Now that I’ve been living in Stockholm for more than a month, I’d say I have a pretty solid routine. Going to the gym, commuting to DIS, cooking dinner, doing homework… But now that I’ve gotten that normalcy I was so desperate for in the beginning of the semester, I really wanted to go out of my comfort zone and try something new.
I’m typically not a very spontaneous person. I like to figure things out in advance and plan everything out carefully, so I was definitely hesitant on leaving the country on such short notice. I chatted with some friends from home and they all agreed that traveling solo was a great way to learn about myself and to embrace discomfort. So with that (and some convincing to my mom), I booked a ticket to Vienna for the weekend!
Prior to leaving, I wasn’t too worried about transportation or my safety in Vienna, since it is considered a pretty safe city. The only worry I had was the possibility of feeling lonely in such a lively place. However, once I arrived, I was so busy and consumed by the sights that I barely even had time to think about being lonely. I also noticed other solo travelers along the way, so I didn’t feel out of place at all.
There was SO much to see in Vienna, especially if you enjoy architecture and museums. The three palaces I visited were quite crowded, but absolutely worth it. Vienna is also very famous for its coffeehouse culture, where they serve pastries and coffee all day long, so eating alone wasn’t bad at all.
Traveling by myself for the first time was weird in that I didn’t have to wait for anyone to wake up, argue with anyone about directions, or figure out how to split the check. I love traveling with my friends and family, but having to figure out what to do when everyone has different priorities and budgets can be frustrating. It was very freeing to have the ability to go wherever I wanted and sit down to take a break when I was tired.
Being away for the weekend also made me appreciate the fact that I’m in Europe studying abroad and am so fortunate to have the ability to travel around the world. Even though I was only gone for a bit, I missed Stockholm and am glad to be back. If you’ve always wanted to go somewhere but haven’t found a traveling partner, I really encourage you to go by yourself! I am so, so happy I decided to make this last-minute trip to Vienna 🙂