Traveling ain’t as easy as it seems.
My travel experience this time around was vastly different than the first time. When I traveled last Summer I traveled with Bus About – a system of coach travel for independent travelers. This time, Ashley and I are traveled on our own using trains, buses, ferries and planes and it is WAY harder than I could have ever imagined.
I have always know that when planning a trip you pretty much need to cancel out the travel days. They don’t count in your vacation or travel experience because you are too busy traveling to actually doing any sightseeing. This was true when I traveled last Summer and was true again this time.
Two weeks into my travels with Ashley, I decided that I never want to travel Europe (for a long period of time or visiting multiple countries) without Bus About. Bus About just made it SO much easier. It may be a lazy form of travel but I don’t care! During our trip, Ashley and I encountered so many road blocks and had so many difficulties. Our travel days were not been fun and made us so tired! Some of our travel obstacles include:
- We booked the wrong luggage allowance and had to un-pack and re-pack our suitcase in the airport and then had to travel with insanely heavy carry ones for two flights.
- We got kicked off a train because we didn’t validate our tickets (and didn’t know we had to!).
- We took the wrong bus and had to walk forever with our bags.
Those are just a few. Every time we changed towns (every 2-3 days) we faced a day that was almost entirely devoted to travel. Even when it seems like it should be a short distance (say when we left Florence, stopped in Pisa for a few hours and then continued on to Siena) it took up the entire day. Plus, there is a lot of stress when you are doing all of your transportation on your own: having to figure out where your hostel is, trying to navigate roads without a map or speaking the language (and most roads do not have road signs).
Traveling is so much fun and insanely rewarding but doing it on your own is hard.
With Bus About, days were still spent traveling and it isn’t completely open to where you want to go but it was so much easier. You got dropped up in front of a hostel (which you can chose to stay ator not) and get picked up at the same place. Plus, you meet tons of great people who are traveling Europe too. As you enter a new country, a guide tells you all about its history and as you enter the destination city, the guide tells you about the city and about all the neat things to check our and offers tours that you chose to book or not (no pressure!). All in all, it is so much easier!
I honestly didn’t realize how much more work it was to travel and it will make me re-think a big trip like this, without the help of a company like Bus About, simply because it is hard to enjoy yourself when you have to work so hard at getting from one city to another!
The good thing is about the challenges we had is that we are learnt to be troopers, to deal with tricky situations and to keep calm.