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Travelling/Working in Europe

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1. Posted by dann089 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hello all!
I'm only new to this forum and have been reading for the past 5-6hours.
Come Novemver 15th I am flying out to Germany for a friends birthday there. After her birthday I will be backpacking around Europe, possibly with some friends from Germany, but equal chance of me being alone, a scary feat on its own. I have gone to a camping and travelling goods store and tried on many backpacks and have been suited to a 60L + 15L day pack combo. I have just applied for my student working visa aswell and that is all clear so will be working in Germany too for up to a year. I am planning on backpacking for 6-7 weeks all around Europe and seeing as much as I can because I love photography and don't want to pass up this opportunity while im young and have no commitments. I have deferred my University and am working 2 jobs, all day followed by all night to get enough money together to support me whilst looking for a job.

However, what is worrying both my family and myself, is the possibility of travelling alone. How many of you have done this, especially around Europe? Do you often meet up with other lone and small group travellers in hostels and go for a few day stints with them before going off in your own direction again? I am under-going both tutored and self-taught German lessons at the moment aswell as to have a brief understanding as to what is being said and to ask for general direction, speak english etc. I will be taking a laptop and camera with me to keep in touch with family and also upload photos of a night if not out seeing the towns. I was thinking of having all non-valuables in my main pack, clothes and guide book etc, and in my day pack have my laptop, camera gear and passport/money on a moneybelt (i think thats what they're called?)

Being only 18 this experience is very daunting, in no way am I worried about the home sickness etc, more the fear of loosing an important document such as my passport and being stranded in a foreign country. Having read my brief outline, is there anything that you would recommend I do differently apart from travel with friends/in a group? My sister cannot come as she is in Europe now for 7 weeks and lands before I leave and cannot get time off work to come again and my friends are all too uptight to rough it around, stay in hostels and backpack everywhere. They want everything to be done to a plan and worked out before they step foot out the front door, so me being the adventurous type, I am alone in the wild so to speak.

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
Cheers,
Daniel

EDIT - Just double checked, Very sorry if I posted this in the wrong area! Just thought packing tips etc might also be more important then other info as to where to go, where to stay etc. Again, sorry if it's in the wrong area!

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 14, 2008, at 12:59 AM by dann089 ]

2. Posted by Italea (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y

Heyy Daniel good idea for this travel after the birthday party of your friend.

If you want to come in Sweden, I can host you.;)

3. Posted by dann089 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Thankyou very much Italea! I might just take you up on that offer!
They don't know I am comming this early, they think I won't be arriving until May next year so it is a surprise for their birthday!
Am looking foward to travelling Europe but at the same time a bit nervous due to the temperatures I will be travelling in.

4. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 8y

As someone once said a long time ago...
"A wiser man you will be, the more you travel and the more you see."

It´s still true today I think.
Firstly well done for working so hard to make the money for this trip. A small tip in case you´re worried about loosing your passport and any other documents is to scan them and send the images to yourself, then if you do loose them it will make getting new ones all that much more simple.
It´s normal to be nervous about doing something new for the first time, but as an old hand at back packing around Europe I can report I´ve never had anything more serious than an incredible hangover happen to me. You´ll meet all sorts of interesting people in incredible places that will stay etched in your mind for years to come. You say you like photography so like me what I do is give myself a project while I travel (not half as nerdy as it sounds, and may even be profitable someday if the pics are good enough). My last project was taking shots of bus stops in each country, another was taking shots of unusual shop fronts, any idea is enough impetus to make you travel to that little town which you wouldn´t have see otherwise. Keep a diary and ejnoy the whole experience.
Make sure to keep us posted on how you get on.
Zaksame

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Quoting dann089

Being only 18 this experience is very daunting, in no way am I worried about the home sickness etc, more the fear of loosing an important document such as my passport and being stranded in a foreign country. Having read my brief outline, is there anything that you would recommend I do differently apart from travel with friends/in a group?

Fear is common, as is being overwhelmed by what you are about to do. There is really nothing to say that will make it go away, the only way to get over the fear and realize that you can do it is to go. Try and remember that lots of people travel all the time, have a great time and somehow work it all out. You will too.

As for homesickness, that's a personal thing. No way to know if or how it'll hit you until you hit the road.

The key thing is to keep flexible, don't let it get to you when your plans don't work out and have fun.

Greg