Before leaving for Spain I didn’t know quite what to expect. What would a big solo trip like this actually be like? Would it be an absolute disaster and turn me off of the idea of traveling forever? Would it be a life-changing experience that I could one day turn into a best-selling memoir?
I assumed, and I was right, that my actual experience would lie somewhere in the middle. It didn’t turn me off traveling (exactly the opposite), and I don’t think I came back a completely new person. Still, I did learn some important lessons while traveling by myself, so I thought I’d share them today.
The five lessons I learned while traveling solo for the first time
Spain is full of amazing scenery and views. It felt like every day I would come across something that would leave me going wow wow wow and I don’t ever have to leave, right?
I have SO MANY pictures from Spain but I feel like they barely do the place justice! Still, I wanted to share some of my favorite scenery from my trip. Hopefully these photos inspire you to add some of these places to your travel wish list!
The view overlooking Segovia
Segovia is a delightful town about an hour northwest of Madrid. As you walk along the main street leading from the Aqueduct to Plaza Mayor, there’s this little area where you can look out over the tops of all the buildings and see the mountains and hills off in the distance.
What I liked about this was that I wasn’t even looking for a scenic place to take a picture. I just rounded a bend in the road and there it was.
Unfortunately, I got sick while I was in Segovia and spent a lot of time in bed. I’m hoping that I will be able to go back there someday so I can really explore the town more and see all that it has to offer.
Recently, I got back from my first solo trip, a 3-week backpacking excursion around Spain. And, guys? It. Was. AWESOME. I definitely have the travel bug now, and I’m already dreaming about when I can get back to Spain.
My trip began in Madrid, and, if I had to pick, it was probably my favorite city (But please don’t make me pick). So I thought today I’d talk about one of my favorite things that I did while I was in Spain: going on Devour Madrid’s Tapas, Taverns, and History Tour.
I have to keep telling myself that because it still doesn’t seem real. But it is. I’ve booked my flight. I’ve booked accommodations. I’m reading my guidebook (shout out to Rick Steves, heyyy). I’m going to Spain!
This is going to be my first international trip (Well, besides Canada. But Canada is my next door neighbor, so that hardly counts, right?) And my first solo trip. And the longest flight I’ve ever been on.
So many firsts, y’all. I’m kind of freaking out.
So, why Spain? Why now?
Great question. For one thing, I’m going to be 25 next month, which is when I’m leaving. This is like a big birthday present to myself. And Spain is a place I’ve been wanting to go for a while. Like I talked about before, I’ve thought about teaching abroad there, and I thought it was finally time I actually see this place I’ve been dreaming about.
Plus, Spain is pretty affordable this time of year, as far as Europe goes (or so I’ve been told), and I’m nothing if not… well, I was going to say cheap, but let’s go with “economical.”
I’ll be gone for almost three weeks, and I’ve decided to focus my time on Madrid and southern Spain, which are the areas I’ve wanted to visit the most. After flying into Madrid and spending a few days there, I’ll be visiting Segovia, Toledo, Granada, Nerja, Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera, Sevilla, and Córdoba, before flying out of Madrid.
At this point, I have only a little over two weeks until I leave. Queue internal freak-out. I’m excited but I won’t lie, my anxiety has definitely been acting up over this trip. I’m trying to focus on the positives and excitement I am feeling, but that can be pretty difficult when you’re a person with anxiety.
If you have any recommendations on things to see/do in any of the places I’ve mentioned, feel free to let me know in the comments! I’m especially interested in any cheap/free activities, since I’m trying to do this a budget.
If you want to keep up with me while I’m on the road, check out my Twitter and Instagram. I probably won’t be making any blog posts about my trip until after I get back.