When I was in my last year of high school a question that got asked 24/7 was “where are you gong on your 6th year holiday” and most of the people in my class would reply with “Zante, Ibiza or Magaluf“. These places are what I would call “Hell”. Don’t get my wrong these places probably have beautiful beaches and some great culture but I’m afraid people that go there are not looking for that, they are looking to drink all night, make fools of themselves, go to sleep for 12 hours and not remember a thing when they wake up…fun. For me on the other hand when people would ask me that same question I would reply with “I’m going Interrailing around Italy“, The sheer horror on there faces when I told them I wasn’t going to be drunk every day for 2 weeks straight was remarkable.
The thing about these holidays is people will come back from these holidays and they will tell you that “it was the best week ever” or “it was amazing” but secretly they are lying. Secretly what these people would say if they where truthful would be “I cheated on my boyfriend and I don’t know how to tell him” or “I really hope no one posts any photos of me on Facebook”. People don’t want to tell you there holiday sucked, especially not after hyping it up all year.
I know what your going to say “but I cant afford anything else” my dear you are so wrong and I will tell you why. What many people think is that travelling around Europe is more expensive that going to Zante. Whoever tells you this has never tried to travel around Europe. When I decided to take the road less travelled and do something different with my holiday I found a beautiful website called Interailingpackages http://www.interrailingpackages.com/. This website is for what I would like to call “travel noobs” which are people like I was that had no idea what I was doing when it came to booking anything. This website dose everything for you, It books all the hostels, gives you an itinerary, gives you maps, directions, emergency numbers and it even gives you lists of places to eat or top places to go to. The package that I went for let me go to Paris, Nice, Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome cost me about £600 and it is the best money I have ever spent. The package includes accommodation and the Interail ticket (which is a ticket that lets you get on any train in Europe). I could have done it cheaper most likely if I had arranged everything myself but being 17 and a bit of a “travel noob” I felt like it was safer. Eating is also not expensive as long as your careful where you eat. I mean if you eat next to the Trevi fountain your looking at mega bucks but if you find a quiet little take away pasta place and find a bench next to the fountain, in my opinion that’s allot better.
Another huge reason why I am so so incredibly glad I didn’t go on one of those silly holidays was just the experience. Think of it this way, do you really want to in about 20 years from now be talking to your kids and tell them about that holiday you went on and how you got so drunk that you fell off a table and almost broke your leg…come on. I know that for me in 20 years time I can tell my kids what it was like to ride a bike around the streets of Florence, or how it feels to see the coliseum for the first times, because these are the memories that I am never going to forget because I was too drunk.
Now I know allot of people like to go out and get crazy at a club or whatever and feel as though they can only do that on the strip in Zante, I’ll tell you what, they are so wrong. Me, well I’m not a big drinker but clubs can be fun if you just want to let your hair down and dance and the places I went to had awesome clubs and bars, but unlike the bars and clubs in Ibiza etc. They don’t have that same sleazy desperate atmosphere if you get what I’m saying. I’m not saying that if you go to a club in Rome you wont get hit on because that will happen, but its a different kind of girl/guy that will. The person that will hit on you will most likely 1.Not be Extremely drunk 2. Will be good to talk to and 3. not look like they are about to puke.
One of the best things that I found that was really cool about Interrailing in Italy was actually believe it or not was staying at the hostels. I know its a bit daunting at first sleeping in a huge room of bunk beads with complete strangers but you get over that and the reason you get over that is because you are staying in a room full of incredible interesting people. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure some will be weirdo’s but most of the time I found that the people that I talked to over those 2 weeks where amazing, There where people from all different country’s , with different jobs, different cultures and different dreams. As long as you are open to a conversation, people will talk to you and what you find out about them could blow you away.
Anyway what I am trying to tell you is don’t just go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing because in life that will get you no where. Just be strong, follow your heart and do exactly what you want to and go exactly where you want to go, because for me following that rule has given me the best and most cherished experiences I could ever have asked for.