Why am I pissed at a small wine-making town in Luxembourg? Because that is where the Schengen Agreement was signed. For a while now, we have been planning extended (i.e. a year or so) travel in Europe, and this particular agreement is throwing a big wrench into our plans.
The agreement allows open borders between most of the European Union and essentially makes them seem like one big country to foreign travelers. That doesn't seem bad, until you look into visa issues. The problem is that now that the EU countries are all nice and friendly with each other, they limit your travel visa time in the region as a whole. You can only spend 3 months in Schengen countries before you need to leave. And you need to leave for at least another 3 months before you can come back.
This, of course, makes it very difficult to do extended travel in Europe. There are special visas that you can get, but the process seems very difficult, potentially expensive, and not guaranteed to end successfully.
So, screw Schengen (at least for now). We're off to D.F.