When I realized it was already in an airplane looking out the window a lot of green meadows and low housesI checked my ID for the umpteenth time and looked to have the credit card where it was supposed to be.
The plane lands and a sound sounds: Welcome to Rome, it's x in… I don't even remember what time it was, I was just scared shitless.
Table of Contents
My first solo trip
Who would think of going on a trip alone? A lot of people, just this was my first time.
2016 was a peculiar year for me: I finished high school, I didn't know what to study, I got my first job, a relationship had ended, among other changes. I had to put too many things in order.
With my dwindling savings (Ahh that I had also bought my first car) I decided that I wanted to go on a trip. I didn't know where or with whom I just had to: I needed to disconnect and…
I was 19 years old and had a crazy desire to see a little bit of the world.
After months looking for someone to accompany me, looking at sites and prices, I decided one thing: I'm going to Rome and if no one can go with you I'll go alone.
I think my parents didn't listen to me because they thought I would forget. I booked everything and requested my vacation days. Everything was ready.
At this point I only reflected on my decision when I was already at the Ciampino airport stop surrounded by people fighting to get on the next bus going downtown.
So I sat down and waited for all those people to leave, meanwhile, the same questions were just going through my mind:
- What was I doing in Italy, alone and with basic English?
Like any self-respecting inexperienced traveler, I wrote down a bunch of places I wanted to visit, in no logical order.
I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in the Termini area and as soon as I arrived I met a boy who lived in Barcelona, and a Japanese woman who was studying I don't know where (I don't remember anymore). I only know that it felt good to hear them say: I also travel alone.
At this point and with my poor English I managed to get to the Colosseum metro stop. There were a lot of people everywhere and I got out of there as fast as I could. When I looked up, there was The Roman Colosseum, in front of me. The feeling was wonderful.
My fears dissipated for a moment and I thought: "This has been worth it."
the first days I felt strange, like loss. However, In a very short time I got used to asking fearless in every possible way, to go through the streets already known over and over again, to understand the dolce far niente that Italians talk about so much and also to be myself.
My trip through Italy is summarized in a few words: walk, eat, meet people and go through Trastevere again and again.
My experience traveling alone. Italy
For me traveling alone is one of the best experiences I've had. When I travel alone I feel so free... It is the best feeling in the world: you are the owner of your time, you are responsible for what happens to you and you learn to be decisive out of obligation.
NNever let the fear of the unknown paralyze you.
On this trip I spent the day walking and wherever I felt comfortable I would simply sit and watch life go by. There were days that I would go through the same places, the same stores, but so what? I was on vacation and did not depend on anyone.
Travel alone and enjoy the company.
there were me and my thoughts. At that moment my head was a bundle of confusion, but there there were my reflections and I, in some alley in Rome looking at a ruin or buying vegetables in a local market to cook some food for my colleagues.
I didn't know it but I needed, I longed for, that change of scenery with all my soul.
Sometimes it takes a push to let go of the branch you're clinging to.
It is something like when you cling to something that hurts you for fear of falling but it turns out that you are two feet from the ground...
Italy changed my life and whispered to me that the world was very big. I had many options to choose from.
during that trip I realized that I was a strong woman and that I had wanted with all my might to be freer and get out of where I was stuck and the best thing was that it had come true!.
I had an inner need to know the world but above all I needed to know myself.
Walking around Naples
Naples fascinated me.
I enjoyed the madness of its streets, the clothes hanging on the streets and the thousands of motorcycles everywhere, it makes you feel like you are in a Latin American city. come on, what it was in my sauce.
While all this was going on, I was going from one place to another with a small Italian book and a map, thank goodness I had booked a tour and I just had to locate my bus and that's it. We soon headed to Pompeii.
Pompeii is a sad city, very sad, It makes you want to sit on the first stone you find and start crying. It contrasts so much with the city of Naples… There it seems that time has stoppedI didn't imagine her like this, so desolate.
Despite everything, Pompeii seemed to me to be a city with a lot of character. It's as if I were telling you: "This is what's left of me, but even so, I feel proud of what I have been and what I still am."
My routine while traveling solo
The days flew by.
Basically I organized my tourist routes first thing in the morning; he stopped at a bakery two streets from Termini where he bought two calzones (I'm not going to stay hungry). In the afternoon I spent reviewing my Italian, making dinner and chatting with my classmates.. What beautiful memories I have of my classmates!
The trip does not require an explanation, just passengers.
Although we were from different countries we tried to understand each other, we talked about our routes, about what Rome seemed to us.
On that trip I made some friends: Julian; whose sister had a long-distance relationship with an Italian and was going to visit him. Emiliano; a theater student from Naples and Sonia; a Mexican who had been traveling and working for a year.
Listening to their stories I discovered that there are people with fascinating lives. You don't have to have a lot of money to travel and that Attitude is one of the most important things to take in your suitcase.
There are people who pass through your life without further ado, however many times we hear stories that sow the seed of curiosity and awaken desires that lead us to want to live a thousand adventures.
Every journey has an end and mine ended too quickly. The last day, to say goodbye to the city I took a little tour of my favorite places: The Coliseum and the road that went to Trastevere.
I said goodbye to the city with a strange feeling… I didn't want to leave!
He had discovered so many things on that trip.
In Rome, there I was waiting for the other version of myself, together we put a little order in my ideas, together we laugh y, we got lost a few times but we always found our way back and together we drew a couple of conclusions:
- I didn't need much to feel good, to be happy.
- Traveling alone wasn't that horrible (being careful and taking steps to make me feel calm and safe) in fact, my experience had been transformative. This would be the first trip of many.
- She was a stronger woman than she thought. I discovered that I liked challenges and felt very comfortable among strangers. I needed to get to know the world a little more, I had to get used to looking at maps, optimizing translation books and organizing my routes.
- I had to learn English yes or yes. (A few months later I would decide whether to go to the United States or work as a babysitter in England).
- I loved the calzone and my favorite pizza would be (until today) the margarita: with natural tomato, mozzarella, oil and fresh basil.
- Would I go back to Rome? Rome will never leave my life, my endless walks through its streets will always accompany me.
Yes, I will return to Rome. All roads lead to Rome and the truth is that I have no idea how to get out of Rome.
«Rome stays in you forever».
Do not be afraid to discover your fears and expose them, it is the first step to make peace with them and lead the life you want.
If your fears tell you not to do something, take it by the hand like a little child and say: come on, please.
- Books that inspire you to travel alone
- Phrases to encourage you to travel alone
- Reasons why you should travel alone at least once in your life
𝒢𝓇𝒶𝒸𝒾𝒶𝓈 𝓅𝑜𝓇 𝓁𝑒𝑒𝓇
7 comments on “The trip that changed everything: My experience traveling solo for the first time”
What a good choice for your first solo trip! A whole life experience!
Totally in agreement with your vision of Rome, a city to repeat as many times as possible. Greetings.
Rome is so captivating that you never want to leave!
Thank you very much for your comment. A hug!