advance will get you cheaper tickets depending on the route.

  36. I like your videos–I show them in my French language and culture high school classes. I love that you love traveling so much. How did you get the “travel bug”–did you travel with your parents? When did you know that is what you wanted to do at this point in your life before you need to possibly get a “real” job? I love your Rodin Museum and agree with you about Amsterdam, which I like better than Bruges. Très cool.

    • Hi there! I’m so glad you like my videos!!! 🙂 I am trying really hard to make them better going forward with the little mini-series thing I am doing with it, but as I am sure you have noticed, I don’t create them as often as I would like.

      I started traveling with my family when my older brother did a year abroad in high school in Europe. But I honestly wouldn’t say that I have the travel bug as much as I have an INSATIABLE curiosity – its a curse trust me haha. And, if you read the “about me” section on here I think I wrote a ton about my decision to travel. I would say that I am never really ready to travel but that sometimes the time is just right and I jump on the opportunity. My parents really are the biggest influence in my life though and if it wasn’t for them I probably would have never traveled to be honest.

  37. BTW, did you study any languages in high school and did you find them useful. Did you learn German after living there a year? Do you learn languages easily? What languages have you dabbled in and do you have “survival” skills in French or Italian?

    • So, I studied Spanish in high school but absolutely never cared about it because there was no point in learning it, of course now I wish that I did but, statistically speaking, I made the correct choice lol.

      I learned German by living there for a year when I was in high school. I never took a course in it and all my friends spoke English with me BUT I went to a German high school where every class was in German. After three months I could speak the language fluently. I think that anyone can learn all they need to know to get around in a language or be fluent in it in 3 months if they are completely immersed in the language. So I wouldn’t say that I learn languages easily, just that it was impossible for me not to learn; though I did actively want to learn it when I lived there.

      As far as other languages go I have not become fluent in any other one due to the fact that Europe is so tiny with so many different languages and so I am always hearing 4 or 5 different ones when I travel since I stay in hostels. However, what I have learned really well is how to understand what someone is saying or wants without understanding the words they are speaking. It seems simple but its something you only learn through experience and using this skill is how I get along well in all of these foreign countries.

  38. Thanks so much for this post—it’s so useful!

    I’m also stuck on the “Sont-ils transférables en France?” question. I’m a freelancer, so I’ll be making income while in France that I can certainly spend over there. But I don’t plan on opening a bank account in France and transferring money into it… so I’m not sure what they’re getting at, nor what I should put. Ideas?

    Also, what company did you use for your medical insurance? Thanks!

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help.

      As long as you are not technically working in France and you don’t have clients over there etc. I wouldn’t worry about anything. This visa does not allow you to work in France but I don’t think that limits you from doing freelancing work over the internet that you did previously before you came to France so long as you aren’t meeting clients in France or conducting business with French nationals etc. and so long as everything is over the internet. This isn’t 100% fact though because most visa programs haven’t been updated to account for the online “workplace.” Basically, just make sure you have enough savings to prove that you don’t need to work in France and don’t get or try to get a job in France when you are there. (this may seem vague but there is no “right” answer as far as I know – I would just approach this as a retirement visa and go into it with that mindset)

      For insurance, I use IMG Global. There are few companies that allow for long-term, greater than 3 or 6 months or a year, insurance, but IMG does allow for this. There is another company I have heard about but I don’t recall the name and have never used them. IMG is not exactly cheap though but it works and I haven’t had any problems with them so far.

  39. Hi, thanks for the super informative post. I had a quick question about the statement,

    “Remember not to stick the label on the envelope! Just ask for a sticky envelope from the Post Office and write everything on there but keep it in the envelope so they can apply it at the consulate”

    I went to the post office and they gave me a Priority Express Mail flat rate envelope and they stuck a mailing label and I filled it out. When I asked them about this(do not stick label issue) they said as far as they know it shouldn’t be a problem. But I wasn’t sure how strict the French consulate is about sticking the label. If they don’t want me sticking anything where am I supposed to write all the info on the priority mail envelope. The shipping label has tracking no., barcode and other info on it that would be critical.

    • I honestly don’t think this will be an issue. But, if it is, they will simply tell you to go to the post office right then and there and get a new one and then come back to the consulate immediately and give it to them. I know that they do things like this because this happened to a girl in front of me, though not in regards to an envelope.

