Eurail pass? Check. Travel partner and best friend? Check. Enough clothes and supplies to last two months abroad? I sure hope so.
After scouring the Web for bargains, we book our flight to London. We’ve been studying maps, youth hostel websites, and train routes since January. Now with our last semester of high school behind us, we embark on a new adventure: the classic summer backpacking trip.
Upon arriving at the airport, we take the Tube and head toward our youth hostel in the city center. With our money belts tucked inside our jeans, we emerge from the Underground, and I begin to study the map I printed from the Internet.
Within a few minutes, my face wrinkles into a look of confusion. Luckily, a friendly Londoner notices we need help and points us in the right direction. The receptionist at the hostel’s front desk tells us where to leave our things, so we lock up our backpacks and set out. Following a proper meal of fish and chips, we spend the afternoon photographing Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus.
Back at the youth hostel that evening, we chat with our roommates. They are from California, and London is their last stop before heading back home. Later, we join some Canadian backpackers in the lobby, and we all go out to a pub for dinner. So far, all the hostellers we’ve met have been friendly and full of travel tips and suggestions. If this is a taste of what the next two months will be like, I could really get used to the life of a backpacker!