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Daydreaming about living on my own

 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

In exactly a week I will moving to a studio in a student flat. It will be the first time that I'll be living on my own. I'm excited on one hand, but also incredibly nervous on the other. It will be the first time where I'll live on my own without any of my parents. It's in a student flat, but I'll still have my own kitchen and bathroom and will basically have to do everything on my own. I will have to clean and cook and make myself accountable. That thought scares me a little. What if something would happen that I wouldn't be able to handle?

But I'm also really excited. I imagine myself in this awesomely decorated place that is extremely cozy and nice. I will spend lots of evenings reading in the window seat with rain pouring down outside, I'll cook myself really nice food. I can watch whatever I want, put whatever music I want to listen to on, have my favourite radio station on all the time. Even doing my own groceries excited me (is that weird?)

Mind you it will probably not be as special as I make it out to be. First of all it's a student flat. There will be rowdy parties all the time probably. It probably won't be as idyllic as I imagine it will be. I will probably feel lonely now and again and it will probably be hard to cook and clean everyday. And I will of course have to study too. I can't just fill my days with reading and baking, though I would want to. Or organizing dinner parties for friends.

So yeah anyway, I'm really excited though and I will bring you along on my adventures too of course. Do you have any tips for me maybe? Maybe someone has experience in living alone?

My Interrail Trip | A day in Switzerland

On our second day we left Heidelberg and travelled to Italy. We decided to forgo sleeping in Switzerland on our way to Italy, because it's such an expensive country. This way we had to travel all day, but we figured it would be worth it, because Switzerland is rumored to have a few of the most beautiful train rides in the world.We left Heidelberg early in the morning and took an international train to basel. We weren't planning on stopping, but we figured why the hell not? Why would we transfer trains in a big city and not have a little look around? In the end we spent about two hours in Basel, wandering around.

Basel is the third biggest city in Switzerland and is located near the border of both France and Germany. Situated on the banks of the river Rhine it is a stunning city with lots of beautiful buildings and a skyline with lots of old townhouses and churches seen from the river. It took us about 20 minutes to walk to the river from the station. Though it was quite heavy with all our stuff with us, it was well worth the view. If you look at the pictures down below you can see how stunning it is. The differently colored buildings with their beautiful red bricked roofs. A church popping up now and again and an old school ferry made it really authentic and stunning.

Oh my goodness, Switzerland is expensive though! We knew it would be expensive, but didn't realize how much so till we had actually arrived in Basel. The night before, in Heidelberg, we had already decided not to sleep anywhere in Switzerland because of the costs, but we still wanted to get a spot of lunch somewhere in the city. We opted out of that though after seeing the prices. A sandwich is not worth 9 euro's at a local supermarket if you ask me.

After the two-hour stopover in Basel and the expensive lunch, we got on a train towards Lugano and the Italian border. Lugano is situated on the banks of a really big lake in the far south of Switzerland, really close to the Italian border. The train ride was absolutely stunning, we crossed the whole of Switserland in a few hours. I could not stop looking out of the windows. You can see some of the landscape in the pictures below!
The train was very fanciful as well, with extremely big windows and comfy seats. They even had options to charge your phones, which always comes in handy.

Next up, is Lugano. Lugano is a city on the banks of a really big lake close to the Italian border. When we arrived there it was extremely hot, we had our backpacks on our bags and we realized that the station was located on a hill. This meant we had to walk down the hill and then up the hill again in about 34 degrees celsius. It was almost impossible and when we look back maybe we shouldn't have done it. I'm still happy I saw a part of the city however, because despite all of the trouble we had to go through to actually see a little bit of the town, it was still extremely beautiful and well worth it if you'd ask me.

My To Do List for the Last week of Summer

This week officially marks my last week of summer. Coming Monday I will be off to class once again. To be honest, I am actually looking forward to starting college again. It's exciting to see my friends and catch up and to be honest, I really want to go out there and learn new things again, make new friends and have more amazing experiences and opportunities. I'm also moving out of my parents house and I am gonna be living on my own for the first time ever.  I have so much to arrange still, it's going to be a busy few weeks. But I want to make the most of my last week of freedom. These are the things I really still want to do before school starts up again.

Though I have to mention that the weather is absolutely shit over here right now. Thunderstorms and everything. Great weather for the last week of my summer break. I'm going to squeeze in as much of these things as possible though. Ain't going to let the weather beat me!
  • Go on a day trip to a nearby city Rotterdam is the city I'm thinking about. I still have a few things that I need to pick up and I think it would be nice to pick up some lunch at the Markthallen and do a bit of shopping.
  • Go for a swim at the local pool I haven't been swimming since my holiday over a month ago. Swimming at an outdoor local pool just screams of my childhood summers. I want to relive those summer days.
  • Have one last summer BBQ I'm kinda cheating here by putting it on my list, because I can actually already tick it off. We had a big barbecue yesterday with the whole family for my brothers birthday. It was the best.
  • Spent the day in the garden drinking lemonade and reading a good book This is what is a perfect summer day for me. Spending all day in the garden with a book you can't put away, sunglasses on your head and the sun shining. For lunch I'd eat all the fruit and I would drink lemonade all day long.
  • Have breakfast outside on the balcony I hope the weather will take a turn for the better at the end of the week so I can at least eat breakfast on the balcony one last time this summer, because there isn't a better feeling isn't there? Waking up in the first rays of sunshine with a cup of tea in your hand? The best.
  • Go for a bike ride and pack a picnic This speaks for itself doesn't it? We have a beautiful nature park just across the river which would be a perfect destination for a day like this.
  • Visit a farmer's market and pick up fresh summer produce before they disappear once again and we have to wait a whole other year for fresh strawberries and peaches.

