When people hear that I backpacked solo through Europe (especially as a woman) the reaction is always a face of shock followed by “WOW.. that’s amazing, your so brave”.
I won’t deny that bravery plays a role however that only gets you as far as (finally!) clicking on the purchase button of the airline website. The recipe for a successful trip is one part planning, two parts organization and a heapful of wanderlust.
Through my backpack travel series, I look forward to sharing everything I learned while backpacking through five countries and nine cities in twenty seven days.
It starts with the decision to make it happen
I am fortunate to run my own business which means my boss (also known as yours truly lol..) allows me time each year to take a mental health break. After spending much of the year working myself into the ground, adding a new stamp to my passport is the only thing that keeps me sane and allows me to return rejuvenated and more creative than ever.
I am aware that most people have a limited amount of vacation time each year and that it rarely aligns with the vacation time of their friends and family however if there is one thing that you take away from this post, please let it be this… If you have ever dreamt of traveling abroad, don’t let “I don’t have anyone to go with” stop you.
There may never be that perfect travel partner who yearns to travel to your exact destination to enjoy your exact activities and who also has the exact time off from work as you. This is coming from a girl who enjoyed a very romantic gondola ride in Venice Italy, you guessed it… solo. Prince charming hadn’t arrived yet (spoiler alert… he still hasn’t) and I sure as hell wasn’t waiting around for him. Would I do it again? In a heart beat.
Romancing myself back in 2012
Solo travel – its all about you!
Take a moment and picture… staying where you want, eating what you want and having your day filled with all of the glorious activities that YOU want to do. Yep, that right there is solo traveling and it doesn’t get more perfect than that.
Fear.. there’s no room for you here.
I believe in living fearlessly and going after the things that set your heart on fire. For that reason, each year I take a trip with the sole purpose of doing something that frightens me. Apparently being in an exotic location, fully immersed in the culture makes me a bit more adventurous. Los Angeles Angela wouldn’t dare ride a roller coaster BUT… travel Angela, well that’s a whole other story.
Checking off my bucket list…
Afraid of the ocean? → Scuba dive off the island of Muai in Hawaii
Bugs give ya the heebie jeebies? → Stay in a private tree house in Costa Rica
and enjoy every bug, frog, bird, monkey and sloth that the rain forest has to offer.
Afraid of heights? → Zip line through the rain forest
While your at it, take it one step further and conquer the Tarzan swing
These are just a few that I’ve checked off and I look forward to sharing more through various blog posts.
How my trip turned into full on backpacking
It all started with my (random) fascination with visiting the Swiss Alps. I’m not sure if I saw a photo while scrolling aimlessly on my phone but what I can tell you is that one day my brain became fixated on the idea of visiting the Swiss Alps – and just like that, I began googling Switzerland. It was during that google session where I stumbled upon a suspension bridge located in the Swiss Alps and known as Europe’s highest suspension bridge. What happened next? You guessed it, I found the fear busting excursion I would be traveling to Switzerland to conquer.
The google photos that prompted my crazy idea.
This led to more research which then led to the realization that traveling within Europe is so affordable that is would be a shame to visit Switzerland and not pop over to perhaps.. Germany! That got me thinking while I’m in Germany, Czech Republic isn’t far by train and I’ve always wanted to visit Prague. Ladies and gentlemen, that is how one trip to Switzerland for a week turned into five countries and nine cities in twenty eight days.
My idea to backpack? Well, YouTube videos quickly brought me to the realization that wheeled suitcases on cobble stone streets is pure ridiculousness and stairs, haha… yea right. So, the only logical solution.. carry all of my belongings on my back for an entire month haha..
Accommodations? Well this gal never experienced college life and that includes dorm living -so posh! (insert sarcasm here) and those same YouTube videos convinced me that hostels were the best way to meet people while traveling solo. So.. this gal who has never lived with a roommate a day in her life decided that she would be spending the month cozy in a bunk bed #HostelLife
In each blog post, I will share a country and city as seen by me. I’ll suggest local spots, fun activities, traditional foods to order, how to deal with currency while traveling, packing, booking reservations, public transportation and so much more… Join my adventure as you plan for yours.