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Europe & Eurail Traveler
|Joanna waiting for the train to get her there.|
- 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?
- Before your trip: student
- Now: student
- How did your travels affect your career when you got back?
I definitely have a more global perspective. As well, I feel thankful for some of the conveniences of life in America, and lament some of the ways in which Europe by far surpasses us, i.e. public transportation!
- What is the route you took/places you visited?
Flew from Dublin to Rome, then eurailed Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris. Flew to London at that point, then back to Dublin.
- Why did you decide to take this trip? What got you into this type of travel, and/or influenced you to go?
I was a student in Ireland and used my last months there to travel the rest of the Europe. This was definitely the best time to go because I was already over there, I was with my best friend, and I've just always wanted to go traveling in this way.
- 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?
Everyone thought it was great. Very supportive. They've all either been railing around Europe, or are very enthusiastic about the idea.
- 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?
I met some guy in a youth hostel in Rome. He was Canadian, from Saskatchewan, turns out we knew some of the same people, even though I grew up in Seattle. That was weird enough, but then he ended up telling me his entire life story in excrutiating detail, and all in all it was a very strange experience.
- How much planning and preparing did you do?
- What was your favorite piece of gear?
I loved having the Thomas Cook rail guide, but then, I really love having things all under control as well. There was an awesome guidebook in Rome which is free from the Enjoy Rome agency. We pretty much lived out of it totally worth a trip to the agency to pick one up, and it's right by the Termini so very conveinant.
- What did you bring, that in hindsight you could've left at home?
Everything! No, but seriously, next time I would bring fewer pieces of clothing, though for a month I only packed 5 shirts, two pairs of pants, two sweaters, a fleece and a coat. Which actually is a lot, but I would have brought fewer shirts, probably just one sweater. Also would have left behind a lot of the socks I brought.
- Are you planning more trips and travels for the future? Are you planning another trip to Europe?
Yes. Next I want to do South America... Yes, definitely Europe again (I want to go to Spain!) but I don't know when.
- Why do you think people should take longer trips like this? Why not just take a regular old one- or two-week vacation instead?
The freedom is awesome, as well as the sense of adventure. Definitely go with friends.
- What is the biggest myth that people have about traveling Europe by rail?
That it's confusing. It is absolutely not. Don't sit in a smoking car though if you really don't want to be around smokers...
- What is your advice for people planning their own Europe trip?
I thought Rome was fantastic, particularly because it was winter, but so warm, but not hot and fewer tourists than I guess I've heard they've had during the high season. Go see the Pope at the papal hearings on every Wednesday! Totally bizarre and amazing cultural experience.
- What is a tip about Eurailing you would have, that would help other travelers who are using train travel in Europe?
Train travel within Italy: they never checked our Eurail passes once. Just passing on some information...
- Now: student
December 2002 - January 2003