When I decided to travel around the world for a year, I had never done a complete trip on my own. I had travelled for work and visited friends abroad, I had taken busses, trains and planes without any company. I had also visited some cities alone, but I had never imagined, planned, organized, decided, done and experienced a solo trip.
I was very excited about my project, but a small annoying voice in the deepest side of my head was asking me if I would enjoy to travel alone. Would I miss having someone next to me to share the experience, and to help me taking decisions? What if I felt lonely or unsafe?
To answer these questions, and others, I decided to do a short trip alone in May, only for two weeks. It would be a test. So I took a backpack and went to a country I had never visited before, which is not touristic, where the language is not similar to mine, where English is not widely spoken: Estonia.
A lot of people asked me, why Estonia? It is difficult to answer to that, I got a feeling for this country which I cannot really explain. I felt attracted to its forests, nature and history, and thought it would not be difficult to move around since it is not very big and has a good bus network.
And it turned out that I was right, it is a very interesting country. I enjoyed a lot travelling there, and there are places I would have liked to visit but could not make it. There are a lot of national parks and healthy parks in the cities. There are rivers and lakes and coast and islands. There are cities which look very different one from the other. There is a lot of history which is visible in the architecture and monuments.
A part from Tallin, which is the capital and the most visited city in Estonia, I tried to come out of the typical destinations and preferred to visit more unknown places. I thought it would help me to get a more complete vision of the country.
So, the question is… how was it to travel alone? Honestly, the first day was hard. I did not find a coachsurfing host in Tallin, and I did not like the only hostel I found. It was a peak weekend and everything was booked, so I had no choice but to stay there.
24 hours after arriving to Tallin, I still had not met anyone, and I was feeling very sad and confused. Was I sad because I was not meeting people, or wasn’t I meeting people because I was lost in my thoughts? Was I unlucky, or didn’t I know how to travel alone or how to meet new people? Would I be able to stand this for one year…?
Fortunately, things improved the second evening, when I started meeting other solo travelers in the hostel. We started talking and laughed a lot about that strange hostel. They invited me to go out with them, and we met some friends of them, who were Estonian and recommended us some places to visit.
In the next two destinations I did find coachsurfing hosts. They were my first CS experiences and they were great. We talked a lot, visited the city, went out together and at some point I forgot that I had just met them. It felt like I was visiting old friends.
One day, I started talking with an Estonian guy who had travelled a lot before going back to his natal city. He recommended me some places to visit, and at the end he gave me his phone number, in case I had any problem in Estonia. Another day, in a tiny village, an old man who did not speak English helped me to find a bus stop under a heavy rain.
What I had heard is true: even during a solo trip, you are not completely alone.
At the end of the two weeks, I felt very happy. Happy because everything went well. Happy because I had met interesting people and made new friends. Happy because I never felt unsafe. Happy because I had more confidence on myself. Happy because I had enjoyed a lot to travel alone. Happy because I was wandering for more, and I felt I was ready for my long trip.
More about my trip to Estonia
Pin it for later!
If you liked it, please share 🙂