Its been 120 days since I left my home, my family and life in Melbourne in pursuit of the ultimate once in a life experience. I am well and truly past the halfway point of my exchange and I still chance the feeling of wanderlust, with every city, town and country I visit. This weekend I head to Paris, which will be my 14th countries and 30 cites on this trip. I am very lucky that I chose to do my exchange in The Netherlands, which is virtually the hub of Europe travel wise!
14 countries I might hear you say…. Wow how did she do it! My top travel tips:
Tip 1: Sky Scanner Sky Scanner Sky Scanner! It gives you some ridiculously cheap flights during off peak dates and times! I’m not kidding… $20 return flights from Amsterdam to Barcelona! I have also had my fair share of uncomfortable flight times, having to get to the airport at 4am on numerous occasions, however with that I’ve been able to save considerable money and fly into a country just in time to view the spectacular sunrises outside my plane window!
Tip 2: Flix Bus! How cool is the idea of being able to get on a bus in one country then wake up to be in another! Flix bus is a great and affordable method of transporting around Europe! They offer reclining chairs and free wifi, which is a non negotiable for young travellers such as myself! I used Flix bus to make my way from Croatia to Slovenia, Slovenia to Budapest, Budapest to Poland, Poland to Berlin, Berlin to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Munich and Amsterdam to Paris!
Tip 3: Hit your friends up!! It’s amazing knowing that your friends are studying in amazing countries all around the world, therefore take them up on that offer to sleep on a mattress on their floor! I am lucky enough to have my best friend live an hour and a half by train in Amsterdam from me, therefore I have an opportunity to visit her and take full advantage of one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I also have a friend studying in Malmo, Sweden and I was lucky enough to see Sweden and Copenhagen with her letting me stay!
Another travel tip I have is that although planning is key, don’t be afraid to let yourself go with the flow and see where you end up! When I left Australia, I had three and a half weeks planned and booked but that was all! With that I was able to dedicate the next three weeks exploring Europe with no plans at all! If I had planed and booked everything prior to departing Australia, I would have missed out on seeing some of the most incredible places in the world!
I can safely say that this has been the most challenging, adventurous, amazing and life altering experience! I would highly recommend studying abroad and leaving our comfort zone in Australia to see another world, culture, mentality and history! I will carry the feeling of wanderlust everywhere I go after this trip, which is just the first major one of the long life ahead of me!