You’ve heard it all before … 21 year old embarks upon the ultimate life-changing, globetrotting extravaganza (A.K.A interrailing). Work, stress and money problems are swiftly buried in the safety of Ireland, while she jets off without a care in the world – what could possibly go wrong? Alas, quite a number of things. There is no need to grab your Handy Andies just yet however, as despite the series of unfortunate events, we managed to weave through our own positivity and have a bloody blast! (Pardon my French).
A worrying lack of cash monies on my behalf resulted in my two fellow globe-trotters ‘trotting’ to Barcelona ahead of me – all being well, we would all be reunited in Berlin. Fate appeared to have other plans, however, as the first stumbling block was situated right in the midst of our meeting point.
On the penultimate day of my holiday lead-up, the bank informed me of a sporadic freezing of my account. After several trips to visit them, it seemed this would all be rectified by Sunday morning, the day I arrive in Berlin – happy days! After a relaxing plane journey of reading, and practicing mindfulness, I arrived in the big city ready to begin. It was at this point I received a phone call from my travelling counterparts as they dropped the bombshell – they had missed their flight to Berlin and would not arrive until 12 hours later, around midnight that night. A little alone time and a day to explore wouldn’t have been so daunting had my banks metaphorical pants not been on fire (they were liars you see…funny joke y’all – just laugh). Much like the countless chickens my mother has asked me to remove from the freezer for dinner, my account had not begun to defrost on time and so – there I was penniless, starving, yet somehow… rather calm. I sized up each and every stranger that walked past, wondering if they would believe my sob-story and allow me to transfer them some money while they got it from the ATM for me. Realistically, I wouldn’t even believe me, so after scratching my head for quite some time I remembered the measly fiver I had placed in my bag for eh…emergencies. This allowed me enough to get the train to the city centre, and arrive at the hostel in one piece.
My compadre made the genius suggestion that I hook her card up to my apple pay, and use that to purchase myself some grub…despite all the criticism technology gets these days, it certainly saved the day on this occasion.
As mentioned earlier, mindfullness is a current interest of mine and so I took the opportunity of dining alone to put in a little more practice. I’d always been admirable of those folk who can happily nip to the cinema alone, or go for coffee alone without scrolling mindlessly through their sparse Instagram feed for the duration. Turns out – it’s not that difficult, and in fact, rather refreshing for the mind.
After I was fed and watered, I retired to the boudoir to catch 40 winks before the ladies arrived. I was awoken to our fourth hostel room mate who was a French Canadian in his 30’s. My first taste of the hostel experience was me trashing him at several games of snap in the hostel bar, whilst he sat absolutely livid – good craic all the same. Just when my undefeated victory had proven permanent, the ladies arrived and we made tracks to hit the Berlin nightlife.
After the first few hiccups, everything was pretty much plain sailing. We explored the streets of Berlin the following day getting ‘vibey’ pictures as seen below:
After Berlin came Prague, after Prague came Budapest and then the beautiful Croatia. Some of the scenes in Croatia, especially Dubrovnik, caused a few of those weird moments were everyone there just goes silent and takes it all in, with no-one taking pictures. A wonderful feeling really.
Prior to our trip, several people had warned us of how boring the train journeys were and well, let’s just say this couldn’t be further wrong. Albeit probably delirious with sleep deprivation, we chatted to more new people and genuinely cried laughing with every train journey we embarked upon – the opposite of boring I reckon.
A few random points about these places would be that Prague is seriously cheap, Budapest smells a little but looks good, and we naturally float in the salty water of Croatia. I’m a fountain of knowledge, obviously.
Each of these places were of course stunning with amazing scenery, but the most memorable parts of each stop were meeting so many new people. I know it’s something everyone says when they have been away, that you absolutely HAVE to experience what they have – but in this case, it is positively true. Now all I have left are pictures, videos, and my basic-girl anklet to remember it all.
Anyway, I must dash, I’m suffering from a terrible sickness – I think they call it the travelling bug?
Sinead Armour is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at: Instagram – Sinead Armour, LinkedIn – Sinead Armour