Across countries literally turtlebackpacking
My first backpacking trips were not spent in the Philippines, but in a few European countries from ABCD to P! Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Poland. Covering over 21 cities and towns in West and East Europe including my first Scandinavian land, I started my first step spending a calm midday in Cologne.
|First stop at Köln with Turtany while waiting for my carpooling driver|
Planning and smart spending
Instead of finding for a short-term internship, I had planned for my trips during the first half of August, right after finishing my first masters degree from Darmstadt, Germany. Planning had been a tiring and exciting experience and patience was much needed! On the process, I can imagine how my brother's long isangdaan journey in the Philippines had been meticulously planned.
I was trying to exhaust the cheapest way to get to my next destinations that I had tried
hours of walking, mitfahrgelegenheit.com or carpooling, long cross countries bus rides and long overnight train/ city night line. Hitchhiking was not for me, as I do not want to compromise my safety on foreign land as a girl.
I also sent countless couch requests to secure free accommodation and meet up with the locals. Of course, most of the places I had been, I had friends and friends of friends who generously accommodated me and made my experience worthwhile and fulfilling.
|With Faryel, friend of friend, of Amsterdam Cupcake Company and her cake pops|
- fruits from the market and food from local grocery shops can help save from over-priced snacks and breakfasts. since I was able to manage to save for my accommodation, I treat myself to good meals!
- advanced booking helped me save over 25 percent on transportation. add here purchasing weekly, three-day or daily tickets depending on my travel plans and time allocation.
- go around the city before inside the museums. as I do not want to spend money to pricey museums, I take time to enjoy the free city façades and sights.
- photos and postcards are my cheapest souvenir. aside from my photos and few videos, I purchase postcards in every city I am. send them home before I leave the place. eventually, when mails would be really rare, postcards and stamps from everywhere will be great keepsake.
- savor and enjoy. I know that I am not superwoman who can brush through a city for a few hours or days, instead of running from one famous building to the next historical stop, I try to stop, savor and enjoy the moment.
|At the Viennese Postbox|
All in all, I had spend 37 days, 19 hours and 47 minutes on the road during my two sets of backpacking trips in Europe. I am glad that I was able to spend continuously 1/10 of the year or for over 3.2 million seconds of my life treading a part of the world. So here's a victory jump at Paris' Arc de Triomphe. Wait for my turtlebackpacking series!