By Ashavari Baral
I’ve never been a fan of being on my own, I’m a people person and I love having deep conversations with friends, getting to know them better, understanding them better. In India, I used to make plans with my friends of us travelling and seeing the world excited about our bond being stronger as we went to different places. However, when I moved to University I unfortunately didn’t make friends straight away. Maybe I was too homesick or never really went for it and gelled with anyone. I had to learn to be alone and the only meaningful conversations I had for a long time were via Skype with my friends from back home or with my family. I was honestly sick of it.
After an uneventful Christmas break I was borderline depressed. I wasn’t going to sit in Cardiff and mope, I thought to myself ‘’ Okay, I don’t really have anyone to travel with this Easter why not go see the world on my own, I’m in Europe one of the most beautiful places on earth!’’ and believe me it was the best thought I had in mind that entire year. My uncle lives in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. I quickly rang him, sorted my tickets out and I was off. Just me, myself and I with one bag and a pair of headphones.
For a week, my uncle and aunt let me stay with them but as they are busy people I knew that most of my travelling was going to be on my own. Switzerland in the spring is gorgeous. I planned my day, leaving at around 11 every morning, take the bus around the center, seeing houses of parliament, visiting museums and taking the train and visiting Geneva, Zurich and Luzern all on my own. I remember listening to the Weekend’s new album while sitting on the banks of the famous river ‘’Aare’’ and feeling at complete peace. I was also extremely eager to explore Italy, so spontaneously took a train to Milan!
While I was walking with my headphones in soaking up this new city, seeing things I had never seen before, I felt a sense of new-found independence in me, that I didn’t need to be chatting to anyone to feel whole – I was too busy experiencing life and the joys of a new city. I was captivated by the views and sights and sounds rather than sharing a laugh with someone. Now, I’m not saying travelling with someone isn’t fun, but it is a completely different ball game when you are by yourself.
My advice? Take that trip. Do it by yourself you will learn things about YOU that you never knew existed. While finding out routes to different cities I began trusting my instinct and my gut, I had a boost in self esteem and began loving myself more. The trip was incredible, and I am hence planning another trip to Portugal this December, yes. By myself.