Where I Have Been Map

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick "Pace" Preparation

Traveling overseas is something that people dream of doing, but put aside for later in life. The problem comes when "later" turns into "never". At the age of 18 years old, I had saved up as much money as I could, working with 60-year-old women in a mall customer service, for a European backpacking trip with my sister.

We decided to call our summer adventure PEE '08, not only because it is fun to say, but also because it stands for Pace European Extravaganza 2008! Two of my cousins who live in London backpacked with us, and since all our last names were conveniently Pace, the name stuck.

Deciding where to visit was the first thing we did. On the website Student Travel we found a 5-stop package for Eurail tickets. The Eurail is the most common form of travel in Europe. This train system travels to almost every country in Europe, and reminds me the train Harry Potter takes to Hogwarts. This picture was taken on the Eurail, my cousin Barnaby can play the part of Harry Potter.

The route we decided to take began in London and stopped at Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, and Czech Republic. With the student discount, the cost for both airfare and the Eurail pass was around $1,800.

After we got the tickets, the next step was researching the countries we were going to visit. We came across a book that came to be known to us as our "Backpacking Bible". This book told us everything we needed to know about sights, cheap food, and safe Hostels. Hostels are cheaper hotels just for young people traveling. The age limit makes staying at these places really interesting, because you get to meet people your age from all over the world who are also traveling. We figured out which hostels we would be staying at before we left on the trip and based it by safety first, then overall rating. The last hostel, however, I got to pick... and I chose it purely by it's name... Tutti Frutti Hostel in Krakow, Poland.

The week before we left as intense. We got together our passports, notified our banks for overseas spending in the next month, and began packing. We found a student discount for backpacks at our University Rec Center. Packing was very light considering we would have to carry what we packed on our backs for the entire trip.

They day of the flight went as smoothly as planned. I did not sleep much during the flight because I was fearful of my sister, Cindy, repeating her all too well known motion sickness episodes. The last time she flew, she did not make it to the bathroom in time. Let's just say neither the first class nor the air flight attendants were her best friends that day. However, thanks to Cindy's new best friend, Dramamine, she was sound asleep during the entire trip.

After what felt like an eternity, the plane started to descent. I looked out the window and could make out a tiny Big Ben rising above the houses and buildings. The turbulence started to build as we got closer to the runway, a loud rumble let us know the wheels had touched ground, and we were finally in Europe.

1 comment:

candy guerrero said...

annie,your pictures, videos and narrations of your trip were just wonderful. the scenic views were just gorgeous. you could not have done anything different to make a person long to follow in your footsteps. i am now wishing that i could go .
candy guerrero