      So, I’d say you are probably OK and don’t need to worry because, if they want something different, they will let you get it that day and bring it back to them.

  40. Hello,

    Thanks so much for this informative post! I just have a question regarding the inability to work in France with the long stay visa which you have pretty much covered but I want to confirm that I understand correctly. If I am employed by a foreign company (America/Swiss) and my position allows me to work from anywhere in the world, am I still allowed to work during the one year in France as I will not be working for a French company or have French clients? I can imagine that providing a work contract is helpful in proving that you have sufficient funds to cover living expenses as well as a lump sum in your account. So pretty much it means that I want to live in France and inject my earnings into their economy rather than basing myself elsewhere in Europe.

    Many thanks!

    • Basically, if you show them you are currently working, you will probably not be able to get the Visa, as far as I can tell. However, if you don’t mention what you do and simply follow their rules of not working in their country, you will be just fine. The problem is that telecommuting, which is basically what you are talking about, is not well represented with current international laws as far as visas are concerned. If you are not going to technically work in France, as in, not going to get a job when you go there and not going to have French clients and not going to answer to anyone in France, such as a boss there, then I don’t think this should matter when you go for the visa. But, as this visa is not meant for someone who will work in France, I think that you will have to use your current savings as the basis for getting the visa. I wish I could give you a more concrete answer but I can’t because they never told me anything more than what I put in the article. Either way, apply for the visa as best you can and let me know how it goes!

  41. I wanted to say that I completely disagree with you, don’t get me wrong but you don’t know anything about Italian men, let me tell you, I’m Italian and I can assure you that creepy men here are like 10%
    Men in Italy are just the same as the others and they are usually very nice and it’s not like every men wants a one night stand or just grabs girls by the waist or thinks about doing it all the time. You got it all wrong, as I was saying they are the 10% of the population, and by saying that you make it sound like we are a nation of rude, creepy, not worthy people, we’re not. Really I don’t mean to be rude or look unpolite but you can’t just tell the world that Italian men are creepy and rude, I’m a girl and I’ve lived in Italy my whole life, and in 15 years I’ve never had the impression that men are like that, sorry if I offended you that you wasn’t my intention but it was just to tell you that Italian men are in reality really gentlemen

    • I’m glad that you have had that experience. I’ve been told that local girls are not treated the same as foreign girls. However, your experience in no way changes the experiences that I, and many people that I know, have had. When I compare those experiences with all other experiences across all other nationalities, in Europe at least, Italian men are, by far, the worst. Though, of course, that doesn’t mean that they are all like that.

    • Ha!!! WRONG and its Italian men not just in Italy but when they migrate to America too who gives deep gross tongue on the first date and yes breasts grabbed – gross it is

    • I lived in Italy for 2 years and had to leave because of the men! Absolutely disgusting behaviour! Definitely more prominent around Foreigners. They don’t know when to stop! I even learnt a bit of Italian and understood a bunch of guys when they said they wanted to take me into an alley and have their way with me!

    • I know many italians. Been in italy few times. Italians wants to fuck. But quality of sex is bad. And itlaians live with parents till 35plus. And they dont see a difference beetwen female friend and the girl they flirt with. They dont know how to make somwbody happy, be loyal and build relationships. To many of them cheat on girlfriend and wife. Online and in real life. Half on dating aps if full of man who says about his status ” its complicated “. Why are you here? To fuck! Coz they dont know how to fight for love. And italian materialistic girl who also dont know love but sex, never will find a man there. They just fuck arround for Sometime and finito. Sex with italian man is dry and Without passion. They fuck for 5 minutes and dont make you feel nothing else. Dont take a time to touch and explore. They can be agresive, bad listeners , dry heart and unhappy .. and they are blamming everybody else but not themself egoistic , narcistic

  42. Italian guy here! Absolutely not everyone is creepy. As Alessia said, only 10% of men are. The problem is that those 10% are rude and completely disgusting.

  43. Thanks for this article! I’m a 22 year old American and I put in my deposit for a Dubrovnik-Split one way tour in a Classic Below Deck Standard boat. I’m willing to deal with (most of) the partying (I’m not a huge drinker, but hey, sounds fun to go partying in these places), but I’m worried I may have picked the wrong boat.

