Travelling alone can be terrifying. You may find yourself in a country where you don't speak the language and you have to figure everything out by yourself. I was very nervous when I decided to book a solo trip to Scotland. This would be the first time I had ever gone somewhere completely alone. But, it was more than I could have ever hoped for. I was able to do and go to all the places I wanted to go without having to confer with someone else. And it opened up the opportunity for me to make some new friends! I booked a bus tour for my trip, and I made friends with the guide and another passenger. In doing so, I always had someone to take my pictures for me, and someone to share insider stories that weren't necessarily told to the whole group.
I found that the one downside to being by myself always came at the end of the day. After the bus dropped everyone off at their hostel or B&B, I found myself completely alone for the evening. In Scotland, it was dark by around four or five in the evening, so the nightlife started sooner than you might expect. But, I was able to find a pub that played traditional folk music that I could enjoy over a meat pie or a plate of mussels. On my last night in Scotland, I happened to be going to grab some dinner at the same time as another guest at my B&B. It turned out that he had studied Theatre in school as well, and was working as a travel journalist! It was inspiring to meet someone who followed the path I am walking.
When I decided to go to Paris with a few friends, I found that our parisian bucket lists were not identical. This meant that on a few occasions I would have to navigate the City of Love by myself. Having done so in Scotland, I was completely comfortable seeing the sights by myself. Plus, it gave me the chance to practice my French!
I would definitely recommend travelling by yourself at least once in your life. For me, it showed me that I can make my way in the world without a hand to guide me. As I prepare to graduate in the spring, I know that I will be putting my new found conversation and navigation skills to the test as I move away from home.
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<p>Katie Joachim is a senior at Hope College, where she is studying Theatre and Creative Writing. She has been a part of the theatre community since she was eight-years-old: 13 years in total! Most recently, Katie was the director of the Bay View Youth Theatre and she just finished up an acting internship with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. When she isn't in rehearsal, Katie can be found knitting and watching the Grey's Anatomy, all while munching on a slice of freshly-baked cake.</p>