2017 in review. Wow. 2017 was a big year for me! I quit a job a hated. I quit a job I actually liked, but took too much time away from my writing. I started eating better. I stopped eating better. I went on a lot of trips.

In 2016, I paid off my student loans and explored the States in depth. In 2017, I went on my first solo trip abroad and almost died a few times. All in good fun!

See also: 

States visited: Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas.

Countries visited: USA, Costa Rica, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Switzerland.

Here’s how it went:

Went to Boston on a Week’s Notice to Surprise my College Bestie

friends in Boston

Friends in Boston. Brittney, the surprisee, is in the middle.

I started off the year by flying to Boston to surprise one of my best friends from college. I got some frantic texts from her sister the last week of December letting me know the entire squad was meeting up in Boston and could I come too? 

I don’t really make good financial choices, so I went! And boy, was she surprised.

See also: 

Witnessed a Historic Weekend in Washington DC

Unimpressed at the Inauguration

Unimpressed at the Inauguration

I went to an inaugural ball, Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March on Washington, AND got some free mimosas from the Hungarian embassy all over the course of one long weekend. It was wild and emotionally draining, but I’m glad I went.

See also: 

Hunted for Pancake, the 1st Puppy of Texas, in Austin

Texas House of Representatives

Looking for Pancake in the Texas House of Representatives

My brother in law graduated as a Texas State Trooper in February, so we all went to Austin for the ceremony. It was pretty cool. But I was more interested in finding Pancake, Governor Abbot’s dog. I didn’t find her.

See also: 

Failed at Finding Bluebonnets in Fredericksburg

bluebonnets texas hill country

The biggest cluster we could find.

Texas Bluebonnets are legends, so my mom and I went on a hunt for them over spring break. I had visions of twirling in a field brimming with tall blue flowers. I just knew my Instas were gonna be bangin. But I got the photo above instead. This part of my 2017 in review is a pretty great representation of my life, actually.  The Texas Hill Country is still pretty though, so I couldn’t be too mad.

Visited Chip and Jo in Waco

scared to travel alone first solo trip first time traveling alone

Enjoy a Cinnamon Roll courtesy of Joanna Gaines

I got my braces off on May 1st, so Waco was one of my favorite trips in 2017 because I could finally smile for photos with no more metal mouth. My mom, sister, and I went to Magnolia Market and the Dr. Pepper Museum — and managed not to join a cult in the process.

Caught up with my College Pals at my Mount Holyoke Reunion

mount holyoke college 2 year reunion

We want to recreate this photo at each reunion.

Mount Holyoke does a two year reunion so that you can come back and watch your “little sister” class graduate. Two years is actually the perfect amount of time for a college reunion because no one has actually accomplished anything yet, so there’s a lot of commiserating and not a lot of bragging. I left really looking forward to my 5 year.

Went Househunting in Newport

newport rhode island

The Breakers

I literally have no idea what I’m going to do if I don’t end up crazy rich later in life. Case in point: casually touring the likes of The Breakers and Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island and thinking, “Yeah. I can totally see myself here.” I mean, what’s a couple billion dollars to a hustler like me?

Got Bitten by an Iguana in Costa Rica

Iguana Hotel El faro

My little amigo who would later betray me

My trip to Costa Rica in May was a hot mess. I got bitten by an Iguana. My friend Smoky and I got lost in the rain (and not in a romantic way) more times that I care to admit. I saw a man peeing in the jungle. I somehow survived.

See also: 

Herded Children in Nashville

parthenon model nashville

Inside the Parthenon model in Nashville

Somehow I pass as an adult out there in the world and was placed in charge of the health and safety of a group of teenagers as we traveled from Houston to Nashville and back again for a week of service work in July. They all survived and I got to eat a lot of ice cream and visit the Grand Ole Opry, so I’d say it was a great trip.

Got Bedbugs (and had a blast!) in Europe

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Me and Smoky at Oktoberfest!

Y’all. My feet about fell off on my grand tour of Europe. I’m not exaggerating. My toes literally started to separate from my body. I also was the proud owner of 70+ bedbug bites and jet leg to beat the band. But I still had a blast! I promise. I braved my first international solo trip and crossed quite a view experiences off my bucket list.

