The InterRail Pass recently turned 40: five writers recall personal journeys and explore how the changing shape of Europe and the advent of new technology have transformed student travel forever.
The first InterRail Pass was introduced just over 40 years ago - restricted to travellers of 21 or younger and covering 21 countries for a month's train travel.
Five writers of different generations recall the rite of passage of a month's travel with nothing but a rucksack and an InterRail Pass. Each also explores how new technology and the redefined frontiers of Europe and beyond have changed the intoxicating blend of independence and adventure forever.
With his signature blend of lyricism and humour, the novelist Adam Thorpe writes "I'll never forget my trip to Lapland, during which I had the misfortune to be in an all-night sleeper with six Danish girls on their way to be au-pairs in the States...". In his 'postcard' he vividly remembers the sense of absolute arrival into adulthood which the Pass represented, and compares his experiences with those of his own student children.
Producer: Beaty Rubens
First broadcast in June 2011.