Backpack trip is something that not everyone dares to experience in their life. Taking only what you can carry on your back for many could seem just unimaginable. But it didn’t seem like that to our Instagram friend Cristina and her companion. She shared with us her experience during her two-week trip during which she flew from Barcelona to Rome and then traveled back to San Sebastian along the Mediterranean Sea. Let’s find out what the girls experienced during their trip.
Brief description about the traveler
We asked Cristina to tell us what inspired her to travel?
I started to travel when I was a child with my family around Spain. I think that was the sparkle of my nomad spirit. When I was 15, I had the chance to travel alone to USA. There I stayed the whole summer with a host-family. It was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life. My host family was great and warm. The father was Philippine and the mother was American, and they had friends from all over the world. Being in contact with so many different people and cultures changed me forever. Since then, I have a non-stop desire to travel and discover different places.
She explains that she gathers her inspiration from different people she follow on Instagram or YouTube, that share their own experiences.
Though, Cristina would love to travel even more, she’s restricted by her job. Still she has managed to visit thirteen different countries and pass her enthusiasm for traveling on to her friends.
For me, travelling is the best way to get out of my comfort zone, to discover new things and be in contact with new people, and it has just become addictive, so much that I’ve just arrived from one place and I’m just thinking about next.
Finally, we asked what was her most favorite place she’s ever been to. Cristina said that despite it being a cliché her favorite city is New York. And what’s the place she’d love to visit the most?
I’d like to go everywhere, but one of my dreams is to go to Jordan and sleep in the Wadi Rum desert.
The backpack trip
First of all, we had to ask why did she decide to go with her backpack only. She explained that they were planning to visit a lot of places. They had no idea where they were going to stay. So, that’s why it seemed the best way to pack.
When you have such a limited space for packing, what does go into your backpack?
It always depends on where you go, how the weather will be and the days you are gonna stay in. As it was summer and we were going to warm places, I took a pair of jeans, two shorts, three dresses, 5 t-shirts, one pair of sandals, one pair of sneakers, one water bottle, a smaller backpack, a hoodie, a towel, a swim-suit, flip-flops, some medicine, scissors and of course, my camera.
Also another interesting thing that Cristina pointed out is that she had to take a kerchief, because you need it to cover your legs and shoulders when you go into a Catholic Church.
For how long were you travelling and what places have you visited?
Our backpack trip took about two weeks. Barcelona was the starting point. Then we took a flight to Rome, where we spent 6 days. On Day 6 we took a night bus to Genove. We wandered around there for one night and two days. Later we took a train to Nice, but As we didn’t find any lodging, we had to change our plans. So, we took another train to Cannes. We spent the night there and in the morning we came back to Nice by blablacar. After the day there, we took a train to Marseille, where we spent two nights. We used blablacar once again as we went to Nîmes and stayed there again for two nights. Then we took a train to Montpellier – stayed the night in the city and then took a bus at 4 am to Barcelona. We spent the day in there and traveled to Pamplona at night. We spent two nights in Pamplona and ended our trip by going to San Sebastian for one day.
Transport and costs
As usual, we also like to ask our guests about more practical matters. Cristina was more than happy to answer how much which parts of her backpack trip cost.
Of course, it’s not possible to say that it’ll cost the same for other people. As it always depends on the time of the year you travel, the type of accommodation you like and the things you wanna do on the place. Still I can tell you how we did it.
- Barcelona – Rome. We took a plane. It cost 20 Euros, which is cheap because of the time of the flight – Tuesday 6 A.M.
- Rome. There we were staying at a monastery. Luckily, we didn’t have to pay anything. This was because my friend had a relative living there. Still I think there could be options in some monasteries for people to stay.
- Food is not expensive at all You have so many different options.
- Most expensive thing was the Vatican museum.
- Rome – Genove. This was very memorable, because we took a megabus and we had to pay only 1 Euro.
- Genove. We used Airbnb booking. It was 40 Euros per night1.
- Genove – Nice. We took a train, which cost 15 Euros. If you’re younger than 26, you get special discounts.
- Nice – Cannes. Train – 6 Euros.
- Cannes. As I mentioned before as we couldn’t find where to sleep in Nice, we went for the overnight in Cannes. We used Airbnb, and it was 55 Euros per night 2.
- Cannes – Nice. It was 4 Euros and we took a blablacar.
- Nice – Marseille. Train – 20 Euros.
- Marseille. One night there cost us 40 Euros3.