    In your experience, would it be better to get the Classic Above Deck Ensuite? I’m going in the beginning of July, so I’m worried about the heat… also afraid after hearing stories of people leaving their doors unlocked because of how sweltering hot it gets, and getting their stuff stolen. I’ll be backpacking for a month before this trip, and continuing onward afterwards… naturally terrified of getting everything I own stolen from me.

    Also, will it affect the age demographic of my tour if I go with the above deck ensuite option, do you think?

    Thanks in advance!

    • So here it is. If you go in the middle of the season, which you are, there will be more partying but you don’t have to participate in that aspect of it. Personally, I would have welcomed more partying. As for the above deck suites you are correct in thinking that those will be less safe, however, it might not really matter. The main thing will be if you or your roommate leaves your door unlocked or not when you are docked. I never EVER left my door unlocked when I left the room and I never had an issue (I was in a below deck unit).

      As for age demographic, I read about that too before I went so I went with the cheapest option to have the most fun and it turned out that most of my boat had the suites up top and some cheap options below so, even though I tried for the “more fun” option I thought, it still ended up being a lot of people who didn’t want to party. I found that the real difference was when you got a really expensive option, like with air conditioning and more that you got an older crowd.

      As for heat, I went in September I think so it wasn’t horribly hot. I have no idea if being below deck where there is no natural light and you are partly under water will make it cooler versus being above deck and in direct sunlight, but I have a feeling that it would.

      Either way, room choice doesn’t matter much because you won’t spend much time there. So, I would say to go with the cheapest option because you will have the same experience as more expensive units anyway.

  44. Thank you for a great article. I see that upon arrival we have to do the following:

    However, long stay visa holders will have to register to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) during the first three months of their stay in France. For further information please check the residence permit page.

    Did you do this??

    Best,

    Jeremiah

    • As far as I know, that is only if you plan to stay for more than 6 months. I did not plan to stay longer than 6 months so I didn’t do that.

  45. Im from San Salvador, El Salvador, and i consider myself a scandinavian girl :’)

  46. Thanks so much. Very helpful

  47. Hello there, your blog was helpful, thank you.
    You said in one post that you would not recommend booking directly with Katarina Lines. Could you let me know why?
    Thank you!

    • As far as booking with a company goes I don’t think it is worth it. Did you read this article? If not, do so and then ask whatever questions you still have.

  48. Thank you for writing this article, it was really informative! One question though, does the visa start as soon as you receive it or does it start on the day of your choice when you actually leave for France (can you go up to them and tell them when you want the visa to start)?

    Thank you,
    Cheejun

    • As I recall, you are supposed to have your ticket to France before you apply for the visa or at least tell them what that date will be. Then, the visa should start on that date.

      • Thank you, I just received the visa! Does this visa allow you to get a social security number in France or to open a bank account?

        Thank you
        Cheejun

  49. Hi what is required for the letter of financial support that needs to be notarized

    • I think I just showed bank statements going back a few months and then a letter from the bank, which I went to the bank to collect, that was signed and basically said that everything was accurate.

  50. Going to Egypt Oct 1-13 with a tour group. The whole enchilada. Kind of nervous, would really like to be able to relax and enjoy myself. Will that even be possible? Enjoyed your videos. Appreciate your sincerity.

    • Yea of course it will be! You should just know the things that I have mentioned in my videos. Plus, going with a tour group will make you feel much safer!!! Just be street smart, make sure you have a good head on your shoulders and, as a woman, don’t go anywhere without a man or a trusted local. That said, stay with your tour group at all times, especially if you are not already a battle-hardened traveler, so to speak.

    • What site did you use to book the tour group visit? I would be interested. I’m a flight attendant so getting there would be easy but I’d like to go with a guided group.

  51. You are so so so correct. I recently went on a holiday to Mykonos with a girl friend – the clubs were 90% Italian, and the majority of men who grabbed up were Italian (we know this because they were speaking Italian). It was absolutely ridiculous – at one point my friend had one man stroking her hair, another grabbing her waist, and another pulling at her dress all at the same time. They all seemed intent on cornering you, and would never take no for an answer. We left the club, and walking down the street was again ridiculous – without a word of exaggeration, 9/10 people driving by on motorbikes called at us, or swerved too close, or honked (quite scary at night). Another pair on a quad bike slowed down next to us, and once we (politely, we always made an effort to remain polite, because if you were rude they would get very angry, and sometimes even push us) told them that we weren’t interested, they said ‘its alright we’ll just follow you’, and proceeded to crawl beside us on their quadbike for about 100m. It was horrific, and made us unwilling to go out by ourselves for the remainder of the holiday.

