1. You ponder over booking your trip.
2. You envision yourself sitting on the plane ready for take off.. You picture your panic stricken self with thoughts such as, ‘What the hell was I thinking of doing this solo?! And ‘I can’t do this’ popping into your head.
3. ‘No, No. I can do this. I will meet loads of people. I’m going to be adventurous. YOLO’
4. You book your Europe trip.
5. You load up your phone with new tunes.
6. You count down the days. You discover there’s even an app for that.
* * *
7. You arrive at the airport. You get a typical ‘departures’ photo.
8. You hug your family goodbye.
9. You hold back tears, you tell yourself you got this. ‘How will I survive without seeing everyone?.. Oh that’s what Skype, Facetime, Viber, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are for.’
10. You upload your first airport departure pic to Instagram with the like of ‘See you in X amount of months Australia #europebound.’
* * *
11. You arrive in your first city.
12. ‘This backpack is killing me.’ You have another three months to live out of it.
13. ‘Later Aussie dollars. Euros. Let’s do this.’
14. You attempt to take the train for the first time. ‘How many pink lines does there want to be on this metro?!’
15. ‘Which way am I going again?’
16. ‘Ok, I’ll take that pink line three stops. Change there to the blue line. Then cross over on to the brown line here and go back three stops on the green line. I think that’s the best way.. No, no wait.. What if.. Actually, what the hell I’m just winging it. It will be right.’
17. ‘Argh I can’t use this ticket machine.’
18. You finally get on the train.. ‘Oh God. I think I’m going the wrong direction.’
19. ‘I hate trains.’
20. ‘Great. My shoes are eating my socks.’ It’s not even 11am.
21. You arrive at your hostel, check into your first dorm. You note what time happy hour is.
* * *
22. Round two. You use the metro again to travel into the city.
23. You see the Eiffel Tower for the first time. ‘Ok wow this is actually amazing.’
24. ‘I love travelling.’
25. You take too many photos.
26. ‘People take photos with ipads.. Really. You haven’t even got the top of the Eiffel Tower in the frame.’
27. ‘Selfie sticks. Wow. Actually it would be kind of good not to have to ask people to take pics of me. But still. So not being seen with one.’
28. You rush off to the next site.
29. You get hassled by street scalpers. ‘No I don’t want a twirling glow in the dark spinner that shoots off into the air. Seriously.. Why do people think they can make money selling this sh*t??!!’
30. ‘No I’m not signing that fake form. I’m so not telling them that I speak English. Man I’m good at picking the pick-pocketers.’
31. Before you know it, it’s 3pm.
32. ‘Gelati is an acceptable lunch time meal right?’
33. ‘Ok I can’t read maps for sh*t. Where am I?’
34. ‘Ok fine. Let’s just resort to this Google Maps thing..’
35. ‘Oh yes!! I can just follow a blue dot.’
36. ‘Damn.. I can only speak English. Wonder if there’s a burger with cheese somewhere on that menu?’
37. ‘Ok I need the typical tourist photo here.’ Tick. Can’t wait to Instagram that one.
38. ‘Oh how good is this time-lapse business. I’m so using this.’
39. ‘I’m going to have a healthy day today.’
40. Next minute cheeseburger and coke coming at cha. You got to try ‘Maccas (Mc Donalds) once in every country right?’
41. ‘Wonder if that place goes off at night?’
42. ‘What time was happy hour at my hostel again? I better head back.’
43. ‘Oh he’s a bit cute.’ Wonder if he can read maps?’
44. ‘Ok I’m getting distracted.’
45. ‘I need to get back to the metro. Where am I again?’
46. ‘Trains should have wifi.’
47. ‘Ok so I actually need to push if I want to get on this train. Oh I see lining up and being polite counts for nothing. People are so rude.’
48. You walk into a supermarket to buy a bottle of water. ‘Man I really need to remember to refill my water bottles.’
49. ‘Whaaat?! Buying alcohol in supermarkets is a real thing? And drinking in the streets is legal? Stop it.’
50. ‘Australia has too many laws.’
51. ‘I love this travelling business.’
52. ‘How much did that street scalper say the selfie sticks were again?’
* * *
53. You move onto you’re next city.
54. You no longer think it’s ‘rude’ to push your way on to the train. It’s just how things are done here. It’s different to back home.
55. ‘I love metros. I’ve got this thing dialed now.’
56. ‘Oh. Track works. Great so the train doesn’t stop at my station. Heeellp! Ok I got this. Just chill. I’ll get off at the next station.’
57. ‘How many blue lines does there want to be on this metro?’
58. ‘So I need to go back 3 stops. Change lines on to the yellow and go another 8 stations. Sweet. Easy.’
59. You walk around city number two. You fall in love with your immediate surroundings. You take endless amounts of photos.
60. ‘Ok I’m caving.. I’m buying a selfie stick. Everyone’s doing it right?’ Selfie time!
61. ‘I feel like gelati.. When in Rome.. Oh God did I just think that?!’
* * *
62. You meet so many people.
63. You make new life friends.
64. You have the time of your life.
65. You head back home.
66. You loved being solo and vow to do it all over again.
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