My solo trip three years ago. Went to Berlin, Potsdam, Nuremberg, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Rome, and Florence in September of 2017. I try to travel alone every year because it feels liberating. Sometimes it’s scary, foolish even, but it’s one of the things that truly make me feel alive.
I love reading maps and figuring out public transportation on my own, watching people and imagining their stories while waiting at the airport, subway, bus terminals. My favorite is the high speed trains in Europe (lower carbon footprint and more scenic routes).
I was on the last leg of my EU trip. I took a budget flight from Budapest to Rome, checked-in at the hotel, and for the next three days, I would go to Rome Termini Train Station and randomly choose where to go next.
Getting lost is actually one of the most amazing experiences I look forward to when travelling solo. It makes me become a better problem-solver, more creative and resourceful, and it’s the best way to meet the world.
I remember texting @mimi and @karl because they were also in Italy at the time and I was hoping to see them in Rome before they fly back to Manila. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet because I was already on my way to Florence on the day they were supposed to leave.
On my third day in Rome, it was drizzling but I didn’t want to waste the day so I borrowed an umbrella from the hotel and decided to walk from Rome to Vatican. It was just a little over 5kms and I wanted to get some gelato on the way. I did find a gelateria ten minutes from the hotel and it was glorious. I was feeling ecstatic finding my gelato and hopeful that the rain would eventually stop so I can go to Venice.
And then in between gelato licks, I got the text message. It says my best friend @tourniquet has passed away. I was extremely happy then extremely sad, all in five minutes. As if it wasn’t surreal enough, it started pouring heavily. I cried in the rain while walking all the way to the Vatican.