Lauren Hughes / April 09, 2016
My travel experiences
Lauren Hughes shares her Interrail travel experience and how it inspired her to travel the world.
I had it. The gap of time between finishing University and actually graduating along with a dream of always seeing more of the world.
From my very first year of university, I had relentlessly talked about the idea of Interrailing around Europe, toying with the idea of seeing a list of places I’d concocted in my head from a young age. ‘One day I’ll see Paris, one day I’ll see Rome…’
Previous summers, I made up excuses as to why a month travelling would not be feasible: how would I ever save enough money? Who would I go with? How on earth would I stay safe for a whole month on my own in foreign countries?
With adulthood looming and a burst of optimistic opportunity, I impulse purchased my global Interrail pass and that was it! The night of my university leavers ball, I arrived home at 2am, threw clothes into my backpack and boarded my flight to Amsterdam, where my adventure began. Taking trains from there on in became an exciting rush and seeing the landscape change from country to country was beautiful and bewildering.
I saw, I experienced, I ate, I laughed and I learned.
Travelling those six countries (Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Greece) in 30 days, ignited my love (and need) for travelling. I saw the buildings I'd only ever seen pictures of and the beaches I'd only ever dreamed of. I experienced Gelato in Italy and the rush of Paris. I saw Barcelona come to life and the glistening waters of Nice. I saw the French Riviera, got lost in Venice, cliff jumped in Corfu and bashed into the language barrier of Strasbourg. I saw every shade the sea can ever be, wondered at the beauty of Hvar and partied the days away in Split.
Hvar Island, Croatia
Since then, I’ve seen much more of the world and am approaching my first year of travel!
I’ve also worked in lots of hostels and met some of the funniest, quirkiest people of my life. There is literally nothing better than exchanging travel stories and laughing until your sides hurt, with people who were ‘strangers’ moments ago.
After finishing my Interrailing experience in June and graduating in July, I spent two months in Croatia and then three months in Portugal before travelling all over Thailand for 2 months. I am currently sitting on a Greek Island, writing this to you and smiling as my memories from this first ever trip are as clear as day. Without that first Interrail pass, this all may never have happened.