ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Memories Of Youthful Travels

Updated on April 30, 2010

It's a hot summer in the early Eighties. My travelling companion and I drown in curiosity and careful appraisal as we lurch along the train, throwing our bags overhead. I turn and all eyes are upon us. They feel no embarrassment at being caught, and only after being stared down will they finally turn away. Everything about us is analyzed: our bags, our boots, our clothes, our faces. Their eyes run over us in a staged progression. It is not an undressing, it is a clinical evaluation. And the prognosis, in my imagination, is a series of emotions: derision, disgust and jealousy, but also admiration.

In France we saw a chain of billboards depicting two lightly - encumbered young men being passed on a mountainside trail by a gonzo hiker, dwarfed by a huge pack that dangled with every necessity and luxury imaginable. Although we never deciphered the French slogan underneath, the butt of the joke was clear.

We are admittedly smelly and sweaty. People stare as we eat on the trains, perhaps with hunger or perhaps because they cannot comprehend our rudeness; never mind that they themselves do it often. Sometimes they would even move away from us after we sat down near them. Europeans are proud to the point of snottiness over their commitment to civil rights. It is a delusive commitment, believe me.

But after all, are we not on holiday? Two young lovers exploring the world, dirty and grungy, but we have one another. I doubt that the romanticism can be lost on the European mind. We carry our lives on our backs like turtles. We find adventure and the exotic in the everyday, like miniature Marco Polos in the lands of Khan. And not only are we not fearful or intimidated, we laugh and carry on. Brits and Kiwis, Yanks and Aussies, Frogs and Krauts. We are bound together by a lifestyle of guidebooks and train station lockers. We form our own society, swapping war stories on trains, chatting over tepid coffee in hostel dining rooms. Thieves and misfortunes become badges; nothing short of serious injury stops our ambition.

Or at least this is what I imagine. Like seeing a praying mantis take on a tai chi stance - one long claw out - stretched towards me, the other kept high near its head - it is really only my personification. There is no telling what the mantis is really thinking or doing.

And I never will. But that's because I cannot speak to a mantis. Or eat with a mantis. Or drink with a mantis.

The Munich hauptbahnhof on a late June day. I leave Julie with the packs and go looking for a glass of beer to dry the wet streak between my back and my shirt. "Noch eins biere, bitte," I asked the man in the stall. He doesn't understand me. I repeat myself. Still confused. I point to what I want. Beer, give the Canuck some beer. And if Canadians think that their beer is superior to the American brew, it simply cannot hold a candle to the German variety!

Continued In Memories Of Youthful Travels Part 2


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • 2patricias profile image


      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This brings back memories of (mostly) happy days. Pat spent some time hitch-hiking in Italy with a friend. Looking back it seems a very high-risk way of taking a holiday.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)