Alright, after considering the opinions of several generous posters and some helpful friends, I have begun to narrow my plans down. Planning this trip is a lot like creating something from scratch: a complete carte blanche and overwhelming options - that slowly gets narrower and narrower as you make the small decisions. My only concern is overplanning this trip, or restricting myself in some regard. But I would appreciate further feedback on my plans...(PS: I am a Canadian)
So this was my previous thread: http://travelpunk.com/boards/showthread.php?t=15611
Reasons I am going:
Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland
Places I would like to see:
Austria, Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Belgium
Places I'm not that interested in, but would see if it made sense (aka a portal or I am in the area):
France, Switzerland, Slovakia, England, (Portugal removed
Est departure date:
May 15 - June 15 (ish)
Est length of total trip:
2 - 6 months (shorter if i get sick of travelling, or else as far as $10,000-15,000 CAD will get me)
Since it is extremely inexpensive to fly from Calgary/Edmonton to Glascow, I think this will be my first destination (although it is also cheap and easy to get to Germany or Paris from these departure cities, I could be swayed for good reason). However, geographically and experientially (virgin backpacker into English country) I think it makes the most sense to hit Scotland/Ireland first. It costs about $200-550 CAD to get to these places.
After that... things get fuzzy. My friend has warned me that Spain, Italy, Greece, and Morocco are literally packed and congested in July/August (summer vacation for Euro's at large, I suppose). Therefore I would like to avoid these busy times. This means cramming them in (with Ireland/Scotland) before July, or else putting them on the end of the trip (in Fall).
My working plan: Ireland/Scotland -> Nordic Countries -> Core (Germany, Czeck) -> South (with the medium countries thrown in here and there depending on things)
1. Is this a good or rationale idea to avoid busy Spain, Italy, Morocco, Greece in July/August?
2. Any other seasonality concerns ??(DO NOT GO TO DENMARK IN SEPTEMBER WHATEVER YOU DO!!!! :D
3. Do you think it is a good plan to hit up Ireland/Scotland first?
4. What is the deal with the Schegen Treaty? Will this effect me?
5. Anything else you see here?
Thanks very much!!