I am about to embark on my first ever completely solo adventure. Have I bitten off more than I can chew?
5 months totally alone in Europe can seem pretty daunting to some, but I tell myself I’m an adventurer. I have flown on my own quite a few times, so that’s not a problem. I have spent a few days on my own before meeting up with family members or a tour group, but never have I travelled for 5 whole months on my own.
Having had a series of husbands and six children, last year was the first time I have ever lived on my own! And I managed…well, sort of. Maybe I can use those survival techniques when I’m travelling?
Get out of your room!
The most important one was getting out of the house! Surely I can get out of my room when I am staying in a beautiful city with so much to see and do, even if it’s pouring with rain or hopefully, snow! I’ll have to choose indoor activities on those days.
The next most important thing when faced with living on my own was meeting people-I’m not shy so this was easy when everyone around me spoke English.
It may not be so easy in Moscow, but hopefully, by staying in a hostel I will meet some like-minded English-speaking travellers, even if they’re not baby boomers like me. And I must remember, smile at all times, even if I’m hopelessly lost.
Getting lost can be fun
And I’m saying that from experience- many of them! I’ve discovered some fantastic places when driving, and I’ve also found myself in some of the seedier areas of a city when walking.
When searching for Rasnov Fortress In Romania, we miss it completely (thanks to my questionable navigation skills) and end up at the most delightful spot, which we didn’t even know existed. We all get out to stretch our legs and find we have ended up at some caves so decide to wander up to have a look.
There is only one other car in the carpark. Walking uphill through the forest, it seemed like we were the last four people on earth. It was so peaceful and so incredibly beautiful and we had chanced upon it by accident.
What’s that saying about the best things in life are unplanned? The autumn colours of the surrounding woodland were whispering ‘photograph me’, which of course we did.
Useful Tips For When You Get Lost In Europe
The best advice I can give is don’t panic; stay calm and you will find something (or someone) you recognize. Tramlines or rivers are a blessing. Follow a tramline and you will find a tram stop or see a tram with a name as its destination that you recognize.
Rivers give you a sense of your position in relation to where you’re staying. One of the disadvantages of staying at an airbnb is that no one is going to be able to help you find it. A hotel or hostel is much easier to find.
Maps are a Must!
Always preload your google maps on your phone when you have wifi and mark your destination. I have just discovered an app called maps.me, which doesn’t need wifi.
You just download the maps you may need before leaving home. The app saves all of these maps independently and you can access everything without having any connection. Maps.me costs $6.99 a year, but for me, it’s well worth it.
If you’d like to read more go to Smart Packing Ideas Every Baby Boomer Should Know.