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Europe & Eurail Traveler
- When did you go on your Europe trip?
- How old were you when you took this trip?
- Where do you live now?
- Did you buy a rail pass?
- What pass(es) did you buy?
- Before your trip: Student
- Now: Student
- How did your travels affect your career when you got back?
I was living in Spain that last time I was in Europe and taking classes on Spanish. Now, I can speak bad Spanish.
- What is the route you took/places you visited?
Lived in Alcala de Henares, visited Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Nueces, Alicante, Toledo, and various other places in Spain as well as Bordeaux, Chamonix, Mt. St. Michel, France, various places in Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Germany.
- Why did you decide to take this trip? What got you into this type of travel, and/or influenced you to go?
Opportunity to attend college in Spain.
- 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?
All very supportive. I do a lot of travelling, so they are used to these jaunts.
- 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?
My roommate in Spain.
- How much planning and preparing did you do?
Winged it a lot
- What was your favorite piece of gear?
Backpack. I love it. It has tens of thousands of miles on it.
- What did you bring, that in hindsight you could've left at home?
An extra pair of boots. Dumb...
- How did your trip change your life? How did it affect and change you as a person?
Travel always changes people. This is the third time I've been somewhere in Europe. I would say this trip helped me a lot with my communication skills, both in the languages I knew and the ones I did not. It also gave me the always helpful reminder that people are generally all good.
- If you had to sum up your trip in one sentence, what would it be?
As always, an irreplaceable experience.
- Are you planning more trips and travels for the future? Are you planning another trip to Europe?
Always... just got a job doing community organizing in Guatemala. Been on three trips since that summer. I don't have a European plan in the works, but do intend to bike Germany at some point.
- Why do you think people should take longer trips like this? Why not just take a regular old one- or two-week vacation instead?
A packaged tour shows you one person's/entity's idea of a place. You are suorrounded by other tourists, which can be an all right thing, but you will in no way actually experience the place in which you are travelling.
- What is the most valuable thing you learned?
Keep your passport in your BAG, not your pocket when sleeping on a train.
- What is the biggest myth that people have about traveling Europe by rail?
It's dangerous and everything you own will be stolen.
- Why do you like to travel?
A change in position often aids in a change in perspective.
- What is your advice for people planning their own Europe trip?
Be flexible. If you make too many plans, you are guaranteeing yourself a disappointment. If you make very few plans, you have ensured that most things will come as a pleasant surprise.
- What is a tip about Eurailing you would have, that would help other travelers who are using train travel in Europe?
Overnight trains are a great deal. Take 'em whenever available.
- Now: Student
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA