I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now because I want to speak with the right words. Today I wanted to share with you my life-changing experience on backpacking through Europe.
26 of June 2012
A younger me was about to finish school and venture in the scary world of university (In Spain we all have an evaluation at the end of school and depending on your marks you can enter the degree you want or not). So I was about to do my final, FINAL exams and have the longest summer EVER (more than three months). And, of course, with so many vacations everyone was planning THE BEST summer of their lives. This means that everyone was dreaming about getting drunk in Ibiza while I was dreaming about exploring the world.
Okay, maybe the world was too much. But how about Europe?
I had never really traveled anywhere with my family, so I didn’t know much about any country out there. All I knew is that my dad went backpacking through Europe when he was younger and he always talked about it. Hearing all his adventures got me obsessed and I started asking everyone I knew if they wanted to come with me. But after Ibiza who would have had money to come to explore the world? I’ll tell you: no one would want to come wih me.
But I really wanted to go and, finally, I managed to convince my cousin to come with me. She was the perfect person. We had the same age, we went to the same school, we were best friends and we knew each other way too much. At first she was like: Nah!! What are we going to do just me and you? (Two seventeen year old girls wandering alone around Europe?? *Scary*). But I insisted SO much and was SO excited that, in the end, she got excited as well.
That’s how we ended up buying our Interrail pass and how we spent 32 days traveling by train all around Europe. We went to so many countries that you wouldn’t believe. We slept in trains, train stations, youth hostels. We walked, walked and walked endlessly. We ate food from the supermarkets and got a shower every now and then (oops). But above everything we met amazing people (well, we also found not-that-nice people but that’s part of the adventure) and we had the BEST time of our lives. One day we could be walking through the busy Berlin and the other lying on a beach in Croatia. The world was at our feet and the feeling of truly freedom was AMAZING.
I’m not gonna lie though, it was hard (at some pont I cried of tiredness). Some days we were just too exhausted. When you have no restaurant to seat in, no hotel to have a rest, the days can be loooong (especially in summer)!! We would wake up at seven and go to sleep at eleven or twelve. The rest of the day consisted in walking, walking and more walking. Oh and buying food. But I loved it. I know there is people who does the same and they go to restaurants and hotels. But then, what’s the whole point of backpacking?! We wanted to do it whithout spending too much money, and we did.
The best part of it was to do whatever we wanted to do. We had our bags, our tickets and Europe. We didn’t even know where we wanted to go or where we would sleep. We just went with the flow of time.
The experience changed my life. By saying this I don’t mean that I came home as a different person, I didn’t. But my way of thinking changed somehow, I learned to feel alright about sleeping with ten unknown people, I learned to feel alright about not showering for days, I learned to live under a very low budget… LIFE IS GOOD!!
I don’t know if you are willing to do this kind of adventure but if you are not I want to encourage you to consider it!! It was in the number one of my bucket list and it’s definitely one of the best experiences of my life.
I could be talking about this for hours. I have so many tips and anecdotes that I could fill in thousands of posts. This is an introductory post about a personal experience. Let me know if you would like to hear more about it.
“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving”