Did I tell you about this time I went backpacking through Eastern Europe? At 16, a few days after my GCSE exams, I headed to Trieste, Italy to start my 3 weeks inter railing through Eastern Europe. I travelled through Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland.
One problem I had with backpacking at 16 was the backpack! It turns out walking around the shop with a bag on your back isn’t the same as walking aimlessly around a new city trying to find your hostel, walking around the city until its time leave and struggling on and off trains. At 5ft 2, and about 6.5 stone I think my backpack should have been carrying me, I didn’t have the hips or muscles needed to carry my backpack and no matter how much I adjusted the bag it was never comfortable.
Travelling through Europe on a train was amazing, it was the first holiday I had done like it and I loved moving to different places and seeing the world fly by outside of the train window. However being on a holiday with so many different hostels and transportation we were bound to come across some issues.
We tried to make sure that we only had one train trip a day, so if anything was delayed we weren’t going to completely through us off, however this wasn’t always possible without staying in some really random place. Inevitably one of the days we needed to make a connection the train was so delayed we were still in the first station when our connecting train was leaving!
By the time that we got to the station where we needed to make the connection we were a couple of hours late, we knew the next train would not accept our tickets because you needed to book a seat. After trying and failing to sort out our tickets we decided to just jump on the train, we managed to get a seat for about an hour, until some new passengers boarded. So then we had to sit on the floor by the toilets! Although we got a lot of funny looks reading my book in the vestibule is one of my most memorable moments, although it was stressful, it was so much fun.
There is something magical about turning up in the middle of a new town you have never seen before. I loved wandering around new streets that seem so calming, walking around in Italy I have never felt so relaxed and calm (once I had taken my backpack off!)
I think inter railing is a great first trip, I am thinking that I might go inter railing again on my own later this year for my first extended solo trip. Wish me luck!