The 15 Stages of Getting Over Your InterRail Trip
You would think that we get enough freedom during term time, but despite the common misconception that we do sweet FA, we do in fact partake in activities that do not include alcohol, sleeping and eating; we come out in the daytime too. With our finances and time limited, we can’t quite commit to the typical gap-year-travel-the-world-scenario just yet, and so Interrailing is the ideal option that outweighs all others.
You think you know what you are in for when you randomly choose the right size Osprey backpack. I mean, we have all been on holidays before. You burn, tan, have summer romances, drink Sangria, come home, reminisce, and that is the end of that.
But the after effects of Interrailing are not so simple. Be warned, a long road of recovery is in sight. You start in disbelief and denial, but eventually slip into realisation that you are in fact back home.
1. Forever in denial, your attire still resembles that of a backpacker.
In a delusional frame of mind, despite the rainy British weather outside, you are yet to discard of the clothing from your backpack. Instead of putting them away for next summer, you face the cold weather in your Havaiana flip-flops and fanny pack. Despite simultaneous comments about how much the world despises your bum bag, there is no stopping you. You may also be spotted wearing a bikini top as a bra depending on how severely affected you are.
2. You remain infatuated by the people you met.
When you were Interrailing, you stumbled across a fair few love interests; the majority of which were Australian. You should have seen it coming by the way their blonde locks, chilled demeanour and melodic accents made you swoon, but it wasn’t until you arrived home that you realised the extent of your infatuation towards the nation of perfect specimens.
3. Your Interrailing habits are still going strong.
It’s not just your clothes that are questionable, it is your way of life. Greasy hair is no longer the worst thing in the world and you have experienced far worse than public loos. You remain clueless as to how disgusted people are by you.
4. You still live by the phrase: DILLIGAF.
Also known as ‘Do I look like I give a fuck?’ – is a mindset you acquire whilst Interrailing and is one of the longest lasting, hardest-to-shift frames of mind known to man. The phrase epitomises how Interrailing makes you feel. Somebody insults your fanny pack – do I look like I give a fuck? Day drinking? DILLIGAF. Third pull of the night? DILLIGAF. Constantly going from eatery to eatery? DILLIGAF.
You are still undergoing the life mantra that life is too short, whilst everyone else GAFs.
5. For now, everything is bliss.
The final hurdle of disbelief is a good one. You are simply happy; your lifestyle still resembles that of a backpacker and you are unaware of the judgements thrown your way. It isn’t long till this bubble of contentment is popped by stage 6.
6. But then you have to start readjusting to British life.
A fair amount of time has passed now that it has become a hazard to your health to wear flip flops outside of the comfort of your own home. You slowly delve back into your British attire and you no longer get mistaken for being an Aussie on vacation. Next thing you know, you’re back being a generic, unrecognisable, fashion sheep again.
7. You accept that clubbing is no longer as edgy as it was in Berlin.
You begin to face your old routine by going to Revs and Tiger and you accept that they are going to be different to the underground clubs the locals showed you in Florence and Berlin. You have an open mind, but it still surprises you how you can’t talk to someone without them thinking you’re hitting on them. What happened to just having a chat?
The music is not the same, the setting is not as atmospheric and there is a serious lack of worldies. Gone are the clubs where everybody gives zero fucks; instead everyone stands around like lemons, repeatedly announcing the fact that they can’t dance.
8. You cling on to the memories by periodically looking through all your photos.
You still remain overly keen to show everyone all the snaps you took of your fondest memories whilst away. Like a proud mother sharing photographs of her children, you are so severely blinded by your nostalgia to realise that nobody actually cares.
9. You excessively Facebook stalk people.
You schedule time in your day that is designated to Facebook stalking the rares you met. A brief moment of hope is followed by the remembrance that they didn’t even bother to like the photos you eagerly tagged them in.
10. You still try to make conversation with strangers.
Train talk whilst Interrailing is a no brainer. Long gone are the days of stranger danger, you are now an independent person at the peak of your freedom who lives by their own rules. Befriending people on trains is normal behaviour for you now, but no matter how much you persist, strangers on trains in England just do not want to talk to you.
11. You hit some hostel bars in an attempt to socialise again with travellers.
You have realised, thanks to the likes of Tinder, that Australians often visit the UK, so it’s not all that bad. Going to hostel bars in your city to ‘accidentally’ find them isn’t that creepy if you keep your motives on the low down.
12. You feel better by reminding yourself that you’re a much more interesting person now.
One day, you will get to the top of the mountain and you will see there is light on the other side. You accept that, minus the dark sadness that is now internally within you, you have come out of it a more cultured and independent individual with infinite stories to tell. The stories may have to be censored for certain audiences, but they will never be censored from your heart.
13. You worry that your Interrail freindships are fading, so you strategically engage on Facebook.
The occasional like and comment on their Facebook photos and posts, just so they remember you.
14. Ultimately, there is no changing back to the person you were pre-Interrailing.
It has been some time now and you are practically recovered, but every so often, when you are in a club or on a long train journey, a sudden force takes over and the Interrailing mentality gets the best of you once more. For a brief moment you switch back into your summer mindset and everything is okay again.
15. But it doesn’t have to be over.
There remains a hope in your soul that one day you will return to Europe and the hole in your heart will be restored.
The process is hard and there are ups and downs (mainly downs), but you are not alone.