A friend once asked me: “Do you like traveling?” And instantly, I answered: “Yes, of course, I do.” But as I keep thinking about traveling, it could be fun, but it isn’t always so nice to do.
I haven’t traveled to a foreign country in about 1.5 years now, so I honestly don’t know if I still would like it.
But the last time I traveled, I went on a vacation to Vienna, Austria, which was fun, but booking the tickets, the hotel, and making sure we could use the public transport over there stressed me out.
We are students and we don’t have a lot of money, so I always try to plan everything upfront to ensure we don’t spend any more money than needed.
I’m sure some of you recognize this. It’s horrible, and it’s stressful. I always wish I could hop on a plane and kind of freestyle travel.
The panicking when traveling by train
You probably wouldn’t think traveling by train could be so stressful as I’m going to describe, but I think it is. Of course, when you’re traveling by train in your own country, it isn’t so stressful, you know the drill, you know what to do, but it can be not easy when you’re on an international journey.
Two years ago, my girlfriend and I booked a trip to Zurich in Switzerland. We thought it would be a good idea, and cheaper (which eventually it wasn’t) to travel by train from the North of the Netherlands to Zurich, all the way through Germany.
The first part of this journey was quite relaxed, going from one city in our homeland to another one. But then we had to step onto an international train by ‘Deutsche Bahn.’
We ran into the first issue because we didn’t know what track we had to be on, which is not very handy when traveling by train. The second thing was the compartment we had to be in, and we had made reservations to make sure we had a place to sit down for 8 hours.
In the end, after running from the front of the train to the back of the train, we made it, and the train took off to Mannheim, Germany, where we had to change trains again. If you didn’t know, train stations in Germany are huge. So we stepped out of our train, we had 4 minutes, and we didn’t know where to go.
Luckily in the middle of Germany, we heard a couple that spoke Dutch and also had to go to Zurich and they told me that the train had changed tracks. We followed them and ran to the train that just arrived and right after we found our seats it took off, so just in time.
After spending 10 days in Switzerland, we went back home, by train as well. This time we needed to change trains even more. First, from Zurich to Basel, then from Basel to Cologne, then from Cologne To Arnhem in the Netherlands.
But as soon as our train from Basel to Cologne started to slow down, we noticed that the delay was increasing every minute and we only had 4 minutes between the two trains. So there we sat, stressed on a train in the middle of Switzerland.
We had tickets for a specific train, but right before we arrived in Mannheim, I decided that we would leave this train to make sure we would get home because the train we were going to take in Cologne was going through Mannheim. Hence, I wanted to risk getting on that train in Mannheim without the right tickets.
Again, stressed out because we couldn’t find our compartment and of course, because we didn’t have the right tickets for 2 hours because after that our tickets would be valid.
And to top off this disaster, the moment we arrived in Cologne we saw our previous train arrive, next to us, and it left even before we did. So that means that we traveled on a train without tickets for nothing!
As you can tell, traveling by train can be very stressful but also very fun, if I hadn’t picked that train, I would be able to tell this story, right?
I’m very interested in your traveling stories; I’d love to hear them. So leave them.
Stay healthy and keep making new journeys!