I read the VISA guide, but I do not know what the Schengen region is. Also, I'm aware that I need a VISA for travel outside the country, but as I've never done this before, I'm not sure if I need a seperate one for each country, or what. The plan is to start in London, travel north through Ireland and Scotland, then over to France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, then from there I'm not sure where, only that I want to go south through Italy and Spain and Portugal, maybe see the Rock of Gibraltr.
After some research to alleviate my ignorance, I've discovered that the Schengen region is pretty much exactly where I will be traveling, with the exception of the countries that seperate Greece and the rest of Europe. So I pose this question to you: one, how can I avoid sounding like a pompous, arrogant American? I don't wish to offend anyone in the countries I will be visiting. Also, will I need to apply for a Visa for each country I visit, or just one in general? I know next to nothing about passports and the way that system works.
If you have an American passport, you don't need a visa to visit any country in Europe (except Russia and Belarus).
Having the ambition to not offend people is a very good start! I think you will be fine.
For the Scandinavian countries I guess being loud and drawing a lot of attention to oneself would be considered mildly offensive. Littering and being disrespectful to nature would too.
If you like to make contact with locals, I suggest that you make the first move. Almost anyone up here speaks a decent english, but will probably not strike up conversation unless you start.
Strictly you need a visa, but you will be granted one upon entry, look here for the details.
[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jul-2010, at 03:00 by arahlen ]