A few weeks ago I made one of my dreams come true. The Bucket List just became a little shorter. I spent six days in beautiful Rome. On my own. And it was one of the best moments I have had in my life. Everything in Rome is huge. Breathtaking. And filled with stories to be told.
I was told that I am brave for travelling on my own. I was told: “How can you ask for a table for one? Especially as a single girl?” I mean… who made up those rules, anyway?
How I travelled in Rome? I walked. A lot. Unless I wanted to get quickly from my side of a town to another, had to be somewhere on a specific time or was coming back to a hotel in the evening I did not use public transport. I got lost. And I discovered. There is so much to see. It is not possible to walk from one place to another without stopping at least ten times to see something else you bump into on the way. Forget the phone. You will save on the internet data abroad. Use a map. Mark everything you´ve seen and everything you want to see. In two or three days you will know the city. And the feeling when other people ask you on the way and you know it is priceless.
Sightseeing, of course. Plan and book in advance but give some space yourself. Obviously, you want to see the main highlights, but we all have different tastes and interests. I travelled out of main season and booked main tickets before I headed to the airport. I panicked when one of my entry tickets was not processed on time as everywhere else I skipped the queue in two minutes. But in the end, it was not a problem. I bought a ticket at the place, had one extra entry included and it was even cheaper than online.
How and where I ate? First two days there was so much to see I only had panini or pizza take away. Or gelato. Oh, gelato! Then I thought, wait a minute! Why don´t you just stop and enjoy the moment?! I was simply overwhelmed, so I stopped at the first ristorante I walked by. What a mistake. If you want to experience nice home made Italian dishes find a small restaurant out of the main street. Watch the people. How they look like and speak. Eat where locals do. They know the best. And don´t be scared to eat alone. Take a book with you. Plan for the following day. Have a chat with a cute restaurant owner. And last but not least, enjoy!
Keep yourself safe. I had both of my mobile phones with me. Just in case. Each of them on a different place. I never took all my cash with me. I divided my spending money on days and kept the rest in the safe on the hotel. It also helped with not wasting them. Don´t discover new places in the evening when you don´t know a quick way back. If you do not feel like talking to strangers, that is okay. Just keep the headphones in your ears. Muted. Nobody will know.
What a solo travelling gave me? Independence. How amazingly it feels when you can do whatever you want, when you want. Strenght. The fact that you go on holidays to a different country, with a different culture and language you don´t speak, on your own. With no help needed. It will definitely help your confidence. Happiness. How pure joy it is when you work hard enough to make your dream come true.
Is there a dark side? How much more you pay for the room only because you are single. The fact, that when you are searching for a room a number of people travelling is automatically set up for two. Not one. Not zero. Two. So annoying. Eating some delicious pizza alone and not be able to finish. Want to try local wine and not be able to, because a glass is too expensive and a bottle is for sharing.
Would I do it again? Oh, yes! Damn, yes!