Location: Random Train Station, Genoa, Italy
Last year, myself and my boyfriend spent part of the summer travelling on trains and getting lost in many various European cities. We stayed in hostels, washed our clothes in sinks, tried local cuisines, felt the wrath of people who couldn't stand it that we only spoke English (thanks for nothing five years of high school French), made friends with people from all over the globe, planned out adventures, ran around in thunder storms, went everywhere from sex museums to Sigmund Freud's old flat, drank beer daily and lapped up the sunshine. People think interrailing is just hopping on trains for a little while, but it's so much more than that. Here are my reasons why your interrailing adventure should be in your summer plans, plus some Kodak moments to inspire you.
There's nothing more AWESOME than seeing where cool people lived like that time I went to Rome and went to the Colosseum and my mind was blown for about a week. I mean that thing has been standing there for like, a really long f*cking time. From museums to shops to famous landmarks, you will constantly see something new that is photo worthy and is sure to be remembered for a life time. Plus whenever you see something you've seen before in a film you just can't help but be like OH MY GOD.
Interrailing tests your patience, map skills and pushes language barriers. Some people won't speak English, some people will pretend they don't. If you can keep your cool and figure out how to work around it, that is a massive achievement. And learning how to work a map - welcome to the world of 'how to be an adult'. You'll feel proud.
Beer for lunch every single day for a month? Well, I mean if you think about it, you're not living anywhere when you're interrailing, you're just hopping around. And you're not roughing it completely because it's only a temporary lifestyle choice so if you really put it all into perspective it's basically a holiday and when you go on holiday obviously you're allowed to have a beer every day. For three months. It's all relative.
On top of this, you get to try out the local dishes. In Italy I had octopus for the first time, and in Prague I tried pork Schnitzel. Both dishes were amazing and it's always good to introduce your taste buds to something a little different, plus if you can learn to cook a couple of the dishes you will broaden your cooking skills immensely and be able to look all sophisticated and sh*t by holding a post-backpacking dinner party. 'Yaas, I've just been away for two months finding myself darling and I've also cooked you this incredible dish you've never heard of, so to sum up, I'm fabulous'.
It's a good thing to get lost every now and again. It drives me absolutely mental, but getting lost has actually taught me how to read a map, and how to get myself out of a crap and anxious situation. Sometimes you just need to find somewhere and you've got a time to be there for, or you just wanna find out where you're checking into because you need a shower and your bed, and all the rushing and worrying gets you into a state. Learning how to calm yourself and work through this to solve where you're going turns out to be an amazing skill though. It's helped me to become a patient person who instead of freaking out and getting angry, I can keep my cool and be logical about things - something that really pays off in any stressful situation you might find yourself in.
Making New Friends
Meeting new people is probably my favourite part of travelling. From Sweden to Nigeria, I've met people from all over the globe and heard all about their lives and their views on the world. It opens up your mind incredibly, as growing up, I had such a tendency to not care about things that were happening outside of the UK, or even learn where places were on a map because well, it just didn't concern me. Now, if someone tells me they're from somewhere I've never heard of, I have to find it and point it out to see where exactly they come from, and I ask about their life not to be polite, but to get an idea of how they've lived. I've been the listener of amazing stories, hilarious stories, sad stories, all because I asked a couple of questions to the person with the funny accent. Talking to strangers is a must when you're on the road and you may even make a couple of friends for life in the process.
Serious Photography Points
Because if you don't take a bunch of amazing 'wanderlust' worthy photos for your Instagram what was the point in going? (This is the one where you're like lol good one and I'm like no but seriously).
A Proper Long 'Holiday'
A month of beaches, sight seeing, great food, getting pissed, swimming, tanning, photograph taking and then coming home and being able to justify it as a dead long holiday. Life lol.
Sounding Cool At Parties
Someone is talking about that time they went Nando's the other week and the bitchy waitress put the wrong order through the till and they ended up with an extra hot butterfly chicken when they clearly stated they wanted medium, AND the starter of olives didn't even arrive if you can believe, and you're just like oh yeah wow what a tragedy so anyway this one time in France I'd just hopped off the train in the middle of nowhere [tells incredible, random story about that one time in France] ... and then you can light a cigarette and pretend to smoke it whilst looking into the distance at absolutely nothing because you're like super spiritual or some shit and no one can figure you out.
And that's basically why people travel.
All photographs were taken with a standard Kodak disposable camera and feature Italy, France, Austria and Germany. If you'd like to know more about where the pics were taken or have questions about interrailing, feel free to comment below! If you'd like to
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