Solo travelling: harsh challenge or useful experience?
31.07.2019
Often we travel with friends or family. But what if we do it ourselves alone? Dasha Kozadaeva, a photographer, told us about her first solo travel to Europe and about how such trip can change the attitude to travelling.
About the trip
\All my life I dreamed of traveling, though I managed to make a trip only at 25 years old when I said "enough" to the obstacles that I had in my head.
I sold my equipment, took the last salary, quit and went on a solo trip. The route included 4 European cities in 6 days: Helsinki, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Paris.

It was my first solo travel, so I was preparing thoroughly. I decided not to take luggage, but only a backpack. I bought tickets in advance, booked hotels and downloaded all the necessary applications and, sure, maps on maps.me.
Why did I go solo? Because neither my husband nor my friends wanted to go on tour in February, but all my essence asked for adventure.
About solo travels
Traveling alone for me is lots of things at once: to try a new form, to overcome myself, to get rid of ordinary life. Yes, that was the challenge and great option to understand what am I really able to. I understood the meaning of being a self-sufficient and strong person. It was when I was planning a trip, when I came alone to an unfamiliar place, when I got sick there and was able to cope on my own. And ultimately important: I learnt to be a friend for myself.

In addition to these feelings, solo-traveling is when you are not dependent on others and you can go wherever you want. The disadvantage is that you have nobody to share your emotions with. Though, you can meet somebody new to discuss the impressions.
About difficulties
The road was very hard. For six days I traveled on two trains, one bus, and five times on airplane. It was a real test, in each city I hardly spent two days.

Another difficult experience was the night in Oersted (the main park in the city center) in Copenhagen. I stayed in a hostel by the Nyhavn channel. Everything around was nice, modern and comfortable. But I disgusted the smell of weed. Therefore, I had to do something quickly and find a new allocation, and I didn't want additional expenses.
About attitude to travels
After that trip, I changed my attitude to travels, additionally I realized how a new experience can influence the way of thinking. I got the difference between ordinary tourism, some small trips and exactly travelling. Travel is always a challenge and new experience. Travelling is not doing something ordinary, not going on well-known paths or using numerous recommendations. It is something new and spontaneous even if you have particular plans: where to live, what to look at and so on.
After my small trip, I realized what I need: to pack my stuff and to go solo to places I have never been before. Adventures and impressions like these lead to an inner harmony. I am a person who needs new emotions all the time. When I feel devastated, I immediately go out to explore new places. I advise to do it alone. But if there is a comfortable mate, don't lose a chance to travel in a company. After such trips, I have a feeling of being reborn, a period of inspiration begins, and I want to create again.

Now I travel at least once in two months, and I understand the difference between solo-traveling and "in company" travelling.
A piece of advice for those who cannot decide
You need to understand your attitude or feelings. When I was meditating on going to a solo-travel, I remembered "Wild" movie. The main character of the story went with a backpack to the mountains to cope with depression.

I advise all people if they feel that they are in a vicious circle, feel decay, depression, do not understand what they need, to take a backpack and go to a place you never even thought of going. That happened to me. My first solo-trip was to a place I never really wanted to go to.

I'm not a big fan of Scandinavia, especially in winter, and I didn't dream about Denmark. But it was Copenhagen I went to during the coldest time of the year. It was a test for me, but after this travel I came to the sensation of what I want to do in my life.
If you feel a lack of something in your life, hurry up to take a ticket and hit the road! It may not be a far trip. I still advise you to go closer to nature, because next to beautiful places it is always easier to gather the thoughts. Especially if you spend the night in a tent. Next time, I will definitely go alone to some beautiful place.
Moreover, I advise to recall your trips and decide whether to arrange a trip to several cities or explore one place. Often we think that we're able to do dozens of kilometers by foot and frequent site change would be good for us, but it may not be this. Everything is personal. I love to walk and move a lot, so I try to visit as many places as possible. By the way, if someone tells you that it is impossible to see Paris in one day, I'm ready to bet. Of course, I got multiple corns, but I managed to see all the main attractions. To my luck, many places were empty, because I went to Paris in February. At the same time there was time for new acquaintances, and I even felt like a Parisian woman as I was feeding pigeons and gulls staying on a beautiful bridge.
And the last advice, simple but important: don't be afraid and don't wait. Hit the road. Do plan the trip, book everything possible, take all the necessary. Download an application that works offline (if you know one).
Find you own route, not a beaten track. Interestingly, when I planned the route with maps.me, the app led me roundabout, and I found amazing places I didn't find a word about in the guidebooks. I was grateful to see the cities not as a tourist, but as a traveler.
I'm happy with the trip. At home, I saw that I had rubbed my feet with constant walking. I had a tired back because of a heavy backpack, but also I had a lot of impressions and travelling plans. And most importantly, I made sure that there is nothing wrong with traveling alone. I want to experience that again in England and Scotland. I hope to do that soon.
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