Positive vibes with interrail Pass! By Marie Vilain


By Marie Vilain

Erasmus+ student at the School of Journalism & Mass Media Studies, Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Winter semester 2018-19. The article was written and published in terms of the course “Writing Personal Columns in Newspapers, Magazines & Blogs”, Erasmus Plus Programme of Aristotle University Thessaloniki.


27/08/2018 – Bern - 13h20. First destination and I’m already super confident for the rest of the adventure. Why? Signs of life that I interpreted as “a good start”. Indeed, we met – under the beautiful federal building that offers an amazing view of Bern and its river the Aar – an incredible musician playing hang[1] and singing in the style of traditional Mongolian song. Super friendly, he sang personal songs for us (in French creating a story with our names) and lighted up my day with even more sun than the one which was already shining. He made me be in peaceful mood. This is the kind of a little unexpected moment that embellishes our journey.

[1]a round copper instrument that creates aerial and enchanting sounds.

View of the Aar river from the federal building (Bern)

Interrail Pass is a concept that allows young people to travel all around Europe by train for a decent price. The global pass that my best friend and I chose to travel with was a 7 days train journey - that we can be use an entire month - for 258 euro. In total, we travelled 13 days in 5 different countries (Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia). We visited 6 beautiful cities, all with their own charm (Bern, Vienna, Budapest, Split, Zagreb and Ljubljana). Visited 2 natural sites (Plitvice Lakes National Park and Bled lake). Slept in 4 different types of accommodations (train, couchsurfing - super app that allows being hosted for free by a local person -, hostel and in the street – for more comfort I don’t recommend this last option. Met a lot (can’t find a number) of enriching people. Missed 2 trains. Received 1 fine. Laughed a thousand times. Experimented typical food. Walked tens of kilometres with a 10kg backpack.

St Charles Church (Vienna)

I could write a whole novel to explain to you in details this amazing trip, but this not my goal. I made some conclusions from my first nomadic travelling. First of all, the fewer expectations you have, the more amazing is the discovery of a place. For example, I already had an idea of what I could find in Vienna. As a result I was a bit disappointed compared to the excitement I felt when I discovered beautiful capitals like Budapest or Ljubljana. None of my relatives has ever been there, so for me it was a trip to an unknown land. I can tell you now that I definitely recommend these places, but shh… not too many details, so I let you make your own experience without expectations.

Secondly, travelling with Interrail offers you the possibility to travel to lots of different places, but within short time. It is a special concept of travelling. I know that my own conception of travelling is normally going deeply into the culture. So that means to stay a long time, to hang out with local people etc. until you try to live like a person of this country. But this experience with interrail gave me the opportunity to discover places I would probably never go in my life, otherwise.  It was intense and we really tried to reconcile both aspects of travelling – discovering as much landscape as possible and try to learn about the culture - by meeting local people and eating regional food, for example. If you have the opportunity to travel with interrail, I would definitely recommend you to let yourself go into this atypical adventure!

For me travelling is getting surprised, experiencing something that wasn’t planned, enjoying every little moment that life gives to you. To travel day by day is a mindset. You feel like the wind. No plan, just be in positive mood to let in every amazing thing that travelling can offer to you. This positive mindset is something I try to strive for in my everyday life. I came to the conclusion that when you spread your good mood, it influences others and as a result, you will receive good vibes in return. Your good mood behaviour could be a smile when you ask something in a store, have an enthusiastic voice tone or not hesitate to ask advice directly from someone in the street, instead of googling it.

It works like the Karma in Buddhism; the more positive you are, the more positive feedback you receive. I would not say it is scientifically proven, but the only thing I can advise you in order to trust me, is to try it by yourself. The point is to welcome every life’s event with a positive view or to put it in perspective. I promise you, life is so much better acting like this. Test it and maybe you will have the chance to receive a personal song from a crazy Swiss, who knows?

Traditional tramway in Budapest

Baths of Budapest

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)

Last destination: Bled Lake (Slovenia)