My First Solo Adventure

June 8, 2017 Clive Andrades 36 comments

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered my passion to travel. Even though I had been a frequent vacationer all my life, ever since I was 11 months old, the real traveler in me was born just a couple of years back. And yes, it was in this wonderful continent of Europe that it all began. It was back in 2014 that I was attending a summer school program in Hanover, a small city in Germany, and decided to take a few trips to Amsterdam and Prague with new friends that I met there. However, my first ever typical traveler experience came when I decided to travel solo to visit a friend in Wroclaw, ‘the city of dwarfs’ located almost 600 kilometers away in Poland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, most of you might be thinking as to what exactly do I mean to say when I write ‘a typical travel experience’. Yes, traveling can be a subjective idea as nowadays we can find hundreds of different types of travelers with all sorts of different purposes set out to savor alien experiences across the globe. It could be a family escaping their daily routine every year once or twice to visit famous attractions domestic or international or say a group of friends planning to cover up few countries that they had always dreamt of visiting together ever since they have known each other. Amidst all this, there are individuals who want to visit places to meet new people, experience their lives, their culture to encounter experiences that they might never get to experience in their own backyards.

So I would like to briefly pen down a few of the typical traveler experiences that I had on my first solo adventure.

  • Hanover to Wroclaw

Trains; expensive, flights; expensive, bus; expensive, hitchhiking; damn I have never done it, reluctant to try. It was a last minute plan and all of the possible ways to commute seemed out of budget considering the fact that I had splurged all of my money in the first four weeks in Europe and this was my last week in this amazing continent. With a minimal cash in hand, here’s what I tried…

8th August, 15:30

My phone beeps..

Me: Hello

Stranger: Hey, I am here waiting for you at the entrance of your hostel.

Me: I will be there in a minute.

Five minutes later, I was sitting in the backseat of a Volvo v40 2001 model. All thanks to Blablacar without which my trip wouldn’t have been possible. Along with me there were two others who needed a ride and were to get off halfway down the road. Don’t really have a good memory about that, but I think they disembarked at either Leipzig or Dresden, following which its was just me along with the car owner and his cousin on our way to Poland.

When we entered Poland, the internet service on our phones stopped working as we all had German SIM cards. I had the address, but none of us knew the exact location. Luckily, a cab driver led the way and took us to my destination. Indeed was a very wonderful experience, one I might have never had, had I not been courageous enough to travel alone. That night, I found a new friend in a foreign country.

Midnight; with unknown people in an unknown city without any internet connection with just a 2-line address on my phone of a person whom I was to meet for the first time! Cheers to life!!!

  • A journey from ‘strangers to friends’
When we tried to cook spicy chicken because I love spicy <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one’s definitely one of my best experiences so far. I had just set my feet out of a stranger’s car, just to meet another stranger. Yeah, I had known Sylwia for quite a long time. But what happens when you meet someone in person for the first time? Yes, that’s definitely a stranger situation, no matter how long you have known them for through social media. But how long can that go on for? I mean for most of the travelers, it’s just a matter of few minutes, few words or few drinks, and then they all mix up. And so it was for me. In a matter of few minutes, I had a home away from home.

  • A weekend that stretches for 5 days

Unlike my plan to stay for the weekend and get back to Hanover on Sunday, I end up overstaying till Wednesday. How wonderful it is when your decision depends solely on you only because you chose to travel alone. The freedom of choice, as to how, why, when and what to do makes traveling solo worthwhile. What really made this small town appealing to me were the people that I met, the amazing fountain show, the zoo and the uncountable number of dwarfs that kept staring on me while I explored their city my with polish friend. And our basketball match ofcourse. 😀

  • Craved to stay longer

Sometimes you just know that you haven’t had enough of a particular place and you want to stay longer. However, my final exam in Hanover was to take place on Friday, and even though I had skipped my lectures for the week, I had to be there for the exam and so I chose to return on Wednesday. Yes, finally I left, but only after I had promised myself that I will be back someday so that I can find all the dwarfs in the city.

I don’t really want to sound too cocky or presumptuous when I say traveling solo would definitely be one of the best ways to travel especially when you’re young. Even though it’s my personal opinion, I would still go on and on about solo traveling when I meet people. I feel, the ones that have the opportunity should definitely take it. You never know, you might never have it again.

An anonymous traveler has beautifully quoted, ’I was never going to go, if I waited for someone to come with me.’

Do look forward to my next article about Wroclaw. I’m sure this amazing city in Poland will be the next one on your bucket list.

Keep reading and keep motivating. Thanks.

Happy and safe traveling!!!

 

36 Comments on “My First Solo Adventure

  1. Whenever I read your articles it transposes me to a wonderland where I see myself travelling and you do inspire me to travel..
    Well this is a well written article!
    Waiting for the next one.. 😋

    1. Thanks Ainun. Hehe yeah hopefully we will have much more wonderful times and I will have more to write about 😀

  2. I’ve heard of Blablacar but never used it, or really even read about it. It’s good to hear you had a good experience with Blablacar on your way to Wroclow, Poland and that it was cheaper than the bus / train etc, it’s sounds a lot quicker too as it was direct. You appreciated the joys of solo travel, you can stay as little or as long as you want in any city, Wroclaw was obviously a hit as you stayed there longer than planned.

  3. I haven’t done much solo traveling, but the quote you used is very inspiring! I like how you said that you had so much freedom to make decisions because you were on your own. Also the dwarfs were so cute!

  4. You got me with the photo at the Centraal Station in Amsterdam, that is my city. Blablacar seems like a great way to travel cheaper, I signed-up but never used it so far. Solo travel is awesome, I think you are absolutely right to advise it do it when young.

  5. The City of Dwarfs looks fascinating and fun! Good for you that you didn’t let solo travel stop you from adventure. I look forward to reading more of your trip.

  6. I love solo travel and have been doing it for the past 5 years. I never though seem to be alone. I always stay in hostels and meet some great people, some I have visited in their home country. I have met people on the bus, on free walking tours. When you are travelling solo you just have to open yourself up to meeting lots of new people and having new experiences.

  7. Travelling solo is a really great experience. It does not matter if you are travelling domestically or overseas. You will gain confidence and a lot of survival skills.
    The Wroclaw’s dwarfs look very interesting. They are probably scattered all over Wroclaw. It would be so much fun to find them like treasure hunting. I am sure they have names too.

  8. What a wonderful experience you had solo travelling. And I think it helps when you have an open mind and no set plan! Great you could find a home away from home. Interestingly enough, my brief solo trip to Europe was not particularly fun as I found myself surprisingly lonely. I think I had hyped up solo travel so much that I was left disappointed and regretting not doing a tour. Having said that I’m about to embark on another solo trip later this year so I can’t wait!

  9. I love the city of dwarves! What a fun scavenger hunt to have with kids. We love art in all forms and this really has you keeping an eye out for treasures to see!! I have never traveled alone..it just wasn’t in the cards for me, but I know a lot of young people do it. Thanks for sharing your experience! Someone who is pondering it might have the courage to do it after reading!

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