For my reading week, I decided to travel to Italy! Italy seemed like the perfect destination: lots of sites to see, cities to visit, and (of course) yummy food. Since I am a total planner, I had my nine day itinerary set up and ready to go before I even stepped foot in the airport. I had all my museum tickets purchased, hostel rooms booked, and must-see items written down in my travel notebook. I had already Google-mapped everything that I was planning on doing so that I could figure out the optimal routes and items to pair together each day. And for the most part, everything went as planned!
I met up with friends here and there, but I also travelled by myself and explored on my own. It was during those times of solo travel that I made the best memories and had the most unique experiences. I made friends with people from all over the world—from Brazil to Spain to Canada. I met a student who was studying English in Cork and we chatted about all the places we had travelled to throughout Ireland. I met someone who literally only lives 25 minutes away from me back home! We bonded over our love for San Diego and fond memories of sunny weather. I got gelato with a fellow lone traveler I met on a day tour that coincidentally happened to be staying in the same hostel as I was. I even had an older couple ask to sit with me while I was eating dinner by myself and then offer to pay for it simply out of the kindest of their hearts.
If you have the chance, and are brave enough to do so, take some time to travel by yourself. Plan every minute of every day or just go with the flow—I promise by traveling on your own you will figure out which you prefer! You can do whatever you want and spend as much or as little time at each of your destinations. By traveling alone, you immediately open yourself up to making new friends wherever you go. And if you are lucky like me, you will make some memories worth sharing for years to come.
Take a look at the pictures I took in Italy below! And if you still don't want to visit, then there might be something wrong and you should get cheked out by a doctor immediately.
I started my week long Italy trip in Venice. I met up with my friend from home and explored by getting lost in the city, weaving in out of the streets and crossing all of the beautiful bridges.
After Venice, I took a train over to Florence. The city's architecture was absolutely beautiful!
I took a day tour from Florence to Cinque Terre. This was one of my favorite parts of my entire trip. The coastal cities were absoluetly beautiful and I had an amazing time hiking through all of the towns--despite the rain!
My next stop was Pisa!
Afterwards I met up with a friend from my program to take on ROME! Here I split my time traveling with a friend and traveling on my own, and both experiences were equally great in their own ways.
We visited Vatican City and the Vatican Museum while we were in Rome. Another highlight of my entire trip! The staircase is not something you want to miss.
My final solo day tour was to Pompeii and Naples. You can see Mt. Vesuvius in the distance!