Do you see what I did there with the title?
Travelling alone can be intimidating, especially if you are like me and decide to dive into travelling solo to a place where you do not speak the language.
Before I convinced myself that everything was going to alright I read countless testimonials and blog posts on solo female travel. However, it was not until I read the blog of an old school friend about her accidental solo trip to Paris that I was convinced I could do it (This was after about 3 persons in my immediate circle of friends praised it for its liberating quality).
I arrived to Barcelona from Morocco with a friend who was going on to travel to Gatwick. She speaks fluent spanish and so her parting gift to me was a few spanish phrases scribbled on a tiny piece of paper that she thought would help me out (or atleast get me to my hostel).
Armed with my spanish phrases I looked into my phone which contained the directions to my hostel. I promptly made my way to the Aerobus station and took the bus to my first stop from where I would take the metro for the first time to a street from which I was supposed to find my hostel. Did I mention I have no sense of direction? It is not bad...it is none existent ( I would probably get lost in Grenada if I did not live here...and we basically have one main road that leads right around the island).
After asking for directions in several stores (in English) I finally found the place I would stay, The Gracia City Hostel in the Gracia District.
My next few days would be spent discovering places both by accident (because I was lost) and also after following the directions of lovely Baristas who I spoke to in every other Cafe along my rout. I found the first monument on my list, Casa Batllo by asking some girls at the Bobbi Brown Counter in a department store (several days later I returned and bought an amazing concealer).
Travelling solo gave me the opportunity to speak and interact with people I may have just politely greeted if I was with a friend. In no time I felt like I had become a part of the Gracia City Hostel Family. Shout out to Ana, Bryony, India, Luciano and Jacqui! At the hostel I encountered so many interesting people; travelers, adventurers, back packers and those who just sort of got stuck after being seduced by the amazingness that is Barcelona...or got stuck because they lost their passport while out drinking way too much. It was amazing to see how differently some people live their lives, travelling did not just mean a three week vacation, it means months upon months of living away from home.
All that being said what I loved above all about my solo trip was the freedom of solitude. Although after my second day I had met up with a traveler from Australia who I did a large portion of my site seeing with I also took time to myself. In the mornings I would wonder around my neighbourhood (which was absolutely charming) popping in and out of shops, getting breakfast and just thinking, contemplating my life. It was beautiful.
|The obligatory Park Guell Photo...I had to wait in line to take this!|
|Jacqui and I with Glorious Barcelona in the background|
If you are weary about taking the plunge into solo travelling, I say do it. Go to a city where you don't speak the language and get lost...get wonderfully and beautifully and magically lost. Sooner or later you will find your way back to your hostel...your feet will be tired but your spirit will be full because you proved you are more capable than you thought, and your own company is pretty amazing!
|The street performances are just amazing, this is a real person...she moved from time to time|
|The beautiful side streets, I bought that famous Bioderma in a Pharmacy in one of those side streets|
|They call this Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Familia|
|It is out of this world amazing filled with so many details|
|You cannot help but stand in awe|
|One of the things on my must see list was this amazing market, La Boqueria|
|So many boutiques had sweet Dogs in them|
|This is the type of Vespa I would want|