travel: solo





On a train. Alone. In the middle of Europe. Something I had always dreamed about but was utterly terrifying when faced with the reality. I spent the weekend on a solo trip to Edinburgh. For the last six weeks, I have been surrounded by people. I have three roomates, six flatmates, five classes, and a whole host of friends in pubs in London. But I decided to go to Endinburogh alone. I didnt seem far when I made the decision. Standing on the train platform it felt like an ocean was between me and London. That is when I realized that I hadn not just made the decision to go to Edingbuegh for the weekend, but I had made the choice to have sole autonomy over my weekend. When to wake up, what to eat, what train to take, who to talk to where all decisions that I had to make. It was overwhelming and exhiilerating. I saw castles, hairy cows, cliffs, and slept in a bedroom alone for the first time in weeks. I chose to eat pizza and traditional haggis and then more pizza because the haggis was not my favorite. I road on a bus to see northern scotland nad met a whole group of american students studying in Dublin on a weekend holiday. We chatted the entire tour and went to dinner after. At dinner and at the pub we met students studying at University of Edinguigh. Meeting this many people I realized, was harder in Lodnon because I am always in my group of friends and less willing to make the decision to exit the circle. It was my absolute favorite part of traveling alone. There were some challenging points, like the first night asking for a table of one. It was harder than I thought it would be, as I go for dinner all the time in London alone. It was just a different feeling of sitting in a restaurant in a different country alone. The points of isolation was the hardest part of the trip. However, I learned how to make decisions to put myself in more social settings to relieve this anxiety. Instead of a formal sit down dinner, I would go to the college pub. Instead of a walk through the park with a pastry, I went through the castle grounds to the overlook. I got more comfortable being alone towards the end of the weekend, going up the mountain to look at the sunset with my journal on the final day. As I make my way back to London I feel that I had grown so much through my solo journey – I even made a few friends on the way.