In 2008, when I was 21, I came up with the idea of booking an Interrail ticket and touring Europe for a month. I decided travel to Paris, Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Venice, Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Vienna. And I felt the strong urge to do this tour alone.
Day 28 to 30 – Vienna (Austria)
I reached my final destination, Vienna, on Sep 26th, 2008. By that time, fall had reached central Europe, making it grey, wet and chilly. I had to layer up a little bit to make up for my lack of an appropriate jacket. But I enjoyed Vienna all the same, especially the Naschmarkt, which had a lovely bustle about it.
My other highlight was the Hofburg. I have been fascinated with Empress Elizabeth of Austria ever since I saw Romy Schneider embody her in the Sissi Trilogy. Seeing the palace and some of her belongings was fascinating. I felt like a little, giddy girl.
Regardless, all good things must come to an end. From Vienna, I took a plane back to Berlin. My 30 day interrail trip around Europe had taken me to amazing sights, enabled me to meet fascinating people and forced me to face myself and grow in the process. Up to this day, I consider this first big trip a turning point in my life. I left Berlin out, what felt like, necessity, but returned changed. More confident, more adventurous, more self-sufficient, happier.
I still take at least one solo trip a year, usually for a week. It is such a great time to reconnect with myself, learn new things, gain new experiences and find new opportunities to grow. There are no distractions when it is just you. You get to focus on yourself and what’s at hand. Just me, myself and I… exploring the world.
How about you?
What do you enjoy about traveling alone?
Cover picture was taken in Vienna (Austria) in Sep 2008
Missing the beginning of this story?
Around Europe in 30 days #1: Forming a plan