You're off the Beaten Path, now get off the Not-So-Beaten-Path
Everyone knows "how to backpack across Europe". The classic, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Munich, etc. etc. etc. trip. Go to Oktoberfest, or Carnival, or Running of the Bulls, or Stonehenge, or the Roman Coliseum, football game, castles, French riviera, gondola rides. Sure, these things are great. Honestly, I will probably do most, if not all of them this next semester when I go to Scotland and spend part of my Summer in Europe.
However, what about the people? The language, the rest of the country outside of the city lights? What about the rivers and forests and streams? What about Le Havre, France, which is the sight of Henry V's siege of what was once Harfleur? What about Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated? What about Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans in England? What about the Coliseum and other Roman architecture in the South of France, specifically Arles? What about Al-Hambra, one of the greatest pieces of Moorish architecture in Spain, truly the melting pot of Middle Eastern and Western culture? What about Syracuse, where the Greeks landed in Herdotus' Histories? I haven't even gotten out of Western Europe...get what I'm saying?
There is so much more to see in Europe, so much more to learn, so many more experiences. I love drinking with new friends, trying new bars and new pubs, meeting new people. These are all essential to traveling. If you ever get the itch to REALLY get off the beaten path (I mean you've already left everyone you know behind, you're traveling, you might as well leave everyone else, who left everyone they know behind to travel) then read on.