It was exactly 4 months ago, on the day after I met with an accident and was temporarily crippled, which ironically was the day of my 23rd birthday, I made the best decision of my life. I decided to backpack in Europe as soon as I (literally) get back on my feet and, of course, the consulate allows.
Growing up, I haven’t traveled much even with my family, let alone solo. I never realized I even had a flair for traveling till last year, when I had my little adventure in Rajasthan. Going to Rome has been on my bucket list since high school. Also, a bit embarrassing to admit, I was scared to death that my parents will get me married to someone in an year and I will never get to travel alone again. So on a sunny Friday afternoon of September 4th 2015, I decided, just like that, to travel to Italy the coming December and experience the European winter and Christmas, no matter what. Boy, Am I happy I did!
With very less capability to move and having my mother taking care of me like a 4 year old(guilty pleasures), after work, I didn’t have much to do. So I spent a lot of my time looking up about Visa procedures, ticket fare, overall budget, places to visit, and what not. That’s when I realized, planning for a European is a lot of work. All the bullshit the travel agents tell you about the Visa(which by the way no one should ever listen to, period!), the contradicting advises you find about the same on travel forums, etc. can almost change your mind, almost! But I kept at it. Decided to apply for Visa by myself and started planning the entire trip. Within a month I made a pretty good itinerary for my trip, covering 8 countries and my time as a patient was nearing an end.
The next couple of weeks were really busy. I won’t bore you with the details of my further preparations like convincing the parents(Very difficult), getting the Schengen Visa(Very easy), winter shopping, booking the tickets and accommodations, etc.
As of January 11th 2016, it has been 2 weeks since I returned from my European backpacking trip. How was my trip, you ask? Honestly, I am out of words to describe how amazing it was!
I started my journey in Italy. My backpacking trail then advanced to Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and ended in France, from where I flew back to Bangalore.
I was trying to capture the mighty alps, ended up taking a spooky selfie
I now truly understand the term ‘Seeing the world’. I have heard people saying about folks who are age old that they have seen the world. I don’t know if you just live for a longer period you can see the world, but if you travel for a longer period, you definitely can, in every sense. While you travel, You don’t just see the sights, you see the people, their culture, their way of life, their take on life, and you realize that the world you have been living in was so small and confined. It is amazing how much your mind opens up in such a small time span. I have never felt this free, this independent and this hopeful ever in my life. I feel like telling every single person out there that the world is huge and there are a lot of things to see and do out there. Life is too short for them all, but start right now and cover as much as you can!
So, yes, I proudly remember the day I decided to go on the trip and plan to make more of such decisions in the years to come. My travel adventures are a bit too long for a single blog post. More on it are coming real soon! Stay tuned! ;-) Au revoir!