In the past five years, 22-year-old Lauren Murphy has visited 34 countries, which is pretty good going all in all. She still has a bit to go to achieve her ambition though – which is to visit every country in the world, all 195 of them. Just another 161 countries to go and she will have hit her target, and we have absolutely no doubt she WILL hit that target. Lauren is what you would call a dedicated traveller.
For the most part, she has travelled with her trusty other half, Cathal Mone. In fact, it was Cathal who introduced her to Interrailing back when she was just 18. She had never even heard of Interrailing before, let alone embarked on achieving that 195 country ambition. It is also Cathal, according to Lauren, who usually comes up with most of their travel destinations and ideas – where to go and what to do.
But for someone whose nightmare destination involves “lots of tourists, selfie sticks everywhere and crowds upon crowds of people flocking towards the same spot for the same picture”, how does Lauren get along Interrailing with her fella – and does she have any advice for any other couples out there, hitting the Interrail trail together. We bought her a coffee and had a chat to find out.
Where did you go on your first Interrail trip?
So, our first trip, where to start? Interrailing Packages really had their work cut out with us back then. We had the most unrealistic list of about 15 countries we wanted to visit in the most unrealistic time. But you gotta start somewhere I suppose, right? Interrailing Packages was PERFECT for us. Two people who basically hadn’t a clue. They were patient and made us our own custom package, which was amazing!
Off we flew to Amsterdam with my mum’s old rucksack and enough clothes to last us a year, not the three-week trip we were going on. I can still remember walking out of Amsterdam central train station with Interrailing Packages’ directions in my hand, bikes coming at us from every direction, looking at Cathal and saying “What the hell are we doing?” We were so out of our comfort zone – but that’s when great things happen, right?
We travelled from Amsterdam to Berlin, Prague, Ljubliana (Lake Bled), Zagreb and Zadar in just under three weeks. We were definitely a little different coming home from that trip. Travelling really makes you see what a big world is out there, and we had only seen such a small part of it. Straight away, we started planning to go Interrailing again the next year.
Have you travelled with anyone other than Cathal before?
I have travelled with family and friends but mostly with Cathal. Out of the 34 countries I have been to, 30 of them have been with Cathal by my side so I suppose I don’t really know any different. Travelling is a great way to get to know your partner, because, at the end of the day, you really have to rely on each other, and more than not they might be the only person you speak to day in and day out!
Are you a good team do you think, do you have “roles”?
I think we’re a really good team (most of the time.) I wouldn’t necessarily say that we have certain roles, travelling is such a learning experience and you learn who maybe is a little better at what – and who should never be in charge of directions or trying to navigate – Cathal take note! (only joking!) But really, I think we really bounce off each other well. No doubt I would have slept in and missed many check outs and a few trains if I didn’t have Cathal with me – and he would still be walking in circles around Amsterdam!
Was the experience what you thought it would be?
It was sooo much more than what I thought it would be. Anyone who knows me knows how much I rave about travelling. It’s always the topic of conversation with me. Travelling is such a rewarding thing to do and really changes your perspective of things. Travelling for me isn’t about staying in the nicest hotels or going to fancy places but finding the cheapest flights to a country I have never been too and diving in at the deep end.
So, it seems that Interrailing has helped Lauren and Cathal find a joint passion for travelling – and no doubt they are already planning their next adventure. But what about you guys? Anyone want to share their experiences, good and bad, of travelling with their other half? And of course, any tips are always welcome 🙂