In the last week I’ve told friends and colleagues that I’m leaving the UK to go interrailing around Europe for the summer and I couldn’t be more excited. The freedom I feel now, I’m taking as pay-off for the agony I went through making the decision, going over the pros and cons time and time again.
After months of the same conversations with myself, this week I found a complete itinerary, an interrail global pass and a growing list of things to pack on my desk. How did I get here? By remembering the reasons why I wanted to go in the first place.
I’ve worked in travel for three years
Working in travel undoubtedly makes you want to see more of the world. Before I started doing SEO on travel sites, I barely knew what a map of the world looked liked and just nodded if people mentioned some hard to pronounce eastern european destination. Now I not only know what Europe by interrail entails, I know where these places are, I know the best things to do there, currencies and importantly, if it’s right for me. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t work in a chocolate factory?
It’s been ages since my last big trip
I still remember the feeling of taking my first long-haul flight to Canada, all by myself, during which a couple filled out adoption forms and ordered me a lemonade as I slept! This was six years ago and I stayed in Vancouver and the isle of Vancouver, British Columbia for six months. Some accommodation left a little to be desired but exploring a world I’d only ever seen on TV was a big deal. Without this trip under my belt, I doubt I’d feel as sure of myself to do Europe solo.
It’s actually pretty cheap
After booking flights, buying my global pass and booking my accommodation, I managed to spend just over £1,500 planning the two months. To put this in perspective, a normal rent payment in London is easily £1,200 a month! I can’t think of anything better to spend my money on.
I love taking photos
Frankly, my Nikon D60 doesn’t get out enough and this is just the excuse I’ve needed to take thousands of photos.
It’s now or never
Everything kind of fell into place and I couldn’t resist. I leave on July 2nd after spending my birthday with my boyfriend (it’s also his birthday) and get back on Aug 29th, during which time I’ll have seen my friend perform at the Edinburgh Fringe a little closer to home. It’s like the perfect slot appeared for me to complete my destination hitlist and not to miss out on fun events at home.
So, with everything booked during late night sessions of trusting my instincts, I’ve slowly made the decision to go interrailing through little actions, waiting for my doubting Thomas brain to catch-up. That’s how everyone does it, right? How else do you know when it’s right to travel?