I was cold. It had been warmer in London. I was wet. In London the sky had been blue without a rain cloud in sight. I was tired. Staying awake for most of the previous night packing and re-packing my backpack had been a bad idea. My shoulders were still aching from the hour I’d spent wandering around with my heavy backpack trying to find my hostel and I was starting to wonder if I had already missed the best of the European summer weather by opting to travel towards the end of August and into September.
This was my first multi-destination trip and I had chosen to fly the solo flag – but I was starting to wonder if I’d be able to handle it. Earlier, I’d successfully navigated my way from the airport to the area near the hostel using public transport but it hadn’t been without anxiety. This also happened to be my first time staying in a hostel.
Thankfully I met nice people.
A fellow Brit and I set out to have a wander around Prague. It turned out we’d been on the same delayed flight from London that morning. Whilst we were out, the rain had started and we’d ended up getting drenched which quickly turned our excited moods to annoyance.
I’d planned the first half of my route in some level of detail and I knew that I’d eventually be flying home from Madrid – but I needed to create at least a rough plan for the second half of my trip. So I sat down on my bed to have a read through the chunky European guide book that I’d brought along.
And then I got chatting. For several hours.
Two lovely ladies from Slovenia were also on a multi-stop trip. They’d been travelling by car and Prague was their second to last stop – they were ending in Bratislava. Some of the places they had been to were places that I hadn’t even thought about visiting – Bosnia being the main one. They spoke about the country with such excitement that I seriously considered taking a detour in order to add it to my route.
But then they started to tell me about their own country…
The Baroque style mixed with 20th Century Architecture along with the old town and green spaces made the capital city of Ljubljana sound like my kind of place! However, my interest really piqued when they started to speak with passion about the awesome beauty of the mountains and lakes. I have always loved natural beauty and I could easily stare at a spectacular view for a very long time.
I knew there and then that I wanted to visit Slovenia.
In my head, I started planning out another InterRailing trip around Europe that would include Slovenia and a few of the other places that we’d been taking about. Later that evening, I grabbed my InterRail map and guidebook and spent some time searching the routes and train times online to figure out if I could include some of these places on my current trip.
In was then that I realised that it had happened.
Nothing could’ve stopped it.
Not the cold weather, or the rain or the anxiety that I’d been feeling.
It was too late. It had already hit me.
I had well and truly caught the travel bug.
And that was that.