Its 19:37 on a mysterious day and I’m sitting on my red comfy bed excited to tell all my readers about the shocking truth of the backpack travellers! All truths listed below are from my personal experience so be prepared to be shocked. Back in 2013 and 2014 I was smart enough not to spend my student loan on clubbing or clothes. I spent my money on an epic holiday that changed my life forever. I went in 2013 with two others for the first time and minus one person in 2014. I will combine my experiences from both trips as I know you all will benefit from understanding what its like to be a backpacker cruising through the streets of Europe.
Shock value 1 No matter who you go with it will be an adventure!!! This photo was taken in Paris, France 2013
No matter who you travel with it will be an experience to remember. I don’t feel like there is a perfect person to go travelling with nor the perfect amount of people. I say this because when you set out to travel to different countries no matter who you are with there will always be arguments, disagreements and points when you wanna poke each others eyes out. Take my beautiful friend in blue as an example. A day after this photograph was taken she left her passport at the campsite. Me and Ms Red in the middle had to leave her behind to catch the next train to a different country. In this situation I think we where all frustrated because it was a silly mistake. I personally felt bad for leaving her in another country but she had the personality and street smarts to catch up with us. I also had printed information about what trains to get and the location of each hostel/ campsite. Another example: All three of us were taken to the police station in Poland! for not paying our bus fare and my friend in blue ran away from the police. Me and Ms Red got searched and it was a scary experience. The Polish officers brought us to a room downstairs searched our bag (thank God we had finished the weed we was carrying LOL). The officers saw this beautiful silver chain I had and said I had to give it to them in exchange for us to leave and what made it worse was that it was just the two of us and we had a train to catch in the next hour. With patience and a huge fine they released us.
Trying to find the perfect person to travel with doesn’t exist simply because we all have good and bad days and when we are faced in crazy situations you can never predict how someone is going to react. I believe that finding the perfect traits in a person is wise! Go traveling with someone who has good navigational skills, people skills, is organised, has travelled before, street smarts, common sense, sense of humour, very serious, spontaneous, doesn’t take too much of risks, is mentally stable…… the list goes on and on. You may not find all these traits in one person and I dont expect you to but a good balance between you and the person/s you are travelling with is good.
Shock Value 2: Find food in authentic places!! These pictures were taken in Barcelona, Prague and a train in 2014.
Everyone loves food, therefore it is important to budget your money for occasions when you want to splash the cash in a restaurant. In backpack land it is very easy to make spontaneous decisions on where/what to eat and often time you may waste money on silly restaurants so please do your research prior to your trip. In 2013 I was really broke and all I really ate was rations. (cooking corn beef and rice on an open fire ). For my trip in 2014 I had a bit more money and I found a really good restaurant in Prague that I shall treasure forever. Not only was it cheap but the food was tasty with a 5* service. It was located slightly outside the city center but it was worth the distance. Finding authentic places to eat with good reviews from trip advisor. Fast food restaurants like Burger King or Mc Donalds always seem to give people a mini stomach bug. If you can’t find authentic restaurants there is nothing wrong with buying food from the local supermarket and getting branded food like this. Taken in 2014, Cereal from Prague supermarket
Shock Value 3: Train journeys are so draining
This smile is not in contrast to how draining the journeys are. When travelling from country to country make sure you reserve a seat. Thanks to my BFF who planned the trip reservations are key because the trains often get packed and I always see a bunch of people sitting on the floor in the luggage area with heavy bags because they didn’t book a seat. Eating food on the train, intense day dreaming, a little nap and random outbursts of conversations makes the journey time go quick. Unfortunately I don’t like to read books but a book would be perfect to get your mind of the journey although there may not be space in your back pack. It is up to you to prioritize what you want in your bag after all you are carrying a tent, clothes, important documents and souvenirs from each country in there.
The most rewarding thing happened on the train regarding seats reservations. Me and my friends in 2013 booked a booth on a train and then a family of five told us to get out the booth as they have five people with them and we didn’t reserve the booth. They had kids with them and wanted us to get out they even proceed to put their luggage in our booth. They where so aggressive and decided to call the ticket inspector. The inspector arrived and saw three black urban girls and shouted at us to leave without checking our tickets because the outside of the booth said available and not reserved. I Proceeded to get aggressive and gave my reserved ticket to the inspector and to his surprise he saw the information regarding the booth! He looked at our tickets and told the family that we where right and told them to leave. Me and my friends where laughing in there faces as they took their nasty ass luggage out of our booth.
Stay tuned for shocking part 2 where I go into detail about nearly getting electrocuted in the mountains, an explosive argument, the drugs that was taken and an exclusive interview.