During this month I have visited Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Poland. Here are my observations and analysis.

Pandemic (soon to be endemic)

Most of Europe and the UK are in the process of moving past the pandemic. As of this month, many counties have dropped travel bans, including for those who are unvaccinated. Testing on arrival, quarantines, proof of vaccination of recovery are a thing of the past. Majority of European countries and the UK have removed pre-conditions to travel. The only health pre-condition still in place – for now – is the mandatory Locator Form that one must fill out and show on arrival in majority of EU counties.
While getting into any country is again as easy as it was pre-pandemic, once inside be prepared to deal with local (and even establishment by establishment!) health rules and regulations. Some restaurants still want to see your CDC proof of vaccination and may deny access for the unvaccinated. Some supermarket insist on masking. Some museums expect a recent negative tests before selling you a ticket. Social distancing is a big deal on public transportation. And coughing or sneezing in a crowded places may earn you an angry look (at best) or even verbal abuse and threats. But even with those local limitations, travel goes on and locals are glad to see us. After almost two years of absence, Americans are eagerly and warmly welcomed back to Europe!

The war in Ukraine

While tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine and all neighboring counties are feeling and dealing with influx of refugees, the rest of Europe lives in a tension of uneasiness. To be clear, everyday and professional lives go as usual. Everything is open and functioning as usual. The two new factors at play – at least for now – are (1) an increase in the cost of living and (2) ongoing (almost constant) live coverage of the war on TV (yes, there is a visible, real-time record of the events unfolding in Ukraine thanks to reports on the ground). While that uneasiness is seen and heard, as of yet, it is not impacting personal lives or the functioning of society at large. In other words, it is safe to move around: hotels, museums, cultural sights and monuments are open and receiving guests.


Stay curious. Travel. For more European travel details and for ideas how to get involved with the humanitarian efforts due to the war, please feel free to connect with me via this link