By Yash Sanghvi
Winter was a different experience altogether this year, instead of heading back home to visit the family I was given the chance to roam Europe.
I decided to go a step further and that after my flight to Europe, I would use trains for the rest of the trip.
I left for this new adventure with just a bag on my back.
8,412 kilometers of Europe covered in 20 days including the over 5,800 kilometers travelled by train.
My itinerary was Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Germany.
The Italy-Poland route was the longest and most tedious of all my train rides and it is definitely something I will cherish forever.
The most scenic route had to be the one from Switzerland to Germany.
As I left the station all I could see was the Alps covered in a thick blanket of white snow.
Those twenty days were crazy right from the first day of landing in Rome.
It was an adventure of another kind filled with memories at each step along the way.
From getting scammed out of €20 in Italy, to sleeping on the train and missing my stop by over an hour.
I got lost in quite a few places and just trusted my instincts on reaching my final destination.
More than anything else, what I can say is that I did meet countless people and quite a few new friends.
I might add that I also experienced getting interrogated by the police aboard a train probably because of the beard I had fashioned.
I experienced it all.
Also, it is true what they say, beer is cheaper than water.
A pub in Prague sold 11% alcoholic beer for 60 cents while a glass of water was €2.50.
Let’s just say I don’t remember drinking water.
It’s been quite an adventure that ended way too quickly.
This journey for me was to travel around to see new places and discover myself.
Somewhere along the way, I did get to know myself a little bit better.
I do still wonder if this trip will bring about that discovery eventually although I have changed in ways.
I have developed the confidence to get over my fears; fear is present in all of us and it’s the fear to live, love, feel or even travel alone.
This life is too short to let it be controlled by fear and way too long to let it be filled with regret.
I believe everyone at some point in their lives needs to travel alone to anywhere, even for a few days.
It makes you appreciate life a little more and you don’t come back the same as you left.
This has been a whole new experience for me and although this journey is over, the adventure continues, the hunger to go out and see more is just growing.
The adventure truly never ends till we let it, and I’m just getting started.
One of the other major things I realised is happiness can only be brought from within and Dumbledore puts it best; “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.”