Having grown up covered in sand and watermelon juice on the beaches of North Queensland, and later on Australia’s Gold Coast, I didn’t have my first taste of the city life until my university studies, for which I moved about an hour north to the city of Brisbane. It was my first bout of solo travel, and I loved it. Culture, creativity, arts, galleries, museums, culinary delights, coffee, and music—there was so much to savor, and I relished every last morsel of that magic metropolis.
As soon as my degree was done, I moved back home and worked two jobs so I could save enough to see the cities of Europe. My initial plan was to travel with girlfriends, but they took too long, and I couldn’t wait. So when I had the cash, I organized my visa, booked my flights, and flew by myself to London. I never hesitated or reconsidered my traveling plans just because no one could go with me. Initially my parents were a little hesitant, so I worked for a family in the UK at first before strapping on a backpack and taking off on my adventure through Europe when summer hit. Just me, my shadow, and I.
First stop was Barcelona, where I spent two weeks exploring because I loved it so much. This was followed by a week in Nice, Monaco, Villefranche, and Cannes, before I hit the Italian leg walking around Venice, Rome, Lido di Osta, and, finally, the heel of the boot at Brindisi, where I caught the ferry to Greece. I arrived in the crazy, busy city of Athens and traveled my way down to the island of Kos. I worked here for a bit in one of the local bars, went scuba diving off the coast, and caught a (very dodgy) boat across to Turkey for the day. I had the best time of my life and never felt lonely, not once. Here are a few things I learned along the way.
Travel Essentials to Keep You Organized
Would you ever backpack solo as a woman? Share your thoughts in the comments.
This story was originally published on July 14, 2015. Updated by Sacha Strebe.