While I’ve never done a backpacking trip of the magnitude of my one to come. I have backpacked a bit around Europe by myself, and I’ve learned a few handy dandy things.
- Ryanair sucks, but if you travel light you will travel cheap. Years from now the horrible flight where your ears wouldn’t pop and you cried like a baby will fade away, but you know what won’t? Your memories of Park Guell or doing shots in Barcelona. Okay that’s a lie. You will remember the horrible flight, but you will remember that you are stronger now for surviving it, and your hearing finally did come back a day or so after. So hey cheap flight.
- There are many statues that with just a little creativity you can take a dirty photo with. Dirty photos with statues are so much better than the normal kind. I warn you though, if you run into the naked male statues/fountain out side the Kafka Museum, DO NOT try to take a photo of you giving them a hand job. It may seem too funny that the fountain water comes from their motorized (YES I SAID MOTORIZED) penises, but soon you will find the stone penis moving and crushing your hand. Think of how you will have to explain how your hand was crushed by a moving stone penis. Luckily my hand only suffered minor crush injuries. Dirty statue photos to be posted soon.
- While I am all for enjoying the company and the free goods of strangers, be careful. You might have spent a night drinking at a beach club in Barcelona, and think “Oh a hit of this stranger’s joint? I don’t mind if I do.” You are probably drunker than you think, and this can lead to you sitting on the boardwalk next to your own vomit with no ability to speak or walk. You will be praying that the girl fifty feet away who is making out with some guy is the girl from your hostel that you came here with. If she isn’t you are screwed. I still wonder to this day how I would have gotten home and not been mugged as I sat on that boardwalk. Be careful. Random smoke is not always your friend.
- Sometimes you will be completely lost in a place where no one speaks English. It will suck. You will be crying and making train “choo choo” gestures at Italians who look like they want to help you but can’t. If you keep trying you will find your way. Luckily, you most likely are not trying to get all the way to a very small village in the mountains of Italy. It is not easy. I was lucky enough to finally make it and see people in costume from the festival I was attending. They let me have the first ride in their friend’s car, because people can be nice.
- If you’re a girl, or even not a girl who travels alone, go on the pub crawls your hostel probably offers. Don’t drink alone. I love drinking at bars by myself in New York City. I make friends with the bartenders, and have a great time. When you drink alone in Europe, you have no support system to come pick you up if things go wrong. You would be me on the ground in Barcelona if that girl from my hostel hadn’t been there. Safety!
- Take a free walking tour as soon as you get to a city. You just tip the leader of it at the end. It will get you oriented with the new place, and you’ll often meet fun travelers like yourself. Hopefully you will become fast friends and then go to an absinthe bar and then a strip club. See what happens when you go on walking tours? Oh and don’t do flaming absinthe. Nothing good comes from flaming absinthe
- Appreciate the beauty of seeing things alone. I’m always so glad I went to Barcelona by myself and was able to take in the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell with no distractions.
If you liked these tips, or feel that my past adventures sounded like a hoot, then follow my blog. The next and much more intense adventure will begin in three days! Oh shit what have I gotten myself into….