See also: 

Got in a Bus Accident in San Antonio

2017 in review

My Texas-sized breakfast at the hotel that morning.

Just imagine your bus breaking down and waiting on the side of the road for two hours while looking after 50+ students. Then imagine getting sideswiped by a guy who fell asleep at the wheel about 90 seconds after you finally got to reboard the bus and having to get off again and wait another two hours in the parking lot to be rescued by a second bus.

At least I got to meet a hot fireman who was working the crash. 

Had the Best View in Austin

Hilton in downtown Austin View

Can you spot Willie? He’s there, I promise.

I went to Austin to watch my two baby cousins while their parents attended a Christmas party. We went full on Eloise at the Plaza and spent our evening at the Hilton in downtown Austin eating chocolate covered pretzels, calling the front desk, and admiring the massive Willie Nelson mural we could see from our window. The horses on 6th Street put on a pretty great show as well.

Took my Mom to “Prague”

czech cultural center la grange texas

Just as pretty as the real Prague….right?

My sister went to Prague in 2013 and hasn’t stopped gushing about it. I went in October and became equally obsessed. So now my mom really wants to visit. Prague was still inaccessible the last time she was in mainland Europe in 1978, so she missed it during her grand tour, and I couldn’t quite afford to fly her over — so I did the next best thing. I took her to Prague, Texas!

There are many, many Czechs in Texas (known as HOT (heart of Texas) Czechs) and so the Prague here is basically the same. Basically.

“Moved” my Sister to Corpus Christi

Selena Memorial Corpus Christi

The Queen and I

When I say moved, I really mean came to Corpus Christi over New Years to pay my respects to Selena and took a conveniently timed nap when the moving truck arrived so I wouldn’t have to help unload anything. I’m the worst.

My 2017 in review was full of great adventures! Here’s what is in store for 2018:

January

Fort Worth to see the famous stockyards and hopefully pet a longhorn.

March

Taking a great Southwest road trip with my mom to include the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley so that I can run, Forrest, run.

April

Moving to Australia on a Work and Holiday visa.

August 

I’d love to go to Fiji for my birthday, as well we Bali while I’m on that side of the world. I hope it works out!

  • Pin it: 

2017 year in review

 

Follow:

Looking to create a study abroad bucket list? Look no farther! I’ve put together the ultimate European Scavenger Hunt so you and your friends can hit the highlights of Europe and make memories to last a lifetime.

I’m on Instagram at ShesATripBlog  and would LOVE to see your entries as you complete the list.  Make sure to tag me!

Editor’s note: I took many of these photos during my actual semester abroad, many moons ago before I was a blogger. Pre-braces and with a bad haircut. Be nice!

Study Abroad Bucket List // Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I’ve organized these by country first, then by points level — but, fair warning, everything is made up and the points don’t matter. 

See also: 

Study Abroad Bucket List Austria

  • 5 points 

Horsing around with the dancing Lipizzaners in Vienna.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Making music at Beethoven’s apartment — minus the hedonism (or not).

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 10 points 

Recreating any part of The Sound of Music in Salzburg.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

The “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” Gazebo.

Study Abroad Bucket List Czech Republic

  • 5 points 

“Imagining” a photo at the John Lennon Wall without anyone else in it.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Hot tip: going to Prague in the fall means it’s waaaay less crowded.

Eating a Trdelnik (even though they’re not Czech at all and you should probably just eat a Koláč).

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

A photo chilling at the Charles Bridge.

Charles Bridge Prague Crowded

  • 10 points 

Since Charles Bridge is dubbed “the most annoying place in Prague” by locals, you deserve extra points if you can find an actual Czech on it. And yes, dragging the guy you were czeching out at the pub onto the bridge totally counts.

See also:

Study Abroad Bucket List England

  • 5 points 

The truly ~*iconic*~ London phone booth pic. Make sure to include Big Ben — the only British boy who will never break your heart.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Drinking Butter Beer at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Trying to get to Hogwarts at Platform 9 3/4.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I’ve since been sorted into Slytherin. Choosing not to live that truth.

