First up in my series of ‘first timers’ is Taylor, a teacher from New Jersey in the US. I met Taylor on a trip to Vienna in 2016. We spent an awesome day together on a bicycle wine tour in Wachau Valley, and she’s got some brilliant travel tales to tell!
What age were you on your first solo trip?
Where did you go?
How long did you travel for?
Why did you decide to travel alone?
Penn State University (where I went to college) was playing their opening football game there but nobody could or would go with me. I wasn’t going to go and was pretty bummed about it. Then I got the crazy idea to just go by myself! It was one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made.
How did you feel before you set off on your solo trip?
Excited, but incredibly nervous. I had never gone abroad solo before (or much at all actually). When I arrived in Dublin, I very clearly remember the initial feeling while grabbing my backpack: “What the hell did I do? Who do I think I am coming to another country alone?” I was a little panicked, but that wore off after the first day and to this day, it was one of the best trips of my life.
What did you love most about travelling alone?
Pretty much everything. I can do absolutely anything I want at any time I want to do it. Plus, the amount of people you meet when you travel alone is so much greater than if you travel with others. I’ve come across and established relationships with some awesome people and it’s entirely because I was by myself.
Did you dislike anything about solo travel?
No, not really. I do sometimes wish my friends or family could be there to experience what I experience, but I actually really enjoy having the experiences to myself. There’s nothing like it.
What tip would you give to fellow first time solo travellers?
Roam around and get lost. Talk to people. Be spontaneous. Have the essentials all planned out, but don’t over-plan. Also, try to get out of the main cities. Exploring the outskirts is where the beauty is.
What learnings have you taken away from travelling alone?
SO MANY LESSONS. Above all though, I would say that travelling solo has taught me to be way more adventurous and open minded than I ever had been – and that blends into my daily life in such advantageous ways. Also, stepping out of your comfort zone is terrifying and amazing at the same time. I live my life that way now.
Where would you like to travel solo to next?
I’ve actually already booked my trip! I’m going to Belgium and Iceland next week!
If you would like to share your first timer story, get in touch!