From someone who feared to trip solo — Part 3: Finally, you are traveling all by yourself!
This is the part 3 and the last one of the Traveling Solo article series.
When you initially dream about your solo travels I bet you would be all excited and probably could not wait for the day to travel alone. Yet, even on the way of the big day, I was partly dreading it and was less enthusiastic than I expected I would be (when I used to dream about traveling solo back in the day) — I was thinking of the mix dorm I booked. I was thinking of how I could take another risk just on my first solo trip itself. lol However, the sceneries outside your shutters would take your mind off such worries and make you calm, and a tad bit excited.
Make sure you are on alert and that you don’t miss or get off on the wrong station!
Well.. Because I was a bit anxious, I was absolutely on full alert ( Lol) which was a good thing which came out of it. But the bad thing was I got a bad headache for stressing over the whole trip. So I kind of missed one location which I really wanted to go and which was the first thing I wanted to go to. The trip into the man made caves in Maastricht. They took in groups based on various time slots, I missed the last slot which was around at 2.30 pm or 3.00 pm. I just had to let go of it. I thought I would take medicine and rest at my hostel as I would not be able to enjoy the trip at all if it would worsen.
Don’t worry! Things turn out to be better than you dreaded & dreamt!
The major worry for me after I got down the bus is going to my hostel and staying in a bunk bed at my mix dorm. I was hoping I would get the bottom bed but I got the top one. I realized it was actually the better option! Because the top bed is actually safer and has less disturbances! Plus the hostel had arranged the bunk beds in such a way that they had put a board in one side so that actually they were like small compartments — which was pretty cool and I instantly felt much comfortable just seeing that.( I stayed at the Green Elephant Hostel. It was actually a pleasant stay — Je recommande vivement)
I took some paracetamol, had some snacks and rested a bit till my headache was manageable. And after I realized I worried for nothing, I was happily strolling about Maastricht and Wyck.
So the next lesson is to be flexible with your trip schedules and be alright about it!
You might realize one advantage already. When you are solo tripping you could just be as flexible and as spontaneous as you want. Make sure you don’t regret or fret over something you missed. Because otherwise you wouldn’t get to enjoy what is right in front of you. So when I started walking towards rest of the places which were on my list to visit — I felt more ‘free’. If I am to elaborate, you would feel a sense of peace and freedom as well as a sense of excitement. Another thing is when you are alone you are actually more alert about everything and I felt more ‘present’. It just happens naturally, an inherited trait from our ancestors I believe.
Try to cover all the places you want but give priority to ones you really want to cover.
I first marked the places I really wanted to visit — so while I was going to those places, I covered the nearby, less prioritized ones as well. It helped me visit places I really wanted as well as cover many places.
Talk to the people there and get recommendations.
I had some time left before my bus arrives on the next day. So I just went ahead and asked the girl in the reception to suggest me something which I could do before my bus arrives. She was super lovely and suggested me this wonderful little place to have coffee and also a church turned library/bookstore! Some people were reading books while sipping some coffee and some were just looking through some books to buy. I loved that place. It was a brilliant concept.
Relax and enjoy the moment!
I also just wandered off to wherever I thought looked pretty. Just try not to be stressed by your schedule and truly enjoy.
“La vie est faite de petits bonheurs”
My first solo trip to Maastricht was one of the best trips for me and I instantly fell in love after spending just one day. Everything which brought me to that point was worth it. I know that the COVID pandemic is kind of ruining all your travel plans at the moment. However, I think you would get to appreciate the moments more [Carpe diem], and take whatever chance you get to enjoy — so that you would certainly stop postponing your solo travel plans! ;)
Travel Safe! Take care!