Two months back I got up in the morning and put on a brave face and told my husband I want to take a solo trip, he instead of asking me further any questions told me “take out your passport will get the paperwork done”..
He started getting my paperwork sorted, much to his dismay I can’t read maps at all, still he showed huge trust in my decision, whereas in my heart I was so so terrified. Will I be able to do it? How am I going to survive in countries I don’t know the language? How will I eat all by myself in a restaurant? How will I figure my ways out? How will I manage sightseeing? How will I figure out which place to see and which place to skip and the questions were innumerable taking away the sleep out of my system.
The decision to travel solo was not focused by the aspirations to “discover myself ” or to give myself any “My Time” rather to go beyond my comfort zone and prove to myself that I could travel to some spot of the world all by myself and experience things which I wasn’t familiar with.
To keep my spirits high my friends met up for coffees, lunches and dinners pepping me up all the while and finally it did happen.
My husband drove me to the airport and as I hugged him he said “just relax I am right here if any help is needed” and his words gave me a lot of strength.
As I walked through security my heart somewhere was still heavy. Once I had the boarding pass in my hand the feeling of doubt and fear was replaced by confidence and “just go do it” feeling.
I recently got back from my 12 day solo trip which included stops in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. This was the first trip I went on where I was actually on my own. And I’m really glad I did it.
Landed in a country where no signs were in English & I didn’t speak their language, it was totally up to me to figure out the place.
Honestly can’t say I always took the most accurate routes to discover the city because I am someone who can fail Google maps also: P, but still I did figure out the routes mostly on my own else would ask for help from locals or tourists around.
Can never forget the second day while waiting for my dinner in a local Czech restaurant a family of 5 Australians were sitting next to me looking inquisitively at me and finally the gentleman asked “are u travelling solo”? The moment I said YES they were like come join us for dinner! And that broke so many of my inhibitions, all of a sudden I felt so light in my heart and we had those endless conversations on our dinner table.
By the time I left the enchanting Prague, I could make my ways around much better than I had when I arrived — and that was a really a rewarding feeling.
When I reached the Prague central railway station to board the train to Vienna it wasn’t less than a task, as the platform number pops up on the screens only 10 minutes before the arrival of the train and a place where nothing is mentioned in English, I had this sinking feeling that I am going to miss it.
But that’s the beauty of travelling, “The compassion of strangers will open up a fraction of your heart that you had no idea existed. As a solo traveller you’ll experience the very best the world has to offer”…. With people guiding me I made my way to the platform and boarded for “Vienna”, the place which took my heart away.
The moment I stepped out of the Vienna train station I stood on the cobblestones and watched my breath freeze mid –air. This place was so pretty so unreal.
I was totally in control of my trip now was taking risks, was so not worried about my travel choices wrong or right as they were completely mine and I knew they were not affecting anyone.
I was going up to locals to talk, asking them to click photos for me, eating in restaurants like a pro and that too with an all together different sense of confidence. Proving to myself time over time that I can handle it and that feeling really build me up.
The off beaten paths that led to small coffee houses, authentic Wien restaurants, wonderful architecture so so European, took my heart away. I fell in love with this city and was just not ready to leave it but couldn’t wait for Budapest as my friend from London was joining me there.
The magic of travelling solo was working amazingly well and felt the whole universe is working at its best to make my travel memorable.
My friend came one day before to surprise me and that crazy feeling of meeting an old trusted friend was out of the world.
Walking on the cobbled streets, sitting in cafes, at piazza, those mad laughters, going for a high tea, pubs everything was coming to an end and I was still not ready to go back.
It’s been said that travelling unaccompanied is something you should do at least once in your lifetime. It tests you, pushes you beyond your comfort zone and in doing so helps you become more well-rounded and mature.
The best thing about taking a trip alone is that it not only boosts your confidence but makes you strong and independent. There is always a transformation in the personality about an individual post the trip. Doing everything alone in a new city among a completely different background of people is no small feat and finding your way out through everything boosts your confidence a top notch higher. Since, you have to do all the navigation and handling problems alone, you will get better in doing things alone, later on.
And guess what? You’ll do it! You may not think you’re capable of to handle all the issues that happen, but you’ll surprise yourself. Because when you’re forced to, you’ll achieve anything and everything.
I was ready for some quality time with people I knew who spoke my language. I returned a different person, a re-energized spirit with a completely fresh perspective altogether. Travelling can open a whole new alternative on how you view yourself and the world.
I encourage everyone to try it – no matter their age. I hope you take the trip of your dreams.
In advance Happy travels and yayy to solo travels!!