Comment: Why this Australian believes Europe is on the right track with free InterRail plan
Australian Sophie Donaldson hails a €3bn EU proposal to give every 18-year-old a month's free train travel
Like the small town equivalent of small man syndrome, I've always considered myself a big smoke kind of gal. I'm exhilarated by vast metropolises and the mass humanity of big cities. Despite this, I hail from a barely-there city myself and so four years on I still find myself surprised to be living in Dublin. The realisation that home may in fact be the last place you envisage is one of the greatest discoveries of travel.
It's 2011 and I am following love across the globe. After a heady six weeks between London, Dublin, Rome, Berlin, Munich, Dublin again and now Paris, I find myself utterly heartbroken. I'm with my gregarious Bavarian friend Martina staying in the one-room apartment of Swann, a diminutive French artist.
Martina and I go to the Louvre. She drags me to the Mona Lisa who is obscured entirely by an army of smart-phones pointed at the wall. I leave Martina in the fray and find the Napoleon III apartments where I sit for four hours, eyes glazed over with tears, the ornate upholstery blurred to resemble melting Neapolitan ice cream.