    • Fuck them. Fuck Greece. Fuck all of that. I hate that! The sad thing is that I know many great Italians who don’t fit that stereotype, but there are just sooooo many who do and who ruin everything for you that you end-up making a permanent mental note to be careful around them in the future or to avoid them completely.

      I’m glad you and your friend were able to safely get out of there! If you need any tips on places to party and have a good time in Europe, just drop me a line!

  52. Hey are you still alive out there? Your channels been silent. Just wanna know you’re safe.

    • Thanks for the concern! I have been having a difficult time keeping up with all of my obligations so I had to side-line some things and, unfortunately, this made the chopping block. I’m king of a bad travel blogger lol. But I hope to start up again soon. I have sooo much more content and stories to share.

  53. Your comments are pretty childish, but you’re right: Italian men, especially in packs, are disgusting. Just look at how little, fat Italian boys are with their moms. It’s obscene how the moms bend over backwards to over-indulge their disgusting little boys. Those boys grow up in a machismo, predatory culture. AND if by “non-Italian” women you mean American women, well, c’mon: American chicks are easy. Get them in a different country and they are so loose taht, yes, Italian men paw them. American women, in general, are so full of themselves, yet so slutty, that you only have to get them drunk. Think frat girls on Spring Break. American guys are generally douchey, don’t hit the dance-floor (consequently your rightly disgusted “friends”, even the “well-endowed” one, had to run to find you, probably sulking in a corner, wondering why the gross Guidos get all the play), and sort of pout and judge. I’m American, and other than the occasional English woman, and German gals, too, American women were just big, drunk SLUTS, so go figure already=predatory guys are encouraged enough to grab them. The biggest difference between American women and other women in Europe out for fun, is that American women have NO self-respect. They’re easy to play on low-self-esteem issues. They also lie: “Oh, he’s gross”, when really they can’t wait to fuck him. You just sit around crying. I’ve seen my fellow countrymen just lose out time and again! I, however, have fun when I travel, by not pouting and judging the greasy Italians on the floor. Personally, I think they’re grossest when they’re all in this weird Bro-Pack, hugging and kissing each other, singing along to some stupid song, acting like they’re the center of the world, and oh so cute and charmy, when they’re really just pushy and gross. I can’t stand them. But I hate fat lazy backpacking beer-drinking American tourists much much more. And no, it isn’t like 10% of Italian men: it’s all of them. It’s in their culture and the way they have been taught to handle women. Just pathetic.

    • “Your comments are pretty childish, but you’re right: Italian men, especially in packs, are disgusting. Just look at how little, fat Italian boys are with their moms. It’s obscene how the moms bend over backwards to over-indulge their disgusting little boys. ”

      Yes this is the real problem, how Italian society bends over backwards to over-indulge little boys.

  54. FYI, there is an exception to applying for a long stay visa only from consulates in the U.S.

    When I was working in Saudi Arabia, the French consulate there said they could process my application with my Saudi residence card.

    So if you have a valid residence card or work permit in another country, you might not have to return to the U.S.

  55. Your blog is great as it shows people how to travel around Paris in detailed met fashion. Which subway n exit etc! Thanks for sharing

  56. Thank you most sincerely for all of these valuable tips! Like you, my husband and I will be applying through the Chicago location, and I know he now feels quite relieved about the “interview or interrogation” process after reading your article. I do have one question…when you were writing your letters did you address them to anyone in particular? Somehow using To Whom It May Concern seems a bit general. Thanks again!

    • I’m sorry for the delayed response. I didn’t write them to anyone in particular. If I did put a greeting, then it would have been a generic and simple one; I wouldn’t worry about that part of the letter.

      I’m glad the article could help! 🙂

  57. Egypt are safe for foreign tourists only because the military government earning money from tourism industry. Normal Egyptians are not safe and refugees in Egypt are not safe. and no one allowed to earn from tourism industry.

  58. i love you blog, big help for me and my friends. thank you so much.

