Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How to Travel Solo as a Girl, Stay Safe and not feel Alone!




Hey guys,

as I mentioned in my last post I traveled to Lisbon by myself and I've been wanting to do this for a very long time now. My ideal would have been to travel to a country in another continent solo but that would be a big leap and I wanted to make sure I get the confidence in a country quite close to home. This solo trip has actually changed me as a person and I am so glad that I did it. When I got there I was still very nervous but I was not scared about getting lost. I was more worried about feeling lonely and not having a good time because I won't have anybody to talk to. It was nothing like that though. As soon as I got to the Hostel I got to know the staff and I took part in a walking tour where I got to meet people and continue the rest of the day with them. Something I really didn't think was that I would enjoy the time that I spent by myself. That was probably the best part. Sitting on a ferry or by the water and just watching the sunset and reflecting on life. It all sounds so cliche but it was actually the best experience.

During the new year I remember uploading blog posts about friendships and how I felt about life at that moment! My friend gave me the advice to take some time for myself and book a trip by myself which would help me heal and just take a break from everything and everyone. It was the best advice I had received and in that moment I decided to do it and the ticket was booked within 10 minutes. My impulsiveness has helped me to make a positive experience out of it.

Safety -- I really didn't feel watched and luckily didn't make any bad experiences. However, it could have gone both ways so I was lucky but I was also very cautious and didn't come across as vulnerable. I always had a safety alarm on me. I made good conversation with people without revealing too much about myself.
I would say that I had a good balance between solo time and being with people. I really wish I had been there for longer than a weekend, that's how much I enjoyed it and I really thought I would try to run back home from the experience but I really did not want to come back home. I wouldn't have minded setting into the world adventures all by myself and just keep moving to other places and countries. I was also pro-travel but this trip changed my entire mindset so quickly. I was high on life and it still hasn't worn off. I am ready for the next solo adventure and I urge you all to do it once at least while you're young. I honestly cannot wait for the day where I will be telling my kids this full story in detail and I am so glad and happy that my parents let me go on this trip.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My First Hostel Experience - Home Lisbon Hostel





Hey guys,

last weekend I went to Lisbon and prior to that I went to Amsterdam and I also celebrated my 22nd birthday so the following posts are not going to be in a chronological order but I thought it would be best for me to write about the experience while it is still fresh in my mind.

In all my travels I have so far only stayed at Air BnB's or Hotels so far. Lisbon was also my first ever solo trip which I will write about in more detail. During my stay in Lisbon, I stayed at Home Lisbon Hostel and I paid 21 euros for a stay in a room shared with 3 other people and a private toilet. The prices were really reasonable and the place was well worth it. It was located in the heart of Lisbon and the staff of Home Lisbon Hostel was excellent. As I arrived there they told me all about the Hostel and provided me with a map with details of how to get around the area.

The interior of the hostel rooms and the common areas were very tidy and the staff of Home Lisbon Hostel was very approachable and friendly. I had told them that it was my first time in a hostel so they took extra care of me and ensured that I am having a good time and mange to meet people. They provided a breakfast buffet for just 3 euros which was great. Obviously you have to clean after yourself in a Hostel but for the price you pay one cannot complain.  The Hostel also has various activities for such good pricing such as a day trip to Sintra, walking tours around town and from what I remember I am pretty sure they offered surfing trips (but do double check). What I really liked about my stay was that the hostel opened up options to meet people and get to know people from various countries. On the walking tour I met 3 guys from Dubai, Colombia and the Netherlands. After the tour we decided to stay together and travel to the part of Lisbon called Belem. I was really nervous at first but once I knew that these guys were safe and I could trust them I wasn't as awkward and shy.


My roommates were a family from the US which was to my surprise as I expected to stay with solo travelers. However, anything is part of an experience and I felt safe around them. We talked to each other a little and they explained to me how the US government is structured because I am currently reading Barack Obama's book "Hope of audacity" and struggled to understand some parts as I don't know much about the US politics and their constitutions.  In return I exchanged my knowledge on Brexit as to them it is all a bit confusing and they didn't understand the purpose of it. To be fair neither do I haha.

I really believe that my entire trip would've been half as good if I didn't stay in a hostel and had the opportunity to meet people. I booked my stay at Home Lisbon Hostel through Booking.com

I would definitely recommend staying once in a Hostel when you're young and traveling solo but it is also cheap and cheerful for when you're traveling as a group. However, I have seen Hostels which aren't as great in the UK. So I would definitely read reviews on hostels and make sure it says that they're tidy and that the bedrooms look good enough. I was lucky with a good first Hostel experience but it may not always be the case. I always think, any experience whether good or bad is a life lesson.









                      The view from my room.



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