I’ve been pondering this post for a few days now, but my posts are already so picture heavy that I thought I would try wait for a day when I didn’t have too many to share.
These photos are from yesterday morning. I had a bit of time to kill before I had to catch my bus at 3pm (I had wanted to catch one earlier, but with tickets for 9 euro instead of 29, I couldn’t say no) so I went for an explore around Kreuzberg. I suspect I may have stumbled across one of the more “hipster” areas of Berlin. The walls were adorned with art, I saw several vegetarian restaurants, and there was more than one café with a bearded barista.
But lately I have been reflecting a bit on how I have been travelling personally (pun intended). I’ve been filling this blog with pictures and vague recollections of what I have seen during my days, but I haven’t often paused to think about how I’ve been feeling through it all.
This is my first major solo escapade. Sure, I went to Adelaide by myself for a week or so during my gap year, but even then everyone I needed was only a phone call or text away, and flights barely hit the hour mark. Over here in Europe, on the other hand, I have been much more alone. I don’t have a SIM card in my phone, flights take an entire day back home, and I am constantly on the hunt for Wi-Fi.
There has been a few times when I have felt this loneliness quite profoundly. When I missed my bus in Munich, when my train to Hamburg was delayed and I couldn’t tell my friend on the other end what was happening. Both times I was uncertain of what to do. Everyone around me was speaking German. It sucked. I cried. And I couldn’t just pick up my phone and call someone, as I normally would have back at home. But that forced me to think more into it. Why did I want to call someone? What were they going to do? Sure, they could offer a few consoling words as I blathered about my woes, but could they really fix it? Unless one of my parents has suddenly mastered the art of teleportation or learnt how to control time and space, nothing was going to change. So I gave myself a mental kick in the butt and persevered. Sure, a few more tears were shed along the way, but I got there.
I have also felt lonely at times in the sense of not having anyone to share my explorations with. Often when I go on tours or hang out in hostels, most people have their friend, family or partner with them. They can bounce their experiences off each other, snap each others photos and generally just enjoy the moment together. As much as I am enjoying travelling by myself, sometimes I have been in situations where I would have loved someone to share it with. On the other side, however, one of the pros of solo travel is getting to do whatever you want. No need to worry about pleasing everyone or compromise, I get to plan my days as I please! I’ve had some great moments when I have enjoyed my solitude, such as when I climbed up to the old fort in Luxembourg and had the most spectacular view all to myself. I am, however, not resorting to getting a “selfie stick”.
Despite some of these more depressing moments of solo travel, it has been (and still is) a great experience though. Sure, it’s had its tough moments, but that’s part of why I came here. To push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve come this far, so I can certainly keep going.
*insert motivational cat poster here*
Though I could do without missing another bus!
(Also, I am now finally in Prague! I arrived last night, so expect me to be loosing my mind about actually finally being here over the coming days.)