Originally, in my trip planning, I thought taking a train or bus to most locations was the cheapest and smartest way to get around Europe, but then I realized that being able to drive wherever I want and stopping to get out and take photos would be invaluable in my experience abroad. In America, the age to rent cars is 25, but in Europe, it’s a bit younger, so I am old enough to rent a car, and that will be so helpful in my photographic pursuits.
In my research for renting cars, I found out that many European countries don’t accept just your drivers license as proof of being able to drive, but you must have something called an International Driving Permit, which you can purchase through AAA. I’m glad I found this out before I went all the way abroad and found out that I needed to mail stuff back to the US to get this permit. I sent in my paperwork today, with a $15 check, and hopefully I’ll get it fairly soon so I can be able to drive the moment I get overseas. I suggest this path to anyone who wants to drive or rent a car while they’re out of the country. It gives foreign agencies documentation in their own language and aids your car rental attempts.
I expect I won’t actually do much driving until spring or summer when it’s nicer out, but I can already imagine myself driving down the Amalfi Coast, turning the corners and curves of the road, able to fully appreciate everything I see, and able to stop at any time and get out of the car and capture the world I see, through my lens. I can’t imagine anything more magical. I’ve seen countless movies where they drive through the countryside of Europe and it’s so beautiful. When you’re on a bus or train, you can’t do that, and must give in to only getting blurry, window shots. When you’re on your own schedule, you can stop as you please and appreciate the scenic view on your own time. As much as I hate driving, I think I’ll truly enjoy trekking across the continent in a leisurely car ride.