This trip was really special to me and so are its stories. As I promised, I am going to share my experience and try really hard to keep it crisp and small, forgive me already if I get carried away with my emotions and a line or probably even ten, haha. For starters, everyone HAS TO travel solo once in their lifetime no matter how good or bad their experience turns out to be because what you’d unconsciously learn or inherit during your travel in the tiniest ways would be immeasurable. So here are a series of emotions felt, memories built and life finally lived.
“My visa has been couriered and is on its way!!!” I was cold feet straight away. A day back my visa had been postponed for three days and now it has suddenly arrived. I wasn’t prepared, I was a mess, I had to get my arms and legs shaved, buy a few clothes because that never ends, does it? There was just so much to do and a visa few miles away. I just had a flashback to that stupid day where I made the most random statement “ I want to go for a solo trip.” Why, How, Where, nothing. I just want to go. The fact that I was actually leaving in a few hours made me think “Don’t my parents love me enough that they actually agreed to such a bizarre idea?” Nevertheless I reached the airport with multiple unsolved thoughts but major being, will I survive this 11 hour flight!!! I skip multiple heartbeats while flying and this time if I die, I would die all alone, probably taking the ‘SOLO’ thing too seriously.
I finally got off at Paris airport, 18 degree weather, my first step in Europe and it was magical. I was finally feeling it unless I walked out in lose pants and a sweatshirt at Paris airport to see women and men dressed flawlessly. Men in double breasted suits and hats, women in overcoats, midi skirts and stilettos. The Carrie Bradshaw in me had died.
A few hours later, there I was, in the land of Bulls, Picassos and Tapas! This city is so easy and yet so difficult to describe.
I was in the capital, Madrid and that city surprisingly was slow and weirdly calm to be a capital. People did things at their own pace. Worked when they want to, shut their shops and get out for a drink or got their valuable afternoon sleeps during Siesta. I stayed in a really tiny hostel for two days and I got really nervous about my long trip thinking if that’s how my trip would be, more like a struggle, less like a vacation. Fortunately the hostel was packed for the weekend so I moved to a hotel in the other part of the city and took two good days of preparation and luxury of course.
I remember a friend inviting me for a pub crawl on the first night and leaving me completely alone in a club at 4 am and with men trying to letch me, random drunk guys trying to dance with me; also with no access to google maps or phone calls. I was stuck! I danced with a pretentious happy face so that my fear doesn’t call for any danger. Solo trip was a nightmare on the very first day and felt like the most dumbest decision I ever made. Like angels came two Canadian girls to my rescue, who were generous enough to walk me to my hostel and drop me safely and there my friends, my first lesson was learnt. After a couple of missed busses, struggle with metros, Spanish handicapped and most importantly finding veg food I left for Seville, ready for some more adventure.
SEVILLE was hands down my favorite city in Spain. You’ll always seek some beautiful mysteries in the small, narrow lanes of an old cute little town. The whole city knows each other, people are familiar with faces, everyone grows up like one big family and there is a sense of togetherness and a vibe that is so beautiful. No competition, no jealousy, pure happiness and satisfaction of where you belong. There is something extra-ordinarily beautiful about the old rustic buildings, damaged gratifies and spell bounding architecture. You’ll find stories outside and answers within.
I made extremely amazing friends there, a couple from Canada, a friend from North Carolina who made Seville even more special for me and not so solo anymore.
In three days, against my wish, I had to go my next city, actually an isolated island in the extreme south of Spain called TENERIFE. I had planned my longest stay here because I planned to go for deep sea diving and snorkeling here. It was honestly the toughest place to survive but also the most gorgeous looking place in my whole trip. Stretches of islands, mountains, volcanic remains and a small little town in the middle of the island, its beauty was definitely inexpressible. I landed at an island only to know that I had been booked in a hostel 80kms far from the airport and it would take me 6000 INR just to get there. I already felt broke and like I had hit my lowest low! I didn’t realize when my tears during the car drive suddenly changed to being lost in the mountains and the endless roads ahead of me. Nothing is as mesmerizing than being lost in the glorious nature, listening to Coldplay music and thinking absolutely nothing. It’s rare when your mind is freed from all kinds of thoughts, its beautifully rare. I used to walk on highways with seas on one side and mountains on the other, kilometers long only for a pack of bread and a can of milk. I jumped from a cliff, dived in 3 degree water in a two piece bikini, went for a road trip with a complete stranger, walked around volcanic remains, climbed a mountain all alone and chilled on naked beaches. Pretty much ticked off a lot from my bucket list. This city made me realize, nobody is responsible for you, nobody cares what you do, you are always going to be on your own.
Its three pages and I’m obviously not done yet! Well this was the part one of my trip, read my part two to know about my other three cities and some solo travel tips that I would like to share with you guys! Share your comments below and let me know how did you find my experience and feel free to ask me anything more that you’d want to know.