A little diddy about the Eurail and marriage
After reading many blogs and many websites about traveling in Europe we decided to purchase a EuRail pass which would essentially allow us to travel Europe for 15 days straight on most rails.
We are now halfway through our trip and now possess a wealth of information regarding the pass. And because of that we are down 1500 dollars.
We paid a lot for our pass, more than our flight, and every time we want to board a train we have to pay a reservation fee. So in all we spent more than double that we would have spent on flights to get from country to country.
In all, frustrating. And because of the reservation fees and complexity and complications that come along with EuRail, we have canceled our reservations in London (NO MORE HARRY POTTER). And have looked at possibly moving our flight up to prevent dipping majorly into some savings.
Now, I don't want this post to be a big ole pity party (cause that's how we are feeling just about now, broke and trapped in Rome).
After spending 2 of our 22 days in Europe on trains from Barcelona to Florence (we boarded 7 trains for a total of over 24 hours of train time), we've learned a lot about marriage and each other, which I doubt most people learn on their honeymoon.
First, we've learned a lot of patience, which we were already equipped with, but we are learning more about it in a difficult circumstances. Traveling is rough and frustrating. For example, we rode a train from Barcelona to Valence, France. But, when we purchased our ticket in Barcelona we were trying to get to Nice. He said he could not purchase our tickets from Valence to Nice and that we had to wait until we arrived in Valence to purchase our next ticket. We arrived in Valence and the train was full.
Patience required. Jake stood in line for an hour and dealt with a guy for another hour and wonderfully arranged all the many trains and transfers to find out that the credit card we had just used, no longer was working. Patience required.
This still kind of sounds like a big giant pity party, but I feel like no one ever discusses this part of their trip. It's hard, and obviously something we chose, we wanted the adventure. But the many days of travel have been disappointing and frustrating.
Beyond patience, we've learned how to love one another better. Sometimes I need to take a cab, and although it pains Jake to spend the money, we jump in a cab.
We are also more of a team. When our 20 euro bill won't allow us to purchase metro tickets in Rome, we don't get mad at one another or frustrated and take it out on each other (okay, sometimes we do, but learning not to) we look for change together. And trot around that airport with GIANT backpacks until one nice Italian will finally give us two 5s and and 10.
We also learned the value and power of friendships outside each other. We met Annalisa and Daniel in Florence and now in Rome, and that has made our trip more enjoyable and less tense. Last night, when we arrived in Rome, we had a tiny major freak out of our monetary standings and mode of transportation for the trip, and although we didn't feel like it, we left our Airbnb to meet our friends for dinner, who patted us on the back, bought our dinner and laughed with us well into the night. We came back feeling loved and refreshed, ready to enjoy and tackle the rest of our trip.
Now, please, don't get me wrong. We are by no means miserable. We've just hit some big ole bumps in the road of backpacking Europe. And we would trade our EuRail passes back in a hot second (seriously, anyone want them?). But, I wouldn't trade this trip for the world. Our adventures together are memorable and priceless, and although not usually luxurious, in a couple years they'll be hilarious.
We've learned a lot. Here's our 5 lessons, learned and relearned.
1. Don't waste money on EuRail, planes are WAY cheaper within Europe and save time.
2. Shop in the grocery store, it's cheaper and fresh and easy for breakfast and lunch.
3. Make sure you have a credit card with a fancy chip in it (okay, it's not that fancy, but none of our cards have one, and it's been limiting and restricting and gotten us in major pickles a couple of times).
4. If you're not feeling a city, leave. We wasted a lot of time in Paris. It was expensive and we didn't love it. We felt obligated to stay and so we missed a lot of a city we loved, Barcelona. And we spent WAY too much money, because Paris eats your bank account.
5. Enjoy it, despite the frustrations. Grab Europe by the horns and say, I will not let your complications and frustrations ruin my honeymoon! So, next stop, the beach. To recuperate and make a new game plan. Which, we desperately need.