I sit down on the green metal. Sun glistening across the river. A James Bay song in my ears, watching the sun set and bathe the whole city in golden light. And I realized that what I needed was not a better camera to catch this beautiful sight to share when I’m back home from my first solo travel adventure …
Sitting there, on the warm railing of Budapest’s liberty bridge. Experiencing one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen, I pondered upon the fact that in that very moment I did not feel lonely. At all. But, still, wanted to have someone by my side.
I finally did it! I found the courage to do something I’ve been meaning to try for the longest time. Going on a solo travel adventure. Just me, myself, and I. A new city to explore and things to see. With no one to look out for but myself.
The initial plan was surfing in Bali or finally fulfilling myself the wish of exploring Tel Aviv or Marrakesh for my first solo travel adventure. However, I wanted to see how I’d do first. That’s why I decided for my first solo travel adventure to do a mini getaway to a European city. Firstly, because it’s so much more affordable and rather easy and fast to get to. Secondly, because I thought that doing only a couple of days would be much better for a first time than jumping in deep and heading for the 10 day Bali idea.
MY FIRST SOLO TRAVEL ADVENTURE: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
And while I was walking through the streets of Budapest I realized it was exactly the right thing to do. I’ve never really been to Hungary before and always wanted to visit. The pictures I saw on social media looked rather dashing and I was not disappointed by its charm and laid-back vibe. Not once did I feel at danger or alone.
I adored the fact that I could get up whenever I wanted, sit at breakfast/dinner for as long as I fancied and generally, had no one to tell me to slow down or chill when I was racing through town to tick off everything on my bucket list. I really enjoyed my own company and found it refreshing to have the entire day to spend however I wanted. Hell, I could even go to bed at seven and no one could have judged me.
The only frightening instance happened when my phone died and I was lost on my way back to the hotel. After a mini panic attack, I found my way back to my room, though. That was the moment I realized that spending a bit more on a comfortable hotel was absolutely the right choice. At first, I thought that might have been unnecessary. When I found myself stranded alone in a foreign city, completely exhausted after a day of walking around with 32 degrees Celsius and no one to trust, I was more than happy to be welcomed by a comfortable bed, a lovely shower, a clean room and a wonderful place to stay right in the city center.
WHAT I FOUND OUT ABOUT MYSELF ON MY FIRST SOLO TRAVEL ADVENTURE
This solo travel adventure has made me realize that I am absolutely capable of caring for myself. I need no one to show me around and can perfectly spend a wonderful getaway with nothing but my own company. I stepped way out of my comfort zone when I sat down in a restaurant for dinner and managed to get along just fine by myself. Also, I must admit that I enjoyed my own company much more than I expected and got to reflect on my life in a light that I have never looked upon before.
I also realized that this urgency to escape is no longer present in my life. These days with no one but myself have given me plenty of opportunities to evaluate why I felt like I needed to do this so badly – and more importantly, why I realized I seem to not need it all that much anymore. I enjoy traveling. So much. I love experiencing new cultures, walking streets I’ve never placed a foot on, getting out, seeing this world.
While I always had the need to run away, to escape reality and find myself among the unknown, I no longer feel like that is necessary for my happiness. I have found something/someone who makes me want to come home more than I could ever want to get away. This solo travel adventure has made me see that my worth is not defined by the number of cities I have visited. Or the amount of time I have spent traveling. Additionally, I have found out that “not wasting your youth” does not mean you have to get away as much as possible – it means being content with who you are and where you are. And maybe even more importantly, who you are with.
I really did enjoy this trip and had a wonderful time. Also, I am sure that I won’t be the last trip I’ll go to with no one to accompany me but myself. These days have proven me that when there’s no one around to accompany me, I might as well pack my bags and head off alone. Additionally, I have realized that there is nothing better than getting a little bit of distance between you and your everyday problems – both mentally and spatially – if you want to productively reflect on them.
On the other hand, though, I want to share these moments with the ones I love.
What I want is watching the sunset on the beach, holding someone’s hand. I want to eat croissants and drink coffee in Paris, with a friend by my side (looking at you Lisa). I want to climb a mountain with a family member and get to explore new places with the ones dear to my heart. Not just because I simply could not get myself to ask a stranger to take a picture with me and felt super awkward while eating alone.
Because, in the end, there is only one thing better than making new memories. And that is having someone by your side to share them with.
What do you think about solo traveling? Have you ever done that before? And what was your experience? Let’s chat in the comments below :)