A photo crossing Abbey Road.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

legit almost got hit by a car fam.

Hanging with the guards at Buckingham Palace.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 10 points 

If you bring friends to accurately create the Abbey Road cover, these bonus points are for you.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 100 points 

If you can get one of the guards to laugh, enjoy these major bonus points.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

His wife took this photo! <3 “Oh dear, looks as though I’m famous” – him.

See also:

 Study Abroad Bucket List France

  • 5 points 

A Hall of Mirrors selfie at Versailles.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

The classic Mona Lisa selfie. Be prepared to literally fight everyone to get to the front.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

The overdone-but-still-cute Louvre Pyramid Touch.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Modeling with the Eiffel Tower.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Looking “nice” in Nice.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Study Abroad Bucket List Germany

  • 5 points 

The classic Oktoberfest pic.

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

Channeling your inner-Kennedy and Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

See also:

Study Abroad Bucket List Greece

  • 5 points 

Doing some heavy workouts at the PanAthenaic Stadium.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I’m so out of shape just looking at all these stairs made me feel tired.

Cheesing on the Acropolis.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 10 points 

Looking for Kostas on Santorini (#DatCalderraDoe)

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Study Abroad Bucket List Italy

  • 5 points 

Holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa — it ain’t gonna do it alone!

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Channeling your inner Lizzie McGuire and tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Trying not to get eaten by a lion at the Colosseo.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Can’t forget a Gondola ride in Venice — that’s amore!

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

waaaay before Instagram — this is the only photo I have of myself on a gondala haha.

  • 10 points 

Literally just you eating some pizza.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Study Abroad Bucket List Ireland

  • 5 points 

The Guinness Storehouse pic in Dublin.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

This is at Jameson Distillery — but I feel like it still counts.

Kissing the Blarney Stone.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

This was right after. I’m scared of heights, so I need a second to recover.

See also:

Study Abroad Bucket List Monaco

  • 5 points 

Pretending to be hella rich and fancy while trying not to lose your last 20 Euro at the casino.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 100 points 

Monaco is known as a hangout for the rich and famous — so if you spot a celeb, you’ve earned these points!

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I met Eddie in London, not Monaco…so maybe I’l just take 50 points.

See Also:

Study Abroad Bucket List Morocco

  • 10 points 

The iconic camel selfie (up to you if you want to ride them — make sure they are being treated well!)

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Kammerlohr with her camel.

Make all your friends at home jealous with a snap of the Hammam Baths.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Study Abroad Bucket List the Netherlands

  • 5 points 

Just chilling NEAR the I Amsterdam sign because you’re wearing tight pants and aren’t that fit anyway, so you can’t climb up.

Is flixbus reliable

Hanging out inside a giant wooden shoe.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Making sure all the lame ~* under 21s*~ back in the States know you can drink in Europe by posing at the Heineken Experience.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 10 points 

Chilling on top of the I Amsterdam sign because you’re a literal monkey.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Peep my friend Mattias on the M.

Posing with one of the Dutch male models who work at the Heineken Experience.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I didn’t complete this step, so instead I offer you a photo of my Dutch brother-in-law and his groomsmen 🙂

Scotland

  • 5 points 

Looking for Jamie from Outlander.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

I didn’t find him.

Looking for Nessie.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

  • 10 points 

Literally just finding either of them.

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Final Tally

Best of luck completing your Study Abroad Bucket List! Add up all your points at the end of the semester to see who won (hint: all of you win because you got to study abroad in Europe).

I wasn’t able to do all of these in a semester, so don’t worry if you can’t either — just enjoy the journey.

  • Pin it:

Study Abroad Bucket List: The Ultimate European Scavenger Hunt

Follow:

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest?

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

my new friends at Marienplatz in Munich.

Absolutely fam. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

My mom had a beer at the Hofbräuhaus during her grand tour of Europe in 1978 in jeans and a t-shirt. Leading up to my trip to Munich, she couldn’t understand my panic at the price of an authentic Dirndl because she didn’t even think I should get one.

“Just wear jeans, Emily! No one will care!”

But Mom, yes they will care!

