The First Day of a One-Year-Trip

The First Day of a One-Year-Trip

It was one year ago that we started a one-year-trip that brought us to more than 20 different places and left us with some memorable stories. And now, as this trip is over, we think, it’s time to invite you to travel with us through our stories…

The adventure started at the Cologne Central Station on 30th of August 2014. We were sitting at a bench, enjoying hot French fries and met a very friendly old woman who was impressed by Janis’ packing skills. She couldn’t imagine how to travel the world for a year with just two small backpacks (well, rather medium-size: 40 and 60 litres) and one hand luggage. Anyway, she wished us all the best and told us to use the time of being young to travel as far and long, as we can because one won’t be able to do so after entering the employment life.

Cologne Central Station
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NRW,_Cologne_-_Hauptbahnhof_01.jpg

Meditating about her words, we sat down in a café and enjoyed one final coffee before taking the first step towards that unpredictable and mysterious year that was lying ahead.

Who are we? And why did we decide to do that?

Let’s put it this way: once upon a time there was a young man and a young woman who fell in love with each other. They both shared same interests that they managed to convert into a profession that they could practice over internet (freelancing, as it’s called). And the more time passed on, the more they wanted to bring freelancing and travelling together. They did not know, if they could succeed, but they had just enough motivation to try it.

And this is how we farewelled our friends and families for one year, packed our bags and ended up at the Cologne Central Station, where we eventually were encouraged with a final blessing of the old lady and also complimented for the packing skills.

We were waiting for the train to Paris. Yes, Paris was the first destination. Before the departure many people asked us why we started this sort of trip. Basically because we had some questions ourselves that we wanted to find answers to. We wanted to see the world and wanted to know if it was possible to combine travel with work. And if we could live out this lifestyle as a couple. And if one really needs to save up a big amount of money to start this longterm travel. At the end of our trip we will find answers to these questions, so if you are curious about them, as well, keep on reading :)

Finally our train arrived! It was the direct train from Cologne to Paris, called Thalys.

Thalys Train

After an hour we passed the Brussel Central Station. It was very modern and clean. And at the same time we were served  the dinner that consisted of two pieces of cheese, butter of such a good brand, two bread rolls, cold pasta with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and very thin slices of eggplant and green tea as a drink.

Thalys Dinner

It took three hours to arrive at Gare du Nord in Paris. We bought a package of 10 metro tickets which is cheaper than just buying single ones and took the metro line 4. There was one thing I was kind of afraid about: to be stuck between the metro gate barriers and turnstile like a mouse being trapped in a mouse trap. To be honest it happened to me once before, but that’s another story…

Gare du Nord
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gare_du_Nord,_d%C3%A9part_Eurostar_et_Thalys.JPG

Finally we arrived at a private student residence because Janis’ acquaintance offered us a room for a couple of nights.

11th District, Paris
In the 11th district

When you hear “privat”, you may imagine something clean and comfortable. Unfortunately, this was not exactly the case. The first thing that happened was the lift being locked. We had to carry our bags to the fourth floor after having carried them quite a lot in Paris metro. Be aware of it, as the metro was constructed a long time ago and is not barrier-free at most stations. All this “workout” was good enough to make us sleepy.