- Marseille – Nimes. We used blablacar again and this time we paid 10 Euros.
- Nimes. Airbnb – 35 Euros4.
- Nimes – Montpellier. Here we took the megabus again, but this time it was 15 Euros per ticket.
- Nîmes – Montpellier. Around 15€, while using a train.
- Montpellier – Barcelona. 10€ with megabus.
- Barcelona – Pamplona. around 20€ with bus.
- Pamplona – San Sebastián. We took a bus, but it was free with my bonus card points.
Most favorite places
After she saw so much, we had to ask Cristina – which places she loved the most during her backpack trip? Here’s the list:
- Rome. It was my second time there. The first time I was with an organized trip around Italy, which was not that much impressive as if you’re traveling without any particular plan. This time I had the chance to enjoy every moment in the city. I was able to get in contact with local people and walk through the streets away from tourists.
- Nice. It was my favorite city from Southern France. What I liked the most were the street markets overflow with fresh products. It was the perfect combination of sights and smells.
- Nimes. It is a medium-size town, but it has a lot of things to share. “Le Jardin del Fontaine” was the best one for me. On the top you can find “la Tour Magne”, best views of the town.
- Montpellier. What I loved the most her was the atmosphere of youth, that you can find accompanied by music in the streets
- San Sebastián. The views from the top of Igeldo, Urgull and Uia. Breathtaking.
Most memorable story
This time we left the best for the end! During such a long backpack trip, obviously some stories had to happen. So, we asked what was the most memorable story during your voyage?
We had the chance to stay with Airbnb in local people houses and every each one has his own story. But, I’m gonna tell you, guys, about our last night in Rome. We were staying in a monastery outskirts5 and we had to take a trainway and a train to go to the bus station in order to travel to our next stop – Genove.
We went out from the monastery 4 hours earlier before our bus was supposed to leave. Everything seemed to be going just perfect. We caught the trainway and we arrived to the train station. We were waiting for the train, but it kept being delayed6. 40 minutes later, we started to ask people around, but nobody knew what was going on. Our train was announced over an intercom, but it wouldn’t pick up any passengers. One of the carriages was on fire, and the service had been cancelled. We asked some local people how we could go to the bus station then, and they told us we had to take another train, so then went to the underground.
Once there, we walked through the stairs to arrive to the platform, but when we arrived there, there was a huge iron gate that was blocking the exit. All underground lines were closed. We went up again and there were crowds of people starting to get so nervous because nobody was previously informed about the situation.
Finally, one officer told us to go up the street ant take a bus that did the same itinerary.
So, we were there, waiting with lots of people for the bus. I can’t tell how much time we spent there, but as we were finally getting on board, we thought that it was the end of our problems. We were wrong. As we were riding, little by little, I felt that something was wrong. I took my phone out, and I started to use the GPS signal to see where we were. Then I realized that we were getting even further. I told my friend that we were 13 kilometers away from the station and that we had to get out of the bus because we were going in the opposite direction!
We managed to got out of the bus and find another bus stop, but there were a lot of people waiting there. So, I asked some guys how long were they have been waiting and they told me that it has been almost an hour! We started to talk with them and asked if they were going to the same bus station as we were. Turns out, they did, so we agreed that if the bus doesn’t come in 5 minutes, we would take a taxi together.
Although the bus appeared and we all got into it, the traffic was so horrible, that the guys said we have to stop and call the taxi. One of them called it and we were once again waiting, but no one came. We started to get so nervous because the time of our trip was approaching and we did not know if we could get there on time. The guy called again. No answer.
We started to stop some taxis that were on the road but as we had called to the central before, they were not allowed to pick us up. Finally, one of them stopped and told us to go with him. He drove VERY fast. We had our bus at 12 pm. We arrived to the bus station at 11h55 pm.
We want to say a huge THANK YOU as we had a great pleasure getting to know all this stuff about Cristina’s backpack trip! In order to finish this whole thing right, we asked her one last question.
What would you like to say to those who avoid traveling? How would you inspire and motivate them? What, in your opinion, a person misses out if he’s not traveling and stays in one place?
Travelling is the only thing you buy that make you richer. It’s not only about visiting great places, but being part of that journey, where you can be in contact with different people and cultures and grow with every step you take. It is something that just can not be explained with words, you have to live, feel and just become a part of it!
Don’t forget to follow Cristina on Instagram, where she puts beautiful pictures not only from her backpack trip, but from all over the world!