I went on swift solo trip through Europe in September 2016, and while it was awesome, the trip was speckled with challenge and I messed up a lot. Especially on my final leg…
Final destination: Munich!
I intended to experience as much as possible with my remaining days in Europe dwindling, so I packed up and departed Berlin at 3am.
The train ride slipped by thanks to a freshly updated Spotify playlist and a book I acquired from The Generator Hostel.
The ensuing 6 hours, however, were a stress inducing, expensive, tearful journey through rain soaked Munich… 😭
My navigational ineptitude and failure to pre-plan has never been highlighted so dramatically.
Here’s a snapshot of my Munich adventure…
#1 Look at the map
Maps no longer bore me…
When traveling, don’t just look at a map. Study it. Study the shit out of it. Like your doctorate degree depends on it.
My lack of interest in maps saw me travel to the outskirts of Munich, both East and North…
In Auckland terms, that’s like leaving the city and going to Silverdale, going back to the city and out to St Helliers. 🙄
#2 Research accommodation
Chasing an alternative experience for Oktoberfest, I booked in to a camp site.
Sometimes novelty is not the best option.
I arrived under a thick grey sky. The rain was relentless.
I had assumed my booking would be in a caravan type set up (see #2).
It was a tent. With no bed. In the outskirts of East Munich.
After a short cry, I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.
Without looking at a map (see #1) I thought it best to head to the accommodation I had booked for the following night near the airport.
Turns out that accommodation was off the end of the line in North Munich… with no taxi stand and a bus stop I couldn’t understand.
Left Berlin: 4.20am
Checked in to accommodation: 4.50pm
#3 Eat well
In my defense… there are limited options for quality foods at 4am.
Falling for novelty again, I tried the Mc Rib.
Stomach didn’t enjoy it.
Not only does eating right increase your chances of staying healthy, it helps keep the brain clear for decision making.. something I needed more this day.
The train went past a bouldering centre.
I still had a packet of stroopwafle.
While this day was pretty awful, I wouldn’t change a thing.
My intention traveling solo was to become better at self ownership and travel confidence.
By the end of this day I was navigating public transport easier, finally dispelling my apprehension of it. I learned to deal with an uncomfortable situation and look after myself.
While stressful and frustrating at the time, I grew more from the experience than I ever could have following the lead of someone else.
And I still had one full day in Munich to enjoy.