  59. You are ridiculous. The fact that this dome exists after so many years is incredible. However- I’m speaking to someone who orders pizza in Cairo and is disappointed. You place quantity over quality while traveling. You have just confirmed all notions I have of you and your blog. You want a marvel, however you are most comfortable in middle America with your inability to see anything from another perspective. You lack confidence and travel for all the wrong reasons. Do you even appreciate art? I would hate to see your boredom upon viewing Bernini’s Appolo and Daphne or the Colosseum.

    • I spent 30 days in Egypt…. I get to order a pizza within a 30 day time-frame if I want! The pizza was ordered in Luxor; if you knew anything about Luxor and how it is with white people when there are no other tourists then you would know that after a full day of tourism in 45C weather that you want nothing more than to relax in a comfortable bed away from the hundreds of people harassing you on the streets and just enjoy some food that you know/hope wont make you sick. You can try to demean my traveling experiences/style/methods, but at least learn a bit more about me and my experiences before you try to do that.

      And as far as the Pantheon goes, it was still one of the least memorable and least impressive experiences that I had in Rome, or, actually, anywhere else in Italy.

  60. I have an interview scheduled next week in Chicago for an extended visa. Thank you so much for documenting your experience. It answered a lot of the questions I had. Nice job…!

  61. I am thinking about Egypt in Nov 2017, you made some interesting comments and I really appreciate your candid approach.
    Do you think there has been any improvement since you were there. I was thinking about a cruise down the Nile and only spend 1 to 2 days in Cario.Just wanted to see the sites.

    You started to make comments about the Cruises, but did not finish?
    Thanks

    • Sorry about not finishing. Life has been coming at me very fast since I made this video and I didn’t have time to make more. Basically, the river cruises are OK, but not always reliable and they take a long time. You can take a taxi in 1 day between Luxor and Aswan and see the same things as 90% of the river cruises. When I was there, I didn’t notice many cruises that actually left from Cairo, so I can’t speak about that.

      As for safety, that changes day-by-day, but, I would guess that, as a tourist, it’s pretty much the same. You will most likely never have an issue, but you will, depending where you go, see some things that remind you that you “aren’t in Kansas anymore.”

      My take on Egypt is that you should go if you aren’t a first-time traveler and if you have a good sense of street-smarts and situational awareness.

      I’m glad you like my candid approach! I get a lot of grief for it, but I think people should know the reality and not just what’s on a brochure.

  62. Hello,

    Thank you for this extremely helpful post! I am in the process of getting everything together for my long-term visa application, so this was a great find.

    I don’t have substantial savings, but I work as a contractor remotely for an American-based company. I won’t be paying rent as I’ll be living with my French boyfriend. Is this suitable since I am not financially obligated — And do I still need to show the proof of income? Thank you!

    • For this specific visa, described in the article, you should not be working in France, unless something has changed recently, which I doubt. That said, you will need to still show savings and, probably, you should not mention that you will work remotely, or at all. For the most part, it didn’t seem to be a difficult visa to get. Also, you can temporarily transfer money into your account, which a lot of people do; however, I did not do that so I can’t say anything about that approach.

      Basically, you need to show proof that you can support yourself and you shouldn’t mention anything about working, if you get this type of visa.

  63. I so completely emphasize. I’m Italian, born and raised in Italy and now I live in NY. I truly fucking hate them! I grew up with them touching my ass and breast. The crazy thing is that “they often” think they’re being funny. And they don’t do it only To foreign girls, TRUST ME! We usually hit them and course them out. By the way they like that too. It’s a cultural thing. A very disgusting one.

    • That’s very sad to hear! 🙁

    • You are so right! I’m Italian but was born and raised in Switzerland and therefore escaped that “Italian way” of rising boys and girls (meaning girls are raised to be submissive in Italy even nowadays). Italy is in fact a country ruled by old men for old men, and these are creepy and not even smart as they are put in power through connections, not merit.

    • You are so right! I’m Italian but was born and raised in Switzerland and therefore escaped that “Italian way” of rising boys and girls (meaning girls are raised to be submissive in Italy even nowadays). Italy is in fact a country ruled by old men for old men, and these are creepy and not even smart as they are put in power through connections, not merit.

    • Italian here as well, born in Switzerland.

      There is indeed a huge problem in the way Italian men and society treats women, it’s disgusting.

      Italy is sadly a misogynistic country ruled by a nepotistic gerontocracy, creepy old men in power replaced by creepy men.

