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Beth G Mercer
Europe & Eurail Traveler
|Beth's Europe trip was nothing like what she had expected so she'll just have to take another!|
- When did you go on your Europe trip?
- How old were you when you took this trip?
- Including your air ticket and other expenses (incl. air ticket, rail passes, etc.), about how much did your trip cost?
- Where do you live now?
- Did you buy a rail pass?
- What pass(es) did you buy?
- Before your trip: office temp
- Now: office temp
- How did your travels affect your career when you got back?
Well, returning to the States after Sept. 11th made it hard to get any work for a while, and I still don't have a "career," just work and even that's lucky.
- What is the route you took/places you visited?
Nothing turned out as I'd planned for but worked out in the end. Never even used my Eurail pass $250 for nothing. Never went to the continent, but instead stayed in England, Wales, and mainly Ireland. But I'd gotten the Eurail pass for France, Spain, and Italy.
- Why did you decide to take this trip? What got you into this type of travel, and/or influenced you to go?
I've always wanted to go to Ireland; I simply loved it and love it more now.
- What did your family, friends, co-workers, etc. think of your trip? Were they supportive of you? What is their opinion of your traveling and railing around Europe?
Most everyone was supportive and excited for me but I don't think they really understood my desire or drive to travel abroad.
- Out of all your experiences traveling around Europe, what was the:
- Best Moment
- Worst Moment
- Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
- Biggest surprise?
- Who is the most memorable person you met on your trip and why?
It has to be a tie between Rachel Krechnyak, a grand Irish girl I met at Kilkenny Methodist Church, and Elisabeth Jacques, a French-Canadian whom I met at my hostel in Galway and traveled with for several weeks after. Rachel is a lovely, intelligent, witty and fiery girl with a huge heart. Elisabeth is a hilarious, creative, energetic and very sweet girl. There were others, but those two were the tops.
- How much planning and preparing did you do?
Winged it a lot
- What was your favorite piece of gear?
My journal my friends made it for me, so it was a reminder of home then and now it's a reminder of travel.
- What did you bring, that in hindsight you could've left at home?
A lot of toiletry stuff; you don't need to bring extras you can buy it if you run out, and it's not that rich.
- How did your trip change your life? How did it affect and change you as a person?
I think travel truly does open up your view of the world and of yourself. You're constantly being put in new situations and you have to figure out your role and carry it out to the best of your ability. I saw what I could handle, and I saw myself even manage situations I couldn't handle. And to see places you've only heard of or read about nothing can replace that or take it away.
- If you had to sum up your trip in one sentence, what would it be?
My trip is God's greatest blessing to me, up to date.
- Are you planning more trips and travels for the future? Are you planning another trip to Europe?
YES YES YES!
I plan on going back to Ireland in two years for a six-month stint. I also still want to go to Spain & Italy soon. And Australia!
- Why do you think people should take longer trips like this? Why not just take a regular old one- or two-week vacation instead?
Because this way you experience life rather than tourism. It's more of an adventure: bad things will happen, but the good things will be all the richer.
- What is the most valuable thing you learned?
God is with me wherever I am and He will care for me.
- Why do you like to travel?
Simply to see such places.
- What is your advice for people planning their own Europe trip?
Bring a good camera. People convinced me not to "b/c it might get stolen," but it was the WORST decision; I literally regretted it every day.
- What is a tip about Eurailing you would have, that would help other travelers who are using train travel in Europe?
In case your plans change, I wouldn't go with a country-specified one or you may have chucked $250 for nothing, like me.
- Now: office temp
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
You can read more about Beth's trip on her website.