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

enjoying a pretzel instead of trying on Dirndl after Dirndl the day before Oktoberfest

You see, I read countless blogs before going to Oktoberfest and most of them had the same thing to say (in essence) about wearing Dirndls at the festival:

You have to wear a Dirndl or you’ll look lame because literally everyone else is gonna be in one, but you have to spring for an authentic Dirndl and not get one of the costume-quality ones because that’s offensive to Bavarian culture and you’ll look stupid in your cheap Oktoberfest costume and everyone will laugh at you.

See also:

I was like daaaaang. Looks like I’m spending $200 on a dress I’m literally going to wear one time.

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

pondering how much dirndls cost

But then I thought, wait a minute. I’m a Kammerlohr. My family is literally Bavarian, so how can wearing a cheap Oktoberfest costume be offensive to my own people?

So I looked it up again: Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest? but basically got the same answer: no (see reasons above).

By this point, I was in a full blown panic. I didn’t want to spend lots of money on a Dirndl, but I’m also a compulsive planner, so buying an Oktoberfest outfit last minute in Munich was too stressful for me.

What’s a girl to do? Hit up Amazon.

I got my Dirndl on Amazon for $49.99. Best choice I’ve ever made. You can find the one I got right here. 

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

Cheap Oktoberfest costumes run small, so definitly size up. I normally wear a 14 in dresses, got the XXL, and still had to have my friend’s mom sew velcro panels into the sides at the last minute.

I was pumped. I bought a relativity cheap Dirndl. I practiced braiding my hair to look barmaid AF. I was ready.

Or so I thought!

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest?

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

Smoky and I in our Dirndls. She got hers online and paid big money.

YES! ABSOLUTELY! 100 %.

There were tons of girls there in normal dresses, jeans, and even shorts (y’all it was cold — not sure what they were thinking). And you know what? Their cloths didn’t matter at all. While there were lots of people there wearing traditional Dirndls and Lederhosen, the people who weren’t didn’t seem out of place or like they were having any less fun.

No one cared that I was in a cheap Oktoberfest Dirndl. They wouldn’t have cared if I was in normal clothes, either.

Besides — most of the people there were too busy getting white girl wasted to notice what people were wearing.

Turns out, my mom was right. But isn’t she always?

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

To recap:

Wear what you want to Oktoberfest, but if you’d like to get a cheap Dirndl, check out Amazon. I really liked this one, but it wouldn’t ship by when I needed it since I waited too late. So I got this equally cute one. Also, I’m pretty sure when they talk about “offensive costumes” they mean ones like this, but you do you girl.

  • Pin it:

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item via these links (or in the same session) I get some cash money, at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

 

Follow:

Not drinking at Oktoberfest is no big deal.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Some of the many booths at Oktoberfest.

Although you’ve probably heard much to the contrary, if you don’t drink beer and find yourself headed to the festival, it’s still pretty easy to have a blast.

I don’t like beer. Not one bit.

Why does beer taste bad to me?

I’ve been to breweries before to see the actual process of how it’s created, but they might as well have put some pasta in a blender and slopped in down in front of me. That’s what it tastes like to me.

A spaghetti smoothie.

Cut to my forever travel companion Smoky suggesting we go to Europe in the fall. The number one thing she wanted to do was visit Oktoberfest in Munich. She’s a beer aficionado, meanwhile I gag when I smell it.

At first I was like “Noooo way. No thanks. Nope. Not gonna happen.” But I really wanted to go to Europe with her. And Oktoberfest was one of her “If I don’t see this, I’m gonna die” things on the trip. So I took a page out of my traveling with pals survival guide and agreed to go, knowing that if my friend would enjoy herself, it would be worth it.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Chums at Oktoberfest. We got there a little after 9AM on a Sunday. As you can see, there were still plenty of seats.

See also: 

I read quite a few blogs for Oktoberfest tips before going, but nearly all of them made it sound like a day of debauchery that would leave those wishing to stay sober at Oktoberfest bored to tears and irritated at their sloppy companions. One literally said that those not drinking at Oktoberfest would be “SOL.”

I completely disagree.

