In the morning I board a codeshared Flixbus to Chur, Switzerland, meaning that there is no WiFi, but the bus driver has a green Flixbus ascot and a temperamental attitude because he is constantly having to weigh the different corporate values of the companies he works for. In addition, of course, to his own desires and motivations. A few minutes after chewing out some German-American tourists for wanting to get their bags from the luggage container, he pleasantly announces via intercom that we will stop at lovely Lugano Lake for five minutes to take photos. On this bus, there is also a strange geolocated map that shows us where we are, mile by mile, like the in-flight plane tracker that many long-haul airlines have adopted in the last decade or so. This is an amenity no one seemed to ask for on this bus, but we got anyway. Why see Lake Lugano when we can stare at a large blue splotch on a screen?
Chur is an incredibly quaint city cordoned off from the rest of the world by sharp, imposing, mountains and the silty Rhine that pulsates violently in shades of sedimentary gray in the summer. It is early afternoon by the time I drop my bags off in the hostel, and decide that indeed there will be time to visit Chur, but first I must rush back—now unburdened—to the station to catch the next train to Sargans, and then a bus to Liechtenstein which I will likely forever wonder if I should count before (#70) or after (#71) Switzerland in my country-counting list. Time yet for a hundred indecisions.
It costs forty bucks to get to Liechtenstein and back, so I violently kick myself when I am not asked for my ticket once the entire trip. As a business major, I consider the free rider problem, but as a human being I consider the free rider solution. I believe that people, especially wealthy tourists, should pay money to support the infrastructure that they use. I am not wealthy and try daily to be more than just a tourist, but I understand that it is not my taxes that pay for the maintenance of these super-punctual trains. I recognize I am morally obligated to buy a ticket even when there is no conductor to clip it in these idyllic mountains. Still, it hurts.
Victor Bernabei is just another millenial travel blogger. But here's the twist: He isn't a millenial! His goal is to see as many countries as he can, and spread the message that the world is not as scary as the news wants you to believe, and that there is beauty in all people, places and things.