In 2008, when I was 21, I came up with the idea of booking an Interrail ticket and touring Europe for a month. I decided travel to Paris, Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Venice, Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Vienna. And I felt the strong urge to do this tour alone.
Day 16 – Rome (Italy)
After Venice, I headed south to the eternal city of Rome. What stuck with me most during this visit were the interactions I had with other travelers. On the first night, I somehow ended up in a conversation with other young people around my age at the youth hostel. We were sitting in the common area, exchanging travel stories, cracking jokes and just enjoying each others’ company. I even found out that young Asian traveler had recognized me from the youth hostel in Venice where both her and I had stayed the previous nights. “Die Welt ist ein Dorf,” (The world is a village) especially within the travel community.
The atmosphere was so easy going. Somehow a novel thought jumped out at me: Maybe I was not as terrible and detestable as I believed. Maybe I was even likeable. After having encountered my inner self-loathing demons a week prior in Granada, it seemed like a silver lining. A glimmer of hope and direction. It might seem like a small thing to an outsider, but it was an essential milestone on my personal journey of hope and growth. A first step towards a brighter future.
How about you?
Have you had new personal revelations with fellow travelers?
Cover picture was taken in Rome (Italy) in Sep 2008
Missing the beginning of this story?
Around Europe in 30 days #1: Forming a plan