Losing it in Europe

It may be like this for those financially well-endowed, but if you are travelling on a student budget this image is quickly stomped out of sight. In fact, destination hopping on a budget can really cause you to 'lose it.' What 'it' is depends on you. If you are lucky you'll lose yourself in a spectacular scenic daydream, lose your crippling fears, even lose your number to a cute French man (aim for this if possible). If your fortunes are less favourable, you might lose to a pickpocket, lose your direction, or lose your waistline to Italian food (traumatic, but worth it).

Losing it in Europe

In my travels I have been granted a mixed bag of losses. I've included some on my map of 'losing it,' across Europe, but there are a few that need a little more detail...

My initial loss occurred just after landing for the first time on the other side of the world. I was in a small village of Cinque Terre, Italy. It was the kind of village where grandmas in slippers and old sailors in stripes reign, but technology, particularly phone reception, does not. Late on our first afternoon in this village my credit card got swallowed whole-by a bank ATM.

Welcome to the world of travel!!

Don't worry though, as the bank later explained it was chewed as a safety precaution...of course. At this time my back up cards were still 'loading money,' so this chewed card was kind of important for my survival.

Losing it in Europe

A very crackly call home, a 7.30am visit to the bank later and some intense brainstorming to mime 'don't cut the card' through padlocked doors and we were inside the bank about to get my card. Add on four forms of identification and my card, which was supposedly stolen by me, was finally mine again. I have never taken out money in the same manner.

Another favourite loss was in Iceland. It was 12am. We were approximately half an hour outside of Reykjavik, standing in the pitch black, freezing cold. Suddenly something stopped my cursing...it was The Northern Lights! Their colours were soft with many subtle shades that literally danced across the sky. The milky shades shot across the horizon as far as the eye could see, their unique shapes moved under and around one another creating incredible optical illusions. I lost my breath that night and my friend lost a few tears.

Losing it in Europe

Perhaps the most ridiculous loss I've had, occured on my most recent trip. Three days before flying out of Sydney I pulled my big coat out from my cupboard and paused...it needed to be dry cleaned. I raced it to my dry cleaner-the one who always looks after me. She faithfully promised it would be cleaned off site and returned the night before I flew out. The night before flying crept up and instead of being greeted with my beautiful camel coloured coat, I arrived to the big apologetic eyes of the dry cleaner... and that's how I flew into a European winter without a coat.

Losing it in Europe

I think that no matter how many different ways you've lost it whilst travelling the most indescribable loss always involves people. When you have friends and family around the world the hellos and goodbyes that travel entails are always bitter sweet. However, they do place all the other experiences of adventuring in perspective.

So if you're a lucky being, an unlucky being, or an inbetweener like me, when you travel make sure to enjoy those moments when you 'lose it.' Destination hopping would be pretty boring without them.

Photography by Alana Flood