London was the first european city I visited. The trip came up unexpected, as most of my trips do actually. One morning in 2015 I was bored at the office, in my previous job. I was alone and there was no work that day so as usual I started looking at flights. It was October and summer was coming (I live in Argentina) and I still didn’t have any plans for my holidays. Just by curiosity I stumbled upon a really cheap flight from Buenos Aires to London. The dates worked for me and I thought: Why not?
I had always wanted to go to London. About an hour after seeing the flight, I took my card and bought the plane ticket. I felt the adrenaline. I was going to Europe for the first time and I was going alone. I felt extremely happy but I also felt nervous. I had already spent a few days alone in Bariloche, Patagonia Argentina the previous year, and I had walked around a big city like NYC, but this was not the same. This was entire trip with myself for 3 weeks in a place that I didn’t know. At first I thought “What was I thinking?” “Mom, do you wanna join me?”. But no, I was meant to this trip alone. The insecurities I had at first quickly disappeared and I began planning my trip, consulting everything I wanted to do just with myself.
London was a city I had always dream of. We all have an idealization of London: the red double-decker bus, the also red telephone booth, the Big Ben and the London Eye. I also felt very connected to London by the music, because since I grew up listening music from England: The Beatles, The Police, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Alt-j, etc. Of course films, books, and the classes of history of architecture in university had also contributed to build my imaginary of London.
I had 20 days to visit Europe, and instead of visiting all the capitals, I decided to make a short circuit. I spent 9 nights in London, exploring the city and its surroundings. And in such short time I felt in love with the city. London is much more than red double-decker buses and the Big Ben. English streets have a romantic feeling, even more than Paris I believe. At times you might feel that you are walking in an ancient medieval town with castles and walls and other times you see a completely modern city with skyscrapers. It is a multicultural city with activities for everyone and so much culture and history. In London you can find the best museums in the world, fashion, music, gastronomy, architecture, literature, and more. London is a unique city.
The important thing about this trip was that I did it alone. It was where I needed to be. Yes I was single and I was traveling alone and I was ok. This trip helped me finally let go a past relationship.
I worked and saved money to do what I liked, and what I like is to travel. There was no reason to wait for anything or anybody. To travel alone is to love yourself, to treat yourself and to trust in yourself. Traveling solo does not mean that you are going to be alone, since you’ll be much more willing to meet new people than if you actually travel with someone.
Don’t wait anything or anyone. Travel. Travel when you want, how you want and with whoever you want to. Don’t miss great opportunities because of your insecurities. And always remember this quote because although it sounds cheesy and cliche I swear it is real: “life begins out of your comfort zone”
You might also like: Tips for planning your first trip to Europe