Six weeks and five countries in 3.4 minutes — my “solo” travel story (video).
I’ve been waiting a really long time to show you guys this.
Like, nine months at least — which was when I started working on it when I was traveling through Europe.
I would have shared it sooner, but, well; I tend to be one of those picky perfectionist-types — annoyingly so.
And if I’m being honest, I’ve actually been pretty scared to.
I compiled this video while traveling through Europe last summer — a trip that was spent mostly solo.
It was partially spontaneous (I ended up staying an extra four weeks/not getting on my original return flight) and came as the result of a very low point in my life.
Today is all about those good vibes.
Because as stressful and debilitating as a break-up and/or losing a job (your “dream job”) can be, it can also bring you to the places, people and perspectives that you actually needed the most.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
These are some of my most meaningful and deeply personal moments from my entire trip, which is why I imagine I felt nervous about sharing it.
The time I spent in Europe — and with these souls in particular — completely shifted my life. Back in the direction that I’d basically stopped caring about/given up on (admittedly).
I’m aware how cheesy or dramatic that may seem, but it’s an accurate depiction of my identity crisis and just how depressed I actually was (a word I’m no longer scared of talking openly about).
I read this quote awhile ago that’s stuck with me ever since:
When you give yourself to a place you’ve never been,
it will give you back a piece of yourself.
These places — these people — challenged me to explore who I am, who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be. I re-learned, in a sense, how I needed to heal, feel, learn and let go.
Travel re-calibrated me.
So here’s to travel. Or better yet:
Here’s to the journey…
To embracing the magic in not making an itinerary.
To honoring where you are rather than where you thought you should be.
To rediscovering that you enjoy your own company.
To getting lost but finding yourself.
And to the people you’ll meet along the way.
And as promised, here are details on the locations from the video — and a few good stories.
(0:04) A solo lunch at Nessun Dorme in Manarola, Cinque Terre (One of my Top 10 must-do’s)
(0:07) The night we got lost and met our “Brits in Spit(, Croatia)”
(0:09) On the balcony of our AirBnB in Bol, Croatia
(0:15) Nessun Dorme again — did I mention it was a two-hour solo lunch? Can you blame me? That view!
(0:19) Our AirBnB host in Dubrovnik, Croatia, had left us a bottle of Croatian liquor to try. That’s me saying “It’s not so bad (it was),” before what came next.
(0:36) Hangover prevention specialists.
(0:40) Dancing our asses off at Auro Dayclub (go if you’re ever in Croatia; it’s on Brac Island)
(0:45) Gelato every day in Cinque Terre
(0:46) Exploring Hvar, Croatia, and appreciating their open-container laws (or lack-thereof)
(0:48) Just after I’d spent five hours canyoning the Chli Schliere (outside of Interlaken, Switzerland). I was the only girl and the only person who spoke English. We hiked to the top of a mountain and then made our way back down by repelling, cliff jumping and waterfall sliding. It was an unbelievable (and terrifying) experience!
(1:01) A mid-day break for lunch under the Tuscan sun. I was doing a Vespa tour of Chianti, Italy — another one of my must-do’s in Europe.
(1:07) Just here for the views — and the wine. (Lucerne, Switzerland)
(1:13) Wandering. (Zurich, Switzerland)
(1:17) Fresh baguettes in Cap Ferret, France
(1:23) A peaceful moment on the boat we’d chartered for a few days (outside of Dubrovnik, Croatia)
(1:29) Toasting to being alive (literally, though) after skydiving the Swiss Alps with my favorite English lads, Tom and Luke.
(1:36) Late-night life chats with Chris (in Paris), an expat who was equally as insightful as he is insane (in a good way).
(1:42) My favorite Parisian bartender (Quentin, visit him at Silenco and tell him I sent you!) convincing me to eat ginger, which people do for energy, I guess?
(1:50) On the beach in Monterosso al Mar, Cinque Terre, Italy (another must-do)
(1:54) Celebrating our best-ever vintage store finds in Switzerland — Chanel!
(2:03) Nightlife in Milan, Italy
(2:09) Auro Dayclub (Brac Island, Croatia)
(2:14) Not at all making a scene with Ray, who is perhaps my favorite European (Milan, Italy)
(2:20) My first-ever hostel — Balmer’s (Interlaken, Switzerland)! This is the morning I was going skydiving, hence the alcohol for breakfast.
(2:27) Jagerbombs (whyyyy) with our new friend Chris, a pilot for Quantas we’d met in Dubrovnik, Croatia
(2:35) Teaching the Swiss locals how Americans play beer pong
(2:40) With two of the nicest expats we’d met earlier that night; somehow we ended up at the re-opening of L’Arc — one of the most upscale nightclubs in Paris
(2:44) A mix of the Balmer’s hostel staff and Interlaken locals who always came for happy hour. (We had literally just met, haha!) Two days later they were trying to convince me to stay and work there… I actually considered.
(2:50) Back in Milan with Ray, we had too much fun the first time-around. (The beauty in not traveling with an itinerary!)
(2:56) My sweet hostel mates in Lake Como, Italy
(3:05) Rosé all day (literally, I think) at ‘Les Bains,’ a beach bar located just a short boat ride from Hvar, Croatia
(3:07) New friends that felt like family in Medoc, France
(3:12) Feeling like myself again in Florence, Italy
(3:16) Took an overnight train to Paris (from Italy) to meet my main PIC, Jess.
(3:21) Feeling alive. (Hvar, Croatia)