What is a 1st time camera to travel abroad with?

Started Aug 20, 2014 | Questions thread
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CollegeCameraGuy New Member • Posts: 1
What is a 1st time camera to travel abroad with?

I'm a college junior going into my second to last year of studying, and either senior year or right after I graduate I plan on going abroad to study or travel for an extended period of time (at least 20 days). This being said, I want a way to capture the experiences I will have, and I thought I might as well get a camera other than my iPhone to do so with. 
Just some background information: I plan on shooting anything and everything I see, be it buildings, landscapes, wildlife, or people I meet along the way. If anything I probably won't be doing anything too fancy with manual settings, as this would be my first real extended use with a camera. I know the very basics about shooting, but like the post title suggests this will be my first very own camera. In the past I have used family members point and shoots as well as entry level DSLRs, so I have a feel for it, just no real definable skill. Therefore, I am looking for a camera that is:

1. Easy to use

2. Compact enough for travel (I will potentially be riding a bike around Europe to travel with)

3. Under $1200, unless completely necessary to spend more. (Obviously the cheaper the better as I am a working college student.)

I've read elsewhere that I should be looking for something with at least 14mp but really nothing too high in that department, at least a 20x optical zoom, a wide aperture, video shooting capability of at least 30fps and 1080. As a side note I plan on having a GoPro with a few mounts for that as well, so I don't need this camera to be able to come mountain biking of skiing with me.
I am open to any and all suggestions, or further reference materials if that is the direction I need to go. Also, I would be more than interested in hearing anyone's past experiences with traveling light in the camera department yet still being able to take the pictures back to show family members and post online. 
Thanks in advance for any and all input!

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