I’ve always dreamed about a solo adventure in Europe. I did not have the ‘backpacking through Europe’ experience many people have in their twenties. I have traveled to a handful of countries and have gone off for day trips by myself, but I’ve never been truly alone for days in another country.

There were so many countries I wanted to go to, but Ireland seemed safe and easy for a first solo trip. Will I go on another international solo trip? Time will tell…

Ireland was (mostly) a dream despite fracturing my right foot, getting THE virus, and not being able to really expeirence my dream of late nights at pubs.

Instead of writing about everything I did, although I’m happy to share that too, I thought I’d share 7 random things I thought about (and took note of) while traveling alone internationally for the first time.

  1. There were many times I wanted to just relax, but felt guilty for being in a hotel room in Ireland. I had a lot of trouble walking, especially on cobblestones and I was sick. This feeling of guilt still hasn’t left me, but I do think it is important to let your body tell you what you need. As someone who likes to be constantly on the go and busy, I’m sure I’ll forever experience these thoughts.
  2. On the train from Dublin to Galway, I noticed how annoyed I was with peiople talking on the train. This was a funny thought to me because I usually love the commotion and engery of people around. It’s as if I expected them to be on a solo adventure only listening to the thoughts in their head too. Nothing headphones and music can’t fix.
  3. I noticed how calm and comforable I was being alone in another country. Perhaps it’s because I do travel quite a bit, or maybe it’s familiar from my experience moving to another state 3 weeks before a pandemic. Either way, noticing this was pretty cool until…
  4. I started to worry that I might never want to travel with others again and then quickly started to worry that I might miss this experience someday when I have a partner and family. An ex once told me my brain moves like a pinball machine, maybe he was right.
  5. When the sun would peak through the clouds on the train to Ireland (I was so lucky with weather) I started to think about my late father. It was such a comforting, warm and lovely feeling.
  6. Fun little story, there were two older British women on the train from Galway to Dublin trying to get their bags up. I quickly got up from my seat and asked if I could help to which they immediatly responded, “absolutely not!” I was taken back by this until I realized they started looking at the gentleman sitting next to me. He got up and stepped in and then said “you’re making me look bad” to me. I laughed to myself recognizing the differences of our generations and cultural backgrounds.
  7. This one is an afterthought as I returned from my trip and continued to heal. There have been times that I’ve been sad about my experience with only one good foot and being sick. It wasn’t the trip I dreamed about, but it was still incredible and that’s just how life is. I look at my photos and videos from the trip and wonder if they look better than it was, or if my trip was actually better than my photos and videos show? Aaaaa social media! Perhaps both thoughts are true.

Have you traveled alone and experienced similar thoughts? Or do you dream of traveling alone? Share with me in the comments.