So here I am, a whole 3 months since I was sat in a STATravel branch booking my ticket from London to mainland Europe. A whole 3 months since I nailed down how I was to spend a large portion of my bank balance and time. A whole 3 months to prepare. Am I prepared? No.
Well, in fact, I lie. I have 2 weeks until I board a Eurostar train from London St. Pancras to Paris Nord and I would say I am suitably on track with my preparation for my debut trip. Physically, at least.
Mentally? Not so well prepared. This trip has crept up on me and now I am facing the sudden realisation that this journey is soon to become very real.
Nervous? A bit. Excited? A lot.
I guess these are natural feelings when trying anything new and for me, this trip is a very new experience. It is one I want to grab with both hands and make sure I make the most of my 18 days, solo travelling mainland Europe.
Bring it on.
Why am I doing this blog? Two reasons. First, this will be a nice little read to look back on after my trip is nothing but a fragment of my memory. It will help bring those memories back to life. Call it soft, call it silly but I think I'll regret not doing something similar. This will be a digital diary, if you like.
So yes, my first and foremost reason for this "digital diary" is a selfish one. I'll probably be the only one who ever reads this text but that's perfectly fine and understandable.
But perhaps there are people out there who are genuinely interested in what I will be up to from the 1st to 18th April 2012. And if there are, well the second reason is for you.
This trip is an experimental one for a much longer and more "free" trip I have planned when the ties of University studies are behind me and so, in the same manner, this digital diary is also an experiment. Therefore, I don't know how this is going to work out. In an ideal world I would like to update this on a daily basis - while memories are still fresh. But I understand that that goal could be unrealistic when internet access is not guaranteed, there is not the time in the day when you are gallivanting around a new place or, quite simply, I might not want to. So how is this digital diary going to plan out? I'll answer that while I'm flying back home on the 18th.
I do, however, have a more solid plan for my itinerary. I originally wanted my travels to be spontaneous. I go where I want and when I want. Time and money restraints haven't really allowed this desire of complete freedom while travelling to become a reality and I have therefore set out a basic itinerary for my 18 days. Details of this can be found somewhere on my profile, and it could still yet change, but the basic idea is London-Paris-Amsterdam-Berlin-Budapest-Munich-London. Travelling from city to city by night trains using my InterRail pass. I plan to be living cheap but still have fun. Hostiles and night trains seem to fit my requirements perfectly.
So this is where I sign off for my first entry. The next will probably come the day before I leave.
14 days and 9 hours to go. Not that I'm counting.