My First Steps into the Backpacking World
First thing I heard over and over again was ‘you couldn’t do that alone, that’s dangerous!’ I was frustrated with people around me in my life telling me that I couldn’t do it. So it made me want to do it even more. Bought my plane ticket, Euro-rail pass and booked a few hostels to get me started. Everything came into place, starting on my high-school graduating day, June 21, 2004. After receiving my diploma I rushed home, grabbed my backpack and everything that I needed to begin my Europe Trip.It wasn’t until I landed in Paris, July 12, 2004, where the fun began. I took the Channel Tunnel to get from London to Paris, which only took about 2 hours in total. Yet, this day was only the beginning for me and I was not aware that I was going to add another 2 more hours of metro craziness to carry me through my first day of backpacking.As you maybe aware, the Paris Metro is massive!!!…well compared to Toronto subway, there is no comparison. Just imagine my first impression seeing the map and trying to find my hostel’s location. Oh yes, I was blown over with an astonishment, WOW and HELP shivers all over. Oh and did I mention French is not my forte; so asking a local was out of the question. It came down to what I usually do; go with my gut feeling. I hopped on the metro and freely went from one line to another until I reached my destination – Rennos, which is on the 12 line (green). Once I reached the main streets, I randomly walked and within 20 minutes I found the Hostel. I was eager to meet other backpackers and hear their adventures, however there was one small problem when I checked into the hostel.
As I was about to go up the stairs to enter my room, there was a sudden wave of WATER crashing down the stairs at which had me flown, crashing backwards onto the floor.
Oh, yes I was soaked from head to toe, including my backpack. Turned out, a water pipe burst on the second floor and due to it being the main water pipe, there was a lot of press of water that went pouring down the stairs.First experiences are always thrilling. Would you call this first experience extreme? As you can imagine, it took me a few hours to dry all my clothes and finally settle in. As first time in Europe, it was an unforgettable first experience.