To clarify, I do drink, I just don’t like how beer tastes (or wine…or champagne for that matter). But, to those of you don’t drink at all for religious or personal reasons, you can still have fun at Oktoberfest if your group wants to go!

Here’s How to Enjoy Not Drinking at Oktoberfest:

  • Enjoy the Oktoberfest Drinks Other Than Beer.
Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

My lemonade.

Radlers are the name of the drink of beer mixed with lemonade. But you can just get the good stuff by itself! The lemonade they serve at Oktoberfest is actually basically sprite, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. It costs between five to seven Euros for a decent sized bottle, so if you sip slowly, you can pace your friends and their beer steins.

There are tons of Oktoberfest drinks other than beer, including the aforementioned lemonade, water, coke, and other sodas.

See also: 

It can be weird to be sitting there without a beer stein in your hand while your entire table yells prost every three seconds and clinks their glasses together, sloshing beer everywhere. So to have fun and join in while not drinking at Oktoberfest…

  • Take the Menu out of the Display Glass and Use it to Toast.
Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

The German menu.

There are beer steins just chilling on tables in a few of the tents. They usually have silverware or a menu (all in German…sometimes with pictures) in them. If you feel left out, you can empty it and use it to clink with your table mates. Another option is to hang onto a friend’s finished stein instead of giving it back to the waitress right away.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Smoky’s drink and “mine.”

I did this when Smoky and I moved from our first tent of the day the Augustiner-Festhalle into the Löwenbräu-Festhalle since there weren’t “menu steins” on the table, as it was a bit more rowdy.

No one really noticed that I wasn’t drinking. In fact, when they saw “my stein” was empty, they kept pouring some of their beer into it.

All in the generous spirit of Oktoberfest, but internally, I was still like “blech.”

  • Enjoy the Food Options at Oktoberfest.
Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

We demolished our pretzel.

If you’d like something to do with your hands, pass the time, or you’re just hungry while not drinking at Oktoberfest, dig into the delicious Bavarian food!

Just don’t do what Smoky did and tip five Euro on a three Euro pretzel, as buying food from the “pretzel people” walking around the Oktoberfest tents is never as competitive as ordering a drink, so small tips are okay, as you’re not tipping for more service, but rather as a courtesy.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

One of the “pretzel people.”

 

I had major food envy as a watched plated after plate of schnitzel, sausage, and potatoes parade out of the kitchen, but I was saving the cash I had for the carnival rides, so I stuck with sharing Smoky’s accidentally expensive pretzel.

  • Ride the Carnival Rides at Theresienwiese.
Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

SO much fun!

My favorite part of the day was going on carnival rides with a very intoxicated Smoky. She took it like a champ and even though I hadn’t had any alcohol, I think I was more nauseous then her! The rides at Oktoberfest are kind of pricy, ranging from three Euro for the tilt-a-wirl and swings really high in the air rides (does anyone know the actual names for these things?) to nine Euro for a 90 second roller coaster featuring the Olympic Rings.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

9 Euro for a 90 second ride comes to 1 Euro per 10 seconds.Kind of worth it.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Her Snapchat Story that day was legendary.

Getting out to explore Theresienwiese to play on the rides was a nice break from the slightly claustrophobic feel of the tents, something that’s kind of exaggerated when you’re sober at Oktoberfest. There’s lots of families, teenagers on dates, and older tourists judging the younger ones stumbling around, making it an eclectic and interesting atmosphere.

  • Sober at Oktoberfest? People watch!
Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Most of the girls were in Dirndls

Making friends at Oktoberfest was my favorite part of going! Alcohol is said to be a social lubricant, but it works just fine one-sided, so if you’re having a sober Oktoberfest, you won’t be lonely!

In Augustiner-Festhalle, Smoky and I shared a table with a group of rowdy Italian actors from Milan. Even though they spoke no English, their friendliness and my two semesters of basic Italian made us fast friends. We also chatted with a Hungarian woman and her German daughter, as well as an American from Seattle who met his German wife while at Oktoberfest many years ago.

Y’all knoooooow that story had me hyped. I was like “Omg yes y’all. Today’s the day. Where’s my German prince AT!”

