Surveys have shown that millennials prefer to travel alone and this is becoming a predominant trend in the past year. For those that are more traditional and less extraverted this is a big step, Jordan Platt writes
I went to Rome. Alone. And it was amazing.
Now I didn’t write a novel, fall in love or become fluent in Italian, but I ate a hell of a lot of pasta, which kind of balances out expectations.
1. You decide what to do: I saw everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Most of the time I accidentally stumbled across a lot of the main attractions due to my data roaming being horrific and Google Maps getting me lost (and believe me, there’s nothing scarier or, strangely enough, more exciting, than getting lost in a foreign city).
My favourite attraction? Easily Palatine Hill. The Greek Mythology that you learn while exploring the archeological sight was so captivating that I spent four whole hours inside, in awe of being in this space where so much had happened!
The Colosseum is much more romantic from the outside, sitting outside of one of the restaurants opposite it, with a glass of wine and a cigarette. A true Italian image. I was brought back to reality when I noticed I was wearing next to nothing, sweating in their 20 degree heat, while actual Italians were walking passed wrapped up and shivering as if it was minus 3 degrees.
2. Eat what you want: Now, of course, being in Rome, I had to take advantage of the local restaurants and eat well. Luckily, being a complete novice, the lovely receptionist at my hotel steered me away from the restaurants aimed at tourists, and sent me to a few little family run eateries.
One quaint little restaurant down a very dingy side-street, turned out to be the best place I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating at. The lovely woman who owned the restaurant, saw that I was dining alone, and sat with me outside, while I ate my lunch. I had a Veal Ragout, Spice Roman Pork and a Tiramisu on the house. I regret never learning her name, but I just sat in silence, chowing down, while she spoke about Rome, her birth place, and chain smoked. She was the epitome of what i assumed an older Italian woman would be – warm, inviting and just, very, very cool.
3. Don’t be afraid of the locals they turn out the friendliest: Surprisingly, it was the locals that made me feel included, not other tourists, which is the opposite of what I expected. I only had one meal where I didn’t interact with anyone around me. On my second day, a lovely Italian couple pulled my table next to theirs while we ate, drank wine and chatted about my life. They were so incredibly interested in London, the University that I attend and my course. They were just so lovely. When they left, I grabbed my book out of my bag, and finished off the wine we had before I headed back to my hotel.
4. If you decide what you want to spend on you will spend less: I roughly spent €30-€40 per meal, so it’s not incredibly student friendly, but all in all, with my hotel, flights, eating out and seeing the attractions, I spent €330 for the week. Which is incredibly cheap. You just have to be frugal, and decide beforehand what you wish to spend your money on, and what you wish to get out of the trip.
I can’t stress enough how incredibly rewarding and fun travelling solo turned out to be. From a person who used to be mortified at the thought of heading to the cinema alone, I’ll definitely be travelling solo again.
5. Did I say you decide what you do!: You meet people who you may not if you were in a group, you get to see exactly what you wish of the city you’re in, you get to eat where you want, and if you want to head to the Trevi Fountain on your own at midnight? You can. There’s no one to stop you. You can just do you, and that’s so liberating.