My First Solo Trip – Journey of a lifetime

My First Solo Trip - Journey of a Lifetime

Marine Drive Mumbai
There comes a day in your life when waiting anymore feels like a waste of time. Euro Trip was just that for me. There came a time when I decided to take the plunge all by myself. Sounds like m talking about getting married or some bigger decision in my life? It was big to me. Introvert by birth, in this trip, I was like a panda trying to learn kungfu. But just like in the movie, I started to enjoy every minute of it.
 
Now that I had decided to fly solo, I decided to put myself in self created experiment by not only travelling alone but also making sure that I am surrounded by more and more strangers – instead of cozy hotels, I decided to crash at hostels sharing room with other travelers and I purposely did not carry any internet or phone with me when I was out on roads.
 
How did it feel? On the first day, it felt like I was a self torture trip but as days passed by, I became more comfortable with choosing my own path, deciding my own routes, and dealing with last minute gate changes at airport, finding my way around the cities while taking directions from strangers, and meeting some great people on the way. All in all, the trip changed my opinion about myself. I, quite literally, surprised myself.
It has been sometime since I penned down my journey. I have moved back to the city where I spent my childhood, and good part of my adulthood too. Ah! It’s a great feeling to be back.
 
Now, I am back to writing about my journeys. As the title suggests, the one here is where I fell in Love, with myself all over again. Even I did not know at what point during that trip it happened. This was the one when I traveled SOLO.
 
I was one of those people who never thought that travelling solo could be fun, and always said “nonsense” whenever I heard people say that solo travel changes you. Believe it or not, it surely does. Well! at-least it changed me and this new me was noticeable to people around me too, when I was back.
Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

2015 was when I threw myself into this experiment of travelling solo not to a nearby city, but to a whole new continent – Europe! And if you are experimenting, why work only with single parameter, lets throw in some more variables. Lets not take any international SIM card or mobile data. No big deal. Right? I mean, I have traveled earlier too. I even lost my cell phone on one of my travels, so why such a big deal now? – It was, I had never traveled solo before. I was the most reserved person I knew back then and I cringed at the idea of approaching a stranger to talk. So this here, was a BIG DEAL for me.

This trip changed me and now I recommend it to everybody. Some people give me the same reaction I gave earlier – nonsense. But I believe, if there is even one person I can inspire to take this trip of a lifetime once, I fulfilled the purpose of writing this article. Trust me, if you can, you will fall in love with solo travelling. You will fall in love with yourself.
 
I covered Paris, Barcelona, Rome, and Berlin on this trip in a span of 20+ days and that trip is the most memorable one for me. Every city has its own flavor and every city taught me something different about me and about life.

Paris

Paris was my fist destination on this trip. After feeling lonely for couple of hours, Paris with its world-class art, beautiful gardens, iconic architecture, rustic markets, cafes, fine dining restaurants, and chic cocktail bars made me feel comfortable with myself. A person who almost never took charge for talking to a new person, I was asking people for directions, making friends with hostel roommates, and sharing someone’s most happy moment of her life – her boyfriend proposed marriage to her in front of glittering Eiffel tower. I thought I had trust issues, but with Paris my faith in human race started to increase little by little.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
La Sagrada Familia, Barelona, Spain

Barcelona

Barcelona just took my hand and swung me on to a dance floor. I was dancing to the tune of this wonderful city. It teaches you how to cherish little things in life. La Sagrada Familia, is a living example that even if you cannot complete it, no one can take away your masterpiece. So instead of worrying about life we should just follow the rhythm and keep dancing.

Rome

Rome made my faith in humanity event stronger, when at middle of the night a stranger showed me the way to reach my hostel. She didn’t know it either, at first, but she made efforts to find out and help me, instead of running away with my luggage. At Roman forum and Colosseum I went on a time travel as my imagination was actually transported to the time of Roman Empire when these ruins must have been magnificent structures. If ruins are so beautiful, one can only imagine the grandeur of actual buildings.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy
East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Berlin

And my favorite, Berlin, it taught me that anyone can do a course correction anytime in their lives. Everybody makes mistakes, its only up-to us how we chart our journey afterwards. You can either sink in your own mistakes or you can rise up and make yourself an example to follow. What is now East Side Gallery, was once the wall diving Germany. It is now a beautiful open art gallery which spreads message of peace and hosts artists from across the globe.


It wasn’t just the cities that taught me so much, it was the experiences that came along the way that made me realize my own potential as a traveler. I literally sprinted to take a last bus out of airport to the city in Rome, old me would not have done that. Last minute gate changes made me panic at Paris but somehow it all worked out just fine. I got lost in the streets many times during this trip – remember no data means no GPS – but almost always I stumbled upon a great hidden place which I would have missed going with maps.
 
Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself, is to get completely Lost. – Kellie Elmore.
 
My Advice to everyone – travel solo at-least once in your lifetime and that lifetime should start now.
 
Happy Journey!

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