My Interrail Trip | First Location: Heidelberg

Our travels through Europe started off in Heidelberg. Heidelberg is a small city located on the banks of the river Rhine in the south west Germany. We took the international train from Utrecht to Mannheim on Sunday morning before transferring onto a local train to Heidelberg. We arrived there around midday and spent all afternoon discovering as much as possible of Heidelberg. We only had one afternoon there, the next morning we would be on a train again, towards Italy and Switzerland.

Heidelberg is absolutely beautiful. Both me and Ella fell in love with it immediately. It is both a touristic city as it is a charming town that feels small. The hills surrounding the place are stunning with big woods covering the hills on both sides of the river and with a castle, located near the city centre. Here are a few things you should definitely do when you ever have a change to visit:
  • Visit the main town square. Heidelberg has a small centre, with just one big shopping street and a main square. If you want to get a feel of what Heidelberg is all about, you should go here, because it's the heart of the city. For us it didn't feel like a city at all, because of the small city centre. It's more like a small town.
  • Go on to the bridge. From the bridge you have a beautiful view of the city centre, the river and the castle all in one. You can walk to the other side too, where Neustadt is.
  • Walk along the river and have a picnic. What I would definitely suggest, is to take a stroll along the river on the Neustadt side. There are big grassy banks along that side, where you can take your shoes of and sit and relax for a while. Maybe have a picnic? We didn't at the time, because it started to rain, but there were lots of people who were having a picnic and it seemed really nice.

  • Take a hike up to the castle. From the castle you have a stunning view of the city and the river. It is a bit of a hike to get there, but it is definitely worth it. We spent some time wandering through the gardens once we were up there and I think it's one of my favourite places we visited during our trip. It was very peaceful and calm and the view was absolutely stunning. So definitely a recommendation!

What not to do while you are in Heidelberg?

  • Have dinner at McDonalds. Stupid, stupid mistake! We swore of McDonalds after that for the rest of our holiday. We should have just gone up to the city centre again and should have found a place to eat there, but by the time we finally found a hostel for the next night, it was after 8 and we were hungry. The only place close was McDonalds.
  • Walk to the city centre twice. Our hostel was quite far away from the city centre, about 3km I think and we thought it would be a good idea to walk there twice. That is about 12km in total in one day, not even counting the walk the up to the castle and along the river. We should have just stayed in the city centre or taken the bus, because having to walk back 3 kilometer at midnight is not fun.

Nonetheless Heidelberg was amazing. I would encourage anyone to check it out, because it's stunning and served a perfect first location for our trip. The next day we left Heidelberg and spent the day traveling through Switzerland. Bring on the rest!
And if you want to know more about Heidelberg, you should check out theoverseasescape.com. Margo lived there together with her husband for two years and has some awesome recommendations.

A few snapshots of my travels around Europe

A few months ago I was catching up with an old friend, I think it was a rainy day in April. We discovered that neither of us had made any summer plans yet and had the brilliant idea of going on holiday together. We spent months thinking up possible trips we could make (it was difficult, flights were expensive and I was on a student budget, but we still wanted to do something cool). Only about two weeks before we actually went, did we finally decide where we were going to go. Interrailing it was. Our interrail tickets were booked a week before we were meant to leave and we only managed to plan and book our first night out of the country. All the rest was decided on a book and go basis. And it was one of the best trips I've ever done.

Interrailing across Europe was seriously one of the best experiences of my life. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride. What we did is, we basically traveled from Utrecht towards Germany, before traveling through Switzerland, which was beautiful by the way. Most of our trip was spent in Italy. I think you could spent a lifetime there. There is just so much to see. After being to places like Como, Cinque Terre and Venice in Italy, we went to Vienna and Budapest next and finished our trip in Prague. To always be on the go is really exhausting but at the same time really rewarding. We were never at one place for more then to days and tried to pack as much into our days as possible. The amount of walking I did during this holiday was insane.

As a first post about my interrail experience, I thought I would share a few snapshots of all the different places we went to. I want to write about the places we went to in detail in other posts, so here is just a quick overview. There is so much to tell that I don't think I could fit it all in one post. I'm also thinking of sharing a few tips and tricks I learned along the way, so watch out for that as well. But for now, here are a few highlights from the trip.

Our first location was Heidelberg. Which is a beautiful town in Germany. We couldn't have chosen a better town as our first location. Neither my friend or I are experienced travelers and being in Heidelberg just felt safe. It wasn't some enormous city where you could easily get lost. Instead it had one main shopping street and a main square and that was about it, other than the beautiful castle up the hill.

^The was taken in Basel. We weren't planning on stopping here, but since we were 
transferring trains here we thought why not check it out. I'm so glad we did^

^ Look at this view! Isn't lake Como stunning? ^

The most beautiful place we have visited was without a doubt Cinque Terre. These stunning villages along the coast, made me fall in love with Italy even more. Even though it was packed with tourists, it didn't feel overly crowded. And while obviously tourism definitely shaped these villages, they still have that typical Italian atmosphere.

^ We met lots of backpackers along the way ^

Prague and Budapest were so different from Italy. They were both absolutely beautiful and absolutely worth a visit if you ask me. Just stay in a different hostel then where we stayed, because ours was absolutely terrible.

I learned so much, saw so much and discovered so much. I definitely want to do it again!! And I would definitely encourage you to take a trip like this too.
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