A-1 Auto Transport in Europe

Submitted by Lisa Stehr
on 03/06/18

When I turned 25 I felt that I had ultimately reached a turning point between being
young and not-so-young-anymore. And I realized that the chances to do those
things I dreamed of while being young had to be done soon because I did not
want to turn out as someone who keeps dreaming of adventures while always
postponing them to the next summer. In my imagination, the best adventures happen while traveling to undiscovered places, getting in touch with other
people and when we remain open-hearted to everything coming up along the
journey. What would better basis for such adventures there be than an old
Volkswagen bus, with my best friends on board?
So I decided to start looking for an old bus, which I could use for traveling across
Europe and short day trips to the nearest lakes. In other words: The bus should
help me to be independent, a little reckless and adventurous. A weekend trip to
Paris? Sure. Spending the summer in Portugal? No longer unrealistic. Moreover,
the bus should allow me and my friends to travel on a very low budget, because
we fit out its interior, put a convertible bed into it and thus could save money for
accommodation and eating out. Watching sunsets, while enjoying every minute
of the journey towards the destination, that was what I associated with my
purchase. These are the stories I could later tell my grandchildren, I thought. For
many parts the imagined stories turned out to be true. Me and some friends took
trips to Southern France, Amsterdam, many festivals and had some amazing
bonfires near deserted lakes. However, one of the adventures turned out to be
not that much of a good experience.
It was in February 2015 that one of my oldest friends and childhood neighbor
spent a couple of months on a farm in Ireland. I had not seen her in a long time
and was a little lost with my studies, so I was very keen to get away and spend
some time with her in Ireland. Since my plans turned out to be quite
spontaneous none of my friends had time to go with me. I was torn between
drive all this way by myself or cancel my trip entirely. I could have used some
other way of transport, but we planned on using my bus to take some trips in
Ireland, so I felt that there was no other option than taking the bus to Ireland by
myself. Remembering my vow to independence and youth I started my trip. One
of the first downsides was the fact that it was still pretty cold and I caught a fever
right after the first night sleeping in the bus. Furthermore, the wipers stopped
Lisa Stehr (Germany) Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA
working when I got to the eastern coast of England, which brought me into a
great deal of trouble. Remember, England means lots of rain. It was cloudy most
of the time and I started to anxiously observe the clouds, since in case of sudden
rain I would not be able to see anything while being stuck on the highway.
Moreover, I was unable to enjoy anything of the beautiful landscape of all the
great places I passed through, because I did not have anyone to switch driving
with and thus had to focus on the traffic the entire time. Especially during the
nights in unfamiliar service areas I felt very lonely. Besides all that, I was under
quite a time pressure to get to my friend, because she was planning on leaving
the farm on a set date, which came closer and closer, and I also had my exams
coming up two weeks later. So there I was, somewhere in England, sick and tired,
with no chance of enjoying anything about my journey except that I was brave
enough to take the trip on my own. I spend my lonely hours in the car regretting
my decision, but I felt that I had come too far to go back. So I made my way, went
through Northern France, took a ferry from Calais (France) to Dover (England),
passed London, Birmingham and Manchester and went through the breathtaking
Wales to get on another ferry from Holyhead (Wales) to Dublin (Ireland). In
between, I stopped at car garages to seek for help for my broken wipers, but they
all said that it would take days to get them properly fixed. I did not have the time
so I kept heading west, becoming an expert in pulling out of the road quickly as
soon as the first raindrops fell. I made it to my friend and we had a couple of nice
days together. It was great being so flexible in choosing our destinations and
grasp a picture of the beautiful countryside of Ireland. My trip back turned out to
be similarly exhausting and I was greatly relieved when I pulled the car into my
home street in Heidelberg, Germany.
Looking back, I had displayed characteristics I had subconsciously desired for
myself: a degree of recklessness and naiveté only young people can unveil.
Thinking about my trip now I feel like there would have been so many
alternatives to taking this risk associated with my trip. I could have decided to
not take the trip under such time pressure and without company. I could have
gone by plane to enjoy at least a part of my original plan. But to have everything
that I wanted, namely having the bus in Ireland to explore the area, there would
have been only one alternative: A car shipping service such as the A1 Auto
Lisa Stehr (Germany) Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA
Transport available in Europe. If it would have existed and I would have known
of such a company by then, I would have saved myself of a severe cold, some
sleepless nights alone at isolated service centers, and, most importantly, a longlasting
anxiety to drive during rain. It took me almost two years until I overcame
my trauma caused by the broken wipers and it was only recently that I regained
enough trust to drive by myself again. For the future, I hope that an excellent car
shipping service such as the A-1 Auto Transport may expand its services to
Europe, so that others can hang on to their desire for independence, while being
save during the journey.

Submitted by Lisa Stehr
on 03/06/18

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