Some thought on the language barrier and money

Traveling in France is a bit harder than I imagined. Something as simple as ordering a large coke in a McDonald’s or trying to find directions is a bit harder without knowing the language. The hardest part is understanding signs. In the train station, everything is in French so I just kind of follow what everyone else does. All the ticket agents spoke English, but even something like opening a door, you don’t know whether it says “Push” or “Pull” but you learn pretty quickly. I’ve been able to get by so far without too much trouble. Anything that I don’t understand that looks important, I take a picture of with my camera and use Google Translate once I get internet access.

It should be interesting when I go to Slovakia or Romania where English isn’t as widespread. It would no doubt be easier if I knew French, but when you’re traveling to 9 different countries, it’s impossible to learn them all. I will probably look up some key phrases before I head to a new country, e.g. “Do you speak English?” and “Sorry, I don’t speak _______.”

I believe keeping track of my money has gone well. I am keeping a little notebook with each debit or credit purchase, or ATM withdrawal and writing it down. As of now, I am averaging 50 Euros a day, (740.45 Euros over 15 days) but that might go up depending on accommodations. I heard it is cheaper the further east you go, so I might spend a little bit more time in Poland, Czech Republic, etc.

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