I have arrived in Madrid on my first ever solo trip! So far it´s going well, although it´s a little nerve wracking at times. I had to take two planes and three metro trains to reach my hostel, but once I did I was able to start experiencing Madrid, a trully beautiful city.
I´ll admit that I did get lost once when I set out to explore, but I just stayed calm and it wound up working out wonderfully because I stumbled upon the anthrpology museum, which is free to students such as myself. I spent the rest of the afternoon in there (getting thoroughly spooked out by the 8 foot skelleton that was discovered in Africa and the mummy) and in El Retiro Parque, which must be at least the same size as Cebtral Park in Manhattan. It was an interesting dichotomy- one place full of death and history while the other brimming with life as people jogged, played music and enjoyed each other´s companyn in the sunlight.
As I went about these adventures I felt an enormous sense of pride to be able to accomplish this on my own. Traveling solo is certainly a diferent experience, but so far I´m liking it because I get to make all the decisions and do exactly what I want. Many people asked me before leaving if it was a safe idea…. and the truth is that being alone is never 100% safe, even at home, but I checked the statistics and violent crime here is incredibly low, so as long as I keep my valuables in inside pockets and maintain sobriety, I think I´ll be okay. The other question I was asked was whether I might get bored staying in one place for nine days. To that inquirey I just tried not to laugh. Madrid is full of more activities than I could posibly do in just 9 days and I can´t wait to try to hit as many of them as possible. Maybe I´ll even go to Toledo for a day!
It´s possible that I´ll get lonely, but I think I´ll be too busy to be lonely! And I have yet to meet my hostel room mates. It´s possible that I´ll find a freind after all.
What are your thoughts on solo travel? Have you done it? Would you ever do it? Any wisdom you wish to share? I´d love to hear from you!