My name is Nina. I am a teacher of English from Ukraine currently doing European Voluntary service in Germany. EVS became my starting point in the traveling life as before it I’ve never been abroad. And though I’m just making first steps to becoming an experienced traveler, I’d like to share my experience about different types of trips I had.
Type 1. Big-group trip.
Once my EVS friend found extremely cheap tickets to Brussels. As volunteer’s life is a constant trying to save money we immediately decided to use the opportunity and booked 8 tickets for each member of our team. Only then did we realize that all that glitters is not gold J as cheap tickets were nothing comparing with bitterly expensive hostels, traffic, and food in Belgium. But what is done is done, so my seven friends and I spent three November days in three Belgian cities.
We explored the famous Brussels that turned out to be dark, dirty and not safe. Despite this fact, we enjoyed its beautiful center and nice small pubs. We visited calm Ostende and enjoyed the sea view. We wandered the streets of charming Brugge feeling as if in a fairytale.
All in all, it was great, and here are the biggest plus and the biggest minus of traveling with a big group of people.
+ even the scariest dark avenues are not so scary when your friends are with you
- it’s really hard to suit everybody’s taste and visit the places each person wants
(We didn’t make it to Rene Maggrite’s museum – my most desired place in Brussels).
Type 2. A trip with a friend.
Seems to be the best way of traveling for me. Being with a friend you feel safe and happy; you (usually) share common interests so can make the plan of your trip suitable for both of you; you have the person to share your emotions now and sweet memories when the trip is over.
My friend and I, both Ukrainians, one of us living in Germany the other – in Poland. Together we explored three Polish cities Wroclaw, Krakow, and Walbrzych. We shared excitement when seeing the beautiful castles of picturesque landscapes, we supported each other when one of us lost money and the other appeared to have left the passport at home, we walked more than 100 km, ate Polish and Turkish food and felt happy.
Type 3. A trip on your own.
My first journey by myself was to the city that used to appear in my dreams eight days in a row – warm sunny Barcelona.
I was frustrated and a bit scared before flying there as the option to be alone in a new country where people speak the language I don’t speak seemed to be pretty difficult.
Still, I pulled myself together and flew to this charming city. What can I say – breathtaking architectural miracles done by Antonio Gaudi, an observation deck on mountain Tibidabo (560 meters above the sea level), colorful, loud and tasty market Boqueria… I highly recommend visiting Barcelona to everyone! There I not only made my dream come true but saw the positive and negative sides of traveling alone. Here they are:
- your photos are 99% selfies))
+ you choose where to go, what to eat and how to spend your time
+ you explore not only the place but yourself as well
++ you have more time and energy to get in contact with locals!
I asked a Spanish woman to guide me to the needed bus stop. We ended up going to Tibidabo together – on the way she told me the stories about the area we were in, about some cultural peculiarities of Spain, about Barcelona in general. She showed me a cozy café with a perfect view of the city where we sat for a while – talking and in silence, enjoying the landscape and cold mojito.
This situation proved once more that even a short time with a native citizen can give you more than long-lasting excursions with a guide or even best-planned-by-yourself route. That is why I’m interested in the idea of Imprinit project. I see it as a perfect chance to make a journey unusual in a positive way and thus unforgettable.
So, let’s travel and make our journeys bright together with Imprint!
Nina Soloshenko - EVS volunteer, Ukrainian, currently lives in Germany
We are your adventures, discoveries, and memories!