I’m backkkkkk! Sorry for going a bit AWOL, life has been hectic lately but I’m glad I can finally sit down and write some posts for this little blog of mine. Well if you guys didn’t know already, August was the month that I took one of the biggest steps in my life so far which was me going on a mini trip on my own to Brussels. This might sound like I’m being a little dramatic as I only went away for a couple of days but for me that was huge! It was quite a spontaneous trip too as I only booked it 10 days before I was actually going which isn’t like me at all and because I loved it so much, I thought I would let you in on what I learned from this amazing adventure!
#1 Comfortable walking shoes are essential
I thought I was going to wear all three pairs of shoes I brought with me but I didn’t haha! Once I found that my trainers were comfortable enough to walk around in for hours on end (because I did a lot of walking) I stuck with them. Don’t get me wrong, when I went out to dinner in the evening I would change to something a little nicer but I know for next time that as long as I bring shoes I know I can survive in all day if need be then I’m safe.
#2 Research events around before you go
While I was in Brussels I didn’t realise that the Brussels Summer Festival was taking place a short walk away from where I was staying and I was gutted that I didn’t think of looking up what was going on in the area before I went.. well that’ll teach me for next time haha!
#3 Apps are great
I only had WiFi while I was at my hotel or if I was eating out so those were the times I could use apps but the travel ones I did use were really helpful. Obviously the Eurostar app was for my ticket and so I could make sure there were no delays as well as my favourite the Citymapper which is great to get directions from A to B and real time transport info so I didn’t get lost when I wanted to go walking around town YAY!
#4 Try and learn the language a little
Just learning simple phrases can really help you get around! There were only couple of places I went to in Brussels to like shops and restaurants where they didn’t speak much English so it’s not like I really struggled or anything but somewhere else might be different so I’ll probably just write down things I know I’ll say like “What’s the Wifi password?” and “Can I have a cup of tea please?” you know, the usual!
#5 Packing light is a good idea
The worst thing you could do is try and bring the whole contents of your room then struggle to carry it around because it’ll just ruin your trip! Also it’s highly likely that you’ll want to bring back stuff with you like souvenirs so you’ll want to make room for those too. My backpack wasn’t too bad but even I could tell but the end of my trip that half the stuff I brought I barely used. Sadly it’s one of those things you can’t get 100% right all the time so you just do what you think is best and you’ll learn either way!
#6 A selfie stick was very much needed
I’m not much of a selfie taker as it is yet I really do regret not taking any while I was in Brussels. I just left odd trying to take the right one with my phone so I’ve decided to invest in a selfie stick because my arms aren’t long enough to prove I’m actually in another country haha!
#7 Sometimes going out of your comfort zone can be fun
I’ve got to be completely honest with you; although I had such a great time I did go through a bit of shock when I first arrived.. I got into my hotel room and one of my first thoughts were “OMG what have I done?” not in a way that I was regretting it but I did start to feel nervous. So to calm myself down I just put the telly on while I waited for my phone to charge (that was my excuse) and then I got my arse into gear and started exploring before it got dark. At the end of the day, if I didn’t push myself to do it I never would have known how incredible it could have been!
I’m secretly annoyed at myself for leaving it with an odd number of things, although it’s not much of a secret any more is it? So have you ever wanted to go solo travelling, or have you been already? Do you have any advice you could give or is there something you want to know about travelling solo? Feel free to comment below more because it’s been too long since I’ve spoken to you lovely lot! Don’t worry I’m going to try post more often so this doesn’t happen again but for now I’ll see you soon 🙂
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I'm so impressed you went on your own, that's such a brave thing to do! Sounds like you did it all right though so well done you, so glad you had a good time 🙂 maybe I'll follow in your footsteps one day!
Awh thank you Teri and I really did have a good time! I would recommend everyone try solo travel at least once, even if it's only for a couple of nights or a week because it's such a good experience and you learn a lot about yourself too! I can't wait to see if you do 🙂
Congratulations on your first solo trip Ali! I'd say #1 and #3 are the most important ones for me. I love wearing sneakers when exploring a city whilst using an app to help me do so.
Jonathan | The British Gent
Yeah #1 is so important but I didn't expect #3 to be useful before I went but apps really do help! And thanks, it honestly was as fun as I said it was hehe 🙂
You're so brave to go travelling alone! I went to Brussels with my partner earlier this year and I loved it. I can never get the packing thing right either, it's so difficult! Hope you had a nice time and a round of applause to you for going it alone!xx