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Our new Italian friends

In Löwenbräu-Festhalle, we met some with a few of Smoky’s friends from work, which was great because it had a more frat house-ish feel (read: loud and crowded), so it would’ve been harder to talk if we didn’t kind of already know each other.

Even if you don’t chat with too many people outside your group at Oktoberfest, seeing everyone walking around in their Dirndls and Lederhosen (or with gingerbread cookies around their necks) is still fun.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

People wore these cookies as necklaces.

Final Thoughts on Staying Sober at Oktoberfest

Obviously, if being around buzzed people or lots of alcohol in general is going to be detrimental or difficult for you, don’t go to Oktoberfest. There’s lots of things in Munich to enjoy while you’re friends are at the festival like the Deutsches Museum and Marienplatz.

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

At the station on the way to Oktoberfest.

But, if you’re like me and just prefer not to drink beer, or even just don’t feel like drinking that particular day, not drinking at Oktoberfest doesn’t have to be a boredom sentence.

I had a blast and would even go again.

Have you been to Oktoberfest?

  • Pin it:

Sober at Oktoberfest Oktoberfest drinks other than beer Not drinking at Oktoberfest

Follow:

Is Flixbus Reliable?

That was my first question when my friend Smoky suggested we use it on our European adventure.

Flixbus is significantly cheaper than taking a train or a flight between cities, so I was inclined to give it a try, even though the idea of taking a bus made my travel anxiety flare up…like a lot.

Would I be able to find my stop? Would the bus leave early? If it’s delayed, does that mean it’s actually going to come? Will the bathroom be clean? What if we get stuck in traffic and I lose a whole day in my destination?

Is flixbus reliable Is flixbus reliable honest Flixbus Review

This stems from the fact that I took buses in college a lot. Usually from my sleepy Western Massachusetts campus into Boston or down into NYC. I found them to be kind of icky and delayed like seven times out of ten. Bus stations also tend to stress me out simply because of the mere chaos of it all.

BUT

Flixbus is all about rebranding buses.

Its team promises clean, eco-friendly buses with free wifi. The stops seemed easy enough to find and the prices (starting at 5 Euro!) couldn’t be beat.

So I bought my tickets and hoped for the best.

See also:

Here’s my honest Flixbus review: 

Flixbus Review Berlin —> Amsterdam

flixbus berlin is flixbus reliable

Berlin, my first stop this trip.

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left on time

I took an overnight Flixbus from Berlin to Amsterdam because I wanted to save money on accommodations. It took about eleven hours and I was dreading it, but as we pulled into Sloterdijk, I actually said to the girl next to me, “Wow, that actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

It wasn’t bad at all, actually.

Flixbus Berlin to Amsterdam normally leaves from the central Alexanderplatz stop (among others in the city — including the most-used stop: Berlin Central Bus Station), but because of the Berlin Marathon, the stop was relocated. I got multiple emails from Flixbus with the exact coordinates of the “pop up stop,” so it was very easy to find.

I even tweeted them to confirm (hello, travel anxiety) and the social media team responded within the hour to put me at ease.

Flixbus Review Munich —> Prague

Flixbus Munich flixbus berlin is flixbus reliable Flixbus Review

At Oktoberfest 🙂

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left on time

After a little too much fun at Oktoberfest, Smoky and I were headed to the fairy tale city of Prague. The Flixbus stops at Munich Central Bus station are very easy to find. You can take the SBAHN to Hackerbrücke and then it’s like a two-minute walk to the stops. Everything is labeled and there are plenty of places to eat or shop while waiting for your bus.

One thing to note: when Flixbus is on time, it’s ON TIME. We rolled out of the station at our exact departure time and not a second later. So is Flixbus reliable? In this instance, yes.

See also:

Flixbus Review Prague —> Vienna

Flixbus Prague Flixbus Prague honest Flixbus Review is Flxbus reliable

Finding the stop: Hard

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Left early

The Flixbus stop at Prague Main Railway Station was difficult to find. I think this because we came in the “grand entrance” at the front of the station, so to find it, we had to walk allll the way to the back of the station, and up some stairs. The actual stop is on a strip in the middle of the road behind the station.

