Tag Archives: Couchsurfing

Swiss mountains and double decker trains

I read over my emails, checking that I had downloaded the correct PDFs for my seat reservations. I was moving on to Konstanz and leaving Verona. I opened up the email from Interrail, and scanned the information. That was when I noticed it. The email confirmation I’d received did a) not include my ticket reservation, and b) stated very clearly that the tickets were prone to being found in people’s Spam folders.

I am someone who habitually clears out the Spam and Bin folders in my email account without so much as a quick glance.

I am spontaneous and fast moving. But sometimes, it seems, it pays to pause, read your emails, and take a moment. Continue reading

Slovenia’s only island

When I woke up I had more energy than I’d had for days. I was full of beans and excitement. My transport for my next two destinations was sorted, and I had a vague plan for how I was going to get from Konstanz to Paris. I had slept for almost twelve hours.

I showered and sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee with Nina.

“Thank you so much for yesterday. It really meant an awful lot to me how understanding and kind you were. I had hit burn out. But I feel so much better today. So thank you.”

“That’s OK. I just wish I’d known what to do…”

“You were perfect! You gave me a hug, you let me have some space in the evening, but most of all, you gave me an unending supply of muffins. You couldn’t have done more. Really. Thank you.” Continue reading

Cookie dough and coffee

Sunday morning. I lay in until 9:45am. No real plans for the day ahead. I would see what happened.

I got up and went into the kitchen to see Anders. I felt chirpy and could hear him boiling the kettle (a permanent state of being where Anders is concerned: he is always boiling the kettle and always drinking tea). He had already started making breakfast. We were having a fry up. Cati, Claudia, Slvae, and Mel were all coming over to join us from the other apartments in the building. Claudia brought coffee for everyone, Slvae and Mel brought juice, Cati brought porridge (a tasty but odd addition to a fry up).

We sat round and food was served.

Pans of bacon and eggs were passed round. A tray of fried potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions were divvied up. A basket of bread. Butter. Jam. We feasted and talked. Continue reading

The Berlin Wall

Yesterday was hard. In a way that made me not want to talk about it. I guess because I felt silly, or maybe because I was simply struggling to find the words to explain it suitably.

After a night of good food, great company, and fine discussion, I slept peacefully. I woke the next morning full of beans, and ready to embrace the bright and beautiful day. The weather here really was gorgeous.

I was up and out of the house by 10am ready to do a walking tour using ‘The Berlin Experience’ route from my guide book as a, well, guide.

I took the S-Bahn from Wollankstraße to Nordbahnhof, and walked up through the Berlin Wall Memorial.

There was a group of students in bright blue hoodies following a guide around the site. I hung back and waited for there to be distance between us. Continue reading

From Manchester to Paris and everywhere in between

On the 26th September 2017, I said goodbye to my husband at Manchester Airport and boarded a flight for Berlin.

For those of you who don’t already know, I have embarked on a five week solo trip around Europe interrailing, couchsurfing, and hosteling.

“Alone? But why?!”

I’ve told many people who have asked me this that it’s because my husband couldn’t get the time off work and that we agreed I should go it alone as opposed to not going at all. But in all honesty, there are so many other reasons I have done this.

There is so much about myself that I want to learn and confront, and sometimes you can’t do that with the honesty you deserve giving yourself when you know you have external validation and reassurance from your peers. The hands you are so familiar with holding you. Sometimes, the kind of honesty with oneself I am seeking comes from being alone. Continue reading