Friday, July 23, 2010

Learning How To Travel

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so glad to be back in Florence.  Barcelona was cool and all, but I learned a few things about myself while I was there, one of them being I'm pretty terrible at traveling alone.

I've gone on trips by myself for a couple of days but nothing longer than that.  My time in Barcelona was intended to last eight days, but I ended up cutting it short because I just wasn't having a good time.

You see, I've realized that maybe I'm not the type of person who can travel alone without feeling lonely and unmotivated.  In Barcelona, I felt exactly those two things:  isolated and discouraged.

It's sad, really, because I'm sure the city has much more to offer than the small bit I explored.  But if I'm not having a good time and I know it won't get better, then I'm gettin' the heck out.  So I did.

What Kind of Traveler Are You?
I think I'm the type that needs some sort of support network around her, even if it is just a single friend, because that single person can support me and inspire me to be braver and more adventurous than if I were by myself.  Also, there's the element of safety--I don't particularly like going out as a single female. Might as well stick a big bull's eye on me for predators to attack.

I hate to admit it, but I squandered my time in Barcelona.  I didn't like the people in my hostel because they all seemed to want to get wasted and party (which is not my style), so that meant I had to seek friends elsewhere, which left me with feelings of fear and doubt of the unknown.  I mean, really, how easy is it for people to make friends in a foreign city?  Maybe I'm just a coward, but it's not that easy for me.

I was thinking about this, and Florence has kind of been my home in Europe.  In my three months over here, I've spent most of that time with Ged in our apartment in Florence.  I'm realizing now that this is the longest period of time I've been away from my home in the U.S. and been away from friends and family, which can make a person very vulnerable, as it has done to me.

Ged (my boyfriend, for those of you who don't know), however, is not like this at all.  He can pack up his stuff, grab a map and jet to the destination of his desire.  And all of this seems so easy when he does it.  I think one thing I'm neglecting is the fact that he has tons of experience doing this kind of stuff whereas I'm an amateur.

Maybe I can learn to be like Ged and become comfortable traveling by myself, but honestly, I'm not sure I want to.  It's so much more fun when you have someone to share the experience with and someone who can suggest other creative things he or she wants to do.

Will I go back to Barcelona?  I would like to.  But next time I'd like to bring some peeps with me.

Signing off from Florence,


  1. I don't know how I would be as a lone traveler. I like my time by myself and when I go back to my hometown, I go alone with my daughter and we stay in a hotel (crazy family). But, I haven't done any real traveling for years. I think I would like to travel with girlfriends. But, not the kind that get into stupid catfights.

  2. It's okay to feel this way. I think some people are natural at traveling alone, and others have to work at it. I lived in Rome for about 7 months, at first with classmates, then by myself. I didn't travel as much after I lived by myself (well, money was an issue) partly because there was no one to share the experience with. And I am friendly and social, but... not always open to making friends with partiers either ;)

  3. @kilax

    Thanks for your insight. It's nice to know other people can understand where I'm coming from.


  4. @kilax

    Thanks for your insight. It's nice to know other people can understand where I'm coming from.