  64. I happen to love Italy, but, as a guy who prefers to travel solo and observe people in public, I have seen several incidences of Italian men inappropriately harassing strange women just minding their business walking by on the street. The disrespect appears to be more overt if the women are visibly foreign.

    I once sat at an outdoor cafe one evening and watched a bunch of guys shout and wolf-whistle a group of American students making them so uncomfortable that they went from cheerfully chatting and giggling amongst themselves to complete silence. But what they did to an African girl who passed by shortly after was truly disgusting and really shocking. They chased after her yelling a bunch of stuff including “pantera nera” while grabbing her boobs, ass and privates. She managed to get away and I instantly felt guilty for not intervening myself. It seemed like in their extremely prejudiced minds, she was seen as lower on the totem pole so they could get away with anything.

    Italy is a beautiful country with great history but they need to check their attitudes towards women.

  65. This post is so racist, I feel really offended. I will not speak about percentages that I don’t know, but – of course – speaking so generally is really stupid. Your experiences were bad, true, but this doesn’t mean that everybody is like this; writing an article on this can only give a bad image to all the population in a discriminatory and really offensive way. I know people like the ones you are talking about, and I know people completely different; like I know people like this from other countries. Stereotypes are sons of ignorance, that is supposed to be erased traveling, but as I can see… it’s not like this. I’m really sorry for your bad experiences, as for your bad words.

    • No one cares if you are offended! This is the real world buddy, not some safe-space where you are shielded from reality.

    • The thruth is the truth, and doesn’t care about your feelings 😉
      Your comment just goes to show another stereotype is actually real: big, butthurt mumma’s boy is offended… xD Let the worl stop!!
      This is ALL true, I am Italian and have lived abroad for the past 10 years and it now strucks me even more how backward and low Italian men are.
      Of course not every single man is like that, but I must say they’ve been generous in saying only 10%… I would say 90%
      Get a grip, you are NOT men, you don’t even know what being a man means.

  66. Have I got a con artist for you!! Look up Winson Seow. Originally Singapore I think but then ended up in my house in the US – CA to be exact. Just a crazy story. Everything was made up. One of these days I need to write a book on it. Better yet a screen play. I found you video while looking up things in Paris since we are headed there next week!!

    • Sorry for the late reply. I hope you had a nice trip to Paris! I do actually like the city, but I prefer that people know what they are going to experience for real instead of just the pretty things; this way, hopefully, the experience can be better since you’ll know what to expect. And I’ll definitely take a look at that; con artists are such interesting creatures haha

  67. The real thing here is… If you didn’t like just because some strange guy(obviously always just italian) then you can take a plane and fly back in your safe and nice country 🙂
    Fun fact:ask what the germans that i yearly rent the houses near the sea lmao

    • No, instead, I just avoid the creeps and let people know that they exist.

      • Talk about how horrible the zionist jews are as well then. Don’t just single out italians as if they are the worst on the planet when you have a group of people who think nonjews are animals, you dumb bitch.

  68. It was raining on the day I visited the Pantheon, so maybe that was why I LOVED it. The rain was coming thru the hole in the dome and (yet another engineering marvel) there was some type of guttering system that kept the floor from being flooded. Additionally, I found the austerity of the inside to be interesting as well. My understanding is that, because this was originally a pagan church (and very few survived “Christianity”, most of what would have adorned the interior had been destroyed. So, this gave me food for thought (what would have / could have been) and I found it to be a kind of meditative experience. You are right, it’s not ornate like s many of the churches, but I definitely found the difference interesting / refreshing somehow. 🙂

    • That experience sounds so nice 🙂 I think a lot of my experience and thoughts on it had to do with my expectations. I’ve found that if my expectations are too high then it is just easy for the experience not to live up to it. I really wish they had a kind of engineering tour where you could see more of what makes it such a marvel or at least hear about it while inside (maybe they have such a tour now, but I don’t know).

  69. Italians are horrible, I have this man by the name of Alessandro Caprari who stalks me, he is disgusting.

  70. In Minnesota it’s perfectly legal to grab a girl’s ass. Google it and you’ll see that it’s not just Italy.

  71. Absolutely Beautiful, restoration of Roman Ruins amazing, a bc trip worth taking.!

  72. I am retired but had a career in painting, writing and design. What if a gallery wants to show my work and I get paid for my paintings? Is applying for a ‘talent visa’ the way to go?