We had to ask for lots of help and ran around like beheaded chickens for a bit, but we did eventually find it. If you are departing from Prague ÚAN Florenc, I wouldn’t worry as it’s small and manageable, but if you’re leaving from the station, give yourself some extra time to find your stop.

This bus actually left about six minutes before it was “supposed” to. Smoky and I figured it was because we were the only two ticketed passengers due to board in Prague, as there were only like ten other people on the entire double decker bus, so there wasn’t a point to waiting around.

Is Flixbus reliable? Not if you don’t have a ticket! If the driver doesn’t even know you’re coming, he won’t wait for you, so make sure to buy your ticket at least an hour or so in advance.

See also:

Flixbus Review Vienna —> Bratislava

Flixbus Vienna Flixbus Prague honest Flixbus Review is Flxbus reliable

The Royal Opera House in Vienna.

Finding the stop: Moderate

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Over an hour late, so we bailed.

The Flixbus stops at Vienna Erdberg are relatively easy to find, since we were dropped off from Prague in the same general area, but I say “moderate” because we never actually found our bus stop. We were only doing a day trip to Bratislava, so we didn’t have too much time to spare and it was FREEZING outside (the terminal is basically a wind tunnel), so when we saw that our bus was going to be over an hour late, we knew we needed a plan B.

Thankfully, there was another Flixbus just sitting there that was also going to Bratislava, so Smoky and I decided to forfeit our orignial tickets and buy new ones. The 7 Euro for the new ticket was worth it to get out of the cold and get on our way.

Flixbus Review Bratislava —> Budapest

Flixbus Bratislava Flixbus Prague honest Flixbus Review is Flxbus reliable

Beautiful Bratislava

Finding the stop: Easy

Punctuality of the Flixbus: Over an hour late

My travel anxiety flared up in a major way over this bus to Budapest, but it turns out it was for nothing. I wish I more like Smoky. Calm, cool, collected…confident that the bus would come. Because it did. It was reaaaaally late, but it came exactly when the app said it would.

The Most SNP Flixbus stop in Bratislava isn’t somewhere I’d like to be after dark, since it’s kind of just under a bridge, but as we were there during the daylight hours it was fine.

The Bratislava Central Bus Station, however, is really nice. Like really nice. Like free wifi, clean AF free bathrooms, and free luggage storage nice. I would almost consider it a tourist attraction on its own.

We did make the mistake of sitting across from the bathroom on the bus to Budapest. Don’t do this y’all. Every time we went over a bump, the door would fly open. It was almost reaaal embarrassing.

See also:

So, is Flixbus Reliable?

Flixbus Budapest Flixbus Budapest is flixbus reliable an honest flixbus review

At the Széchenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest

  • Does the Flixbus Wifi Work?

Yes! It worked great on every single ride; however, to keep things moving quickly, Flixbus limits the amount of data you can use. Be sure to download your audiobooks and Netflix episodes beforehand, then put your phone on airplane mode and only use the wifi when you really need to. There are also power outlets on board.

  • Is Flixbus Dirty?

I didn’t think so. The buses I took were nicer than some of the trains I’ve been on. I even actually used the bathroom on the way from Berlin to Amsterdam. I remember being like “Wow, how suspicious. It’s really clean in here…too clean.” There was toilet paper provided, but you should always bring your own as well. On the way from Bratislava to Budapest, someone dropped the roll…wouldn’t want to use that one.

is flixbus reliable honest flixbus review

The Blue Church in Bratislava

  • Honest Flixbus review: Should I use Flixbus? 

I would use it again! Yes, two of our buses were really delayed and we had some hiccups finding some of the stops, but Flixbus buses are just that…buses. They are subjected to things outside their control like weather and traffic. If the bus is going to be late, the Flixbus app lets you know and updates itself in real time. The drivers we met were kind and helpful. The buses were clean.

For me, that makes up for it. 

If you’re looking to save some money on your next trip to Europe, I would recommend looking into Flixbus. Just prepare to be flexible

See also:

 

  • Pin it:

Is flixbus reliable? honest flixbus review

I didn’t partner with Flixbus for this review and received no compensation. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

Follow: