If you are studying abroad in Europe for a semester or a year, you would want to take advantage of the geographical location for traveling as well as the relatively cheap prices of tickets. Traveling can be an amazing experience. It will allow you to observe different cultures and give you more perspectives on issues around the world. There will be times when you will have to travel alone. Solo travel can be really rewarding. Whether you are solo traveling because it’s convenient for your schedule or because you wish to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting without any distractions, traveling alone can help you grow. However, when traveling alone, there are few safety tips which one should adhere to in order to make the trip safe and enjoyable.
Traveling alone makes you more independent. One reason why is that it will make you think critically and quickly on your feet. When you are by yourself, you will have to rely on no one but yourself to decide which train to catch, which restaurants to eat and which accommodations to take. When a problem arises, you will have to think of the fastest solution by yourself. All of these situations help you to become a better critical thinker and hence, make you more independent.
The second reason why solo travelling can be an amazing experience is because there are fewer distractions. You will less likely be distracted in a conversation with someone and be fully focused on all that your travels have to offer you.
This past weekend, I travelled by myself to London, United Kingdom to visit a friend who is studying abroad in Kingston. Even though I was visiting someone, I decided to spend a day and a half by myself just to explore the city and learn about British culture. It was honestly an amazing and freeing experience to make my own schedule and walk around central London exploring all of the historical gems the city has to offer. I visited the Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and walked the tour of the Tower of London. By being fully focused on these tours, I was able to learn a great deal about the history of these places.
Of course, for everyone who is traveling by themselves, especially my fellow female solo travellers, it is vital that you keep yourself safe. First, trust your instinct; if you think a certain situation is not safe, you are more than likely correct. Don’t walk alone at night in pitch black darkness. Don’t let others know that you are a tourist; if you are trying to find directions on your phone, come inside a cafe or somewhere safe, find your route and then head out. Lastly, don’t compromise your safety for saving money. Take a cab for a few euros instead of walking in an unknown, isolated neighborhood at night.
Last of all, I want to inform you that traveling alone does not necessarily mean you will be alone for the entire duration of your trip. If you stay at a hostel, you will meet others who share your love for traveling. This is also an excellent way to meet people of different backgrounds and culture.