If someone has told me that I would be going to travel solo two months before I have booked my first solo trip, I would be like “Whaaat? No way! I am an introvert. I could never do that”. Oh dear! what a cliche: I booked my first solo trip a few days before I turned 40. I traveled solo for the first time a few days after I turned 40.
It was a big deal for me. I am slightly afraid of flying. I was sure I was not going to open my mouth in order to talk to anyone in a foreign country (I rarely talk to strangers in my country). And last but not least, I was worried I am going to return to my hotel room, in the sad situation of having nothing to do during the late evening.
But let’s take it from the beginning. At that time, I felt that my life was a bit tedious. I am working as a full-time drama teacher in primary education. Therefore, my everyday life is not dull, as you can imagine. But, what if you are used to studying (I finished my second MA a few years ago) and to constantly moving between towns and cities (I have lived in 7 cities so far), and suddenly you realize that you are stuck in a situation, in which nothing changes? So, what is the most commonplace advice you know about traveling? “Just book the ticket” maybe? I did exactly that. I searched Skyscanner for a few days until I found an affordable and convenient return ticket to Bologna. That’s all!
What I didn’t expect:
- How incredibly easy it would be. I overcame my fears, and I felt completely safe and able to navigate myself around (duh! Google maps).
- The feeling of freedom and confidence a solo trip could bring to me.
- How beautiful and underestimated Bologna is.
- Omg, the pasta!
- To eat the worst pizza of my life, in Italy, at a very touristy low-quality street food place.
- To be back at my hotel around 22.30-23.00, very tired to do anything else.
- To go to a Japanese art exhibition, in Italy, like a local.
- To be able to have tasty meals in self-service restaurants – like a local- without feeling awkward. I didn’t have the courage to go to a proper restaurant, and I don’t regret it.
- How less tiring a solo trip is. You don’t have to worry about other people having fun. You don’t have to discuss activities. You don’t have to visit sights or museums you find uninteresting, just because someone else wants to. You don’t have to talk about how hungry, or not, you are. You don’t even have to talk at all If you don’t feel it.
Don’t get me wrong. I traveled with a friend recently, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t intend to make all of my trips solo. After this first experience though, I feel the urge to do it again!