    • It sounds like it could be a good way to go. I am not up-to-date on this, but if you want to make money and be paid in-country and above-board, go ahead and apply for a visa type that will allow for that. If you just want the easy life and payment is not arranged in-country, then I don’t see why you couldn’t just apply for the retirement visa and keep things simple. Also, I believe that they give you a 5 year grace period for any tax issues if you get the retirement visa and stay for a long time. Take note: I am not up-to-date on any changes that may have been made since I wrote this article!

  73. Hi,

    I just applied for my Visitor Visa (Private Establishment/Visitor) and they responded asking for a more detailed explanation for my motivation and purpose of traveling to and living in France. I have written a pretty detailed letter with events I want to attend, courses and I interested in taking and other general things. Do you think this will suffice?

    Also, they responded saying my insurance was either missing or did not meet the guidelines. I bought insurance through Insubuy which covers me to $100,000. I provided all documents already including ID CArd, Visa Letter and Confirmation that I am covered in full for any medical occurrence while in France and any Schengen country.

    What do you suggest? Do you know if Insubuy is not a usable Insurance Provider?

    A timely response is appreciated because I have to respond with these documents within 3 days.

    Thank you so much,
    Dylan Rogelstad

    • Totally missed the ball on that response. Sorry! Also I have never heard of that provider, so I wouldn’t have been able to help you.

  74. What you wrote here is disgusting and nonsense, you have no right to judge and insult a whole people just by some experience with 10,20,50 or even 100 men. Do you think that posting this blog to spread hate against Italians makes you better? You just proved your ignorance and useless prejudices.
    If you meant to warn the girls to be careful from men, you didn’t need to mention their nationality, cuz bad men are in every country. There are also many good Italian men, but maybe you are so focused on the bad ones that you don’t notice them.
    You better delete this vile blog, and give another chance to Italian men. Ciao

  75. I am waiting for my conjoint of 8 years in the US to have his divorce finalized. It was executed 30 years ago but when we went to apply for our wedding in France they told us I had to be divorced – since my divorce from 1991 was never transcribed to the french authorities. We are now waiting for 6 months since the application and documents were sent to Nantes and still no word..so in the meantime my conjointe has to go back and forth every 3 months and we can no longer afford it.

    My big question: is there a visa that will enable her to stay in France without a job sponsor or a school enrollment (closest is 1.5hr drive away so not practical long term in terms of cost). I thought there was a “tourist visa” that ne could obtain as long as showing proof of means to live in France without working. Yet that is nor clear.
    Could you please clarify?…please…I have been battling the french administration (I am a french expat back after 30 years) and I am running out of steam…my driver’s licence is taking over 6 months so I cannot even insure the vehicule I brought back from the US…
    Thay are wearing me out…this is just the tip of the iceberg we HAVE to climb over…
    LMK if you have any insight it would be much much appreciated.

    JC

    • I am really sorry but I do not have any idea what you should do :/ I only interfaced with the people in Chicago when I did everything.

  76. I have a close female friend who can assure that Spanish men can be super creepy too. She’s had about 6 experiences with different men of Spanish descent on different random occasions and will probably never go back there. Perhaps the Spanish men are more verbally aggressive than physically compared to Italians – but they tend to have this overaggressive way about them, refusing to take “no” as an answer and being way too friendly, way too early etc. etc….

    I’ll save my comments about French men – I know the original post about Italian men is very “controversial” although it’s true. It’s largely a cultural thing – the hyper machismo attitudes, etc…. (not talking about French men – cannot say they are particular “manly” as a whole!

  77. Italian men are creepy yes, and at their workplace too as I witnessed.

    So, the manager was meeting with a VIP client (woman), the type of client a business cannot afford to lose.

    Well we lost that client thanks to the lack of professionalism of one man (Italian from Rome living in Switzerland).

    That creepy man made a screen copy of a bank transaction and stored it in the bank file. The problem was that part of screensaver was visible… boobs. Now you can imagine why that VIP client left the company courtesy of an unprofessional Italian man.

    During my career (Switzerland) I have almost never been impressed by Italian men. I was however always impressed by Italian women. They are high quality professionals with the ethics Italian men often lack. I strongly believe that if Italian women were given the place they deserve in politic, Italy would be a far better place.