Traveling Alone... Not as scary as you think!
My Experience Travelling On My Own
How many times have you told yourself "I would love to go there, but I don't have anyone to go with!" Today, with everyone's hectic lives its hard to get a vacation planned that meets everyone's schedules and budgets. While its fun to travel with friends, it also stinks to not travel because of a fear of travelling alone. Easier said than done huh? Well I hear you, I thought the exact same thing! Now, I am not saying book a plane ticket and wing it all by yourself, that can come later, luckily there is an easier way to transition into travelling on your own.
So what is it!? Well I just came back from a tour in London and Paris with efcollegebreak, and might I add it was a blast! This is a tour group for 18-28 year olds who are either travelling alone or with a friend.
Needless to say I was extremely nervous! I didn't know anyone at all, and I had always either traveled with family, boyfriend or friends. I was also nervous because I was on the older end of the age range. I spoke with one of the EFcollegebreak representatives, let them know my concerns and they were very informative, reassuring and the best part was that they were not at all pushy. As the trip drew closer they sent us very helpful travel tips, created a Facebook group so that the travelers would get to know one another, and sent the most welcoming care package.
On to my experience....
Day 1/2 (Overnight Flight and Arrival in London!)
Right off the bat, thanks to the Facebook group Efcollegebreak created, I met up with a girl going on my trip right at the airport. It was nice as we got straight to chatting about how exciting it was that we were going to be arriving in London in less than 12 hours! I had the best flight ever on Virgin airlines. This was by far the coolest looking plane, with the friendliest flight attendants, latest movies, in flight messaging (seat to seat) and a great entertainment center which they refer to as Vera.
Arrived in London Heathrow Airport and was shuttled to our hostel in Queensgate- a really gorgeous area, walking distance to Kensington palace-not far from where Kate and Prince William currently reside. Once everyone arrived, we got acquainted with our roommates, rested and then headed out to central London were we had our welcome dinner and quickly bonded. As we walked through central London we came across adorable shops, mad hatters, violinists, Gelato, comedians etc. There was absolutely no chance for boredom there!
The Hostel I stayed in my 3 nights in London
Day 3 (St. Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace and more!)
On this day we took a tour bus making a stop at St. Paul's Cathedral, a truly breathtaking and humbling site, as it stands hundreds of feet above your head. They say that churches were built so tall, so that when people walked in they realized how much smaller they were than God.
It was so excited to drive around London and seeing the iconic Big Ben and London Bridge. We were then dropped off at the Buckingham palace where we witnessed the changing of the guards, which was a pretty spectacular site.
Later we went for a walk of London, lead by our tour director who from his time living in London, knew all the right places to go. He delighted us with walking across Abbey Road (Yes! The same one from the Beatles album cover), visiting a cafe Princess Diana frequented and giving us a taste of the best cupcake place in Notting Hill: Hummingbird Cupcake in Notting hill. For all of you Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant fans, you can also snap a pic of the blue door here! We finally ended our walk in the beautiful Kensington Gardens.
At night Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett were playing down the street from our hostel, and who should attend the charity event!? None other than Prince Harry himself! Yes, I was down the street from Prince Harry!
Day 4 (Excursion Day! - Stonehenge and Oxford + Free Time or Explore LONDON)
Oxford was a site to be seen, it is the oldest English-speaking university started in 1096, so you can only imagine how rich in history it is. The architecture is incredible, and the university is surrounded by a picturesque little town. The more modern hidden little gem (for all you Harry Potter fans) is that you can take a Harry Potter tour, where you can walk through all the places where the scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot.
Later that day we drove off to Stonehenge, which was really interesting and a bit eerie feeling. It's really intriguing to walk around the stones and hypothesize what they were used for. I will alert you however, that its really just a bunch of stones in a circle so it loses its appeal after 20 minutes, but nonetheless very cool photo op.
In my free time I just had to check out platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Railway Station, where I got my gem of a photo of running through the wall!
Have you ever traveled alone?
Locations where Harry Potter Scenes were shot
Day 5 (Paris!)
Today we said good-bye to London and hello to Paris! We took the Eurostar train to Paris which is pretty cool- the bathroom was even beautifully wall-papered with the Mona Lisa.
Paris has always been my life long dream so as soon as we arrived, I was pretty excited to see that big beautiful tower just standing majestically in the distance through the coach bus window!
Stayed tuned for part II of my London and Paris Adventure!
EF College Break Tours
- College Trips, Student Travel, College Travel | EF College Break
Link to the tour group I used to travel to London and Paris!