Why I Booked a Solo Trip

I was absolutely heartbroken the night I found out I had to leave New York City. Driving through Soho on the way to the Holland Tunnel, everything that had been so familiar to me was suddenly slipping away. I am someone who always knows exactly what they want, and the city was it. Being there taught me to love parks, art museums, libraries, reading on the subway, running through the streets with my friends, and forgetting about all things that don’t matter once you're within the world of Manhattan. It was constantly exciting just to be there. When you see New York in a movie and can say that you’ve not only been there but have had some of your best memories there, it feels like it was yours. New York gave me the confidence to put myself out there and with so much time to reflect during the past few months, I realized how important that was and how grateful I am for all I've experienced, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. And so, with everything I had wanted for so long no longer in my life, I had to do something.  


The pace of the city and the pressure I put on myself had been keeping me from taking any chances, I was so fixed on what I had to do that day, that month, next semester, that I was limiting myself to the things that fit the plans I had laid out in my head. I thought about different ways I could travel abroad but didn’t see it being possible in the next couple of years, let alone the near future. Until one night, just before the world went into isolation, my eyes were opened to the fact that I’d hadn’t been following my own advice that if you want something bad enough, there’s always a way to make it happen. 


A couple of months into spending every day alone missing what was my life just months ago, I decided that I had no reason not to go for what I wanted, to forget about my careful planning and do something because it felt right and because I could. I kept the idea in my mind until the end of June when I booked myself the trip of my dreams, London, Paris, and Rome for one. 


While I do get questioned a lot, why isn’t anyone going with you?, I haven’t doubted it for a second. Living in New York has given me a sense of independence that I can take with me anywhere. I remember what it felt like the first time I left the apartment alone, how my nerves turned into feeling self-assured and at home almost immediately, I miss those feelings more than I ever knew I could, but living for the simpler things and the hope of it all makes this trip all the more meaningful to me. In a life where every day is the same, I get to look forward to more firsts. 


Having something bigger and better to think about has kept me going in the worst of times. Whenever I feel frustrated or just stuck, I can escape to a place where royals live in castles, the Eiffel Tower is lit up at night, and the Trevi Fountain is full of wishes. I’ve read travel guides, watched movies, and scoured the internet for the best places to enjoy the view of each city.


With so much uncertainty about what comes next, I don’t want to hold back on anything. Like all college students, I've had so much taken away from me at the height of my young life and now I want to go after my aspirations for no one but myself. And don’t worry, I’m not going until graduation or when it’s safe to do so and the company I chose is very accommodating. In a way, a year away from New York has gotten me three days in the world’s other great cities and while living in a city isn’t perfect all the time, I know how to make the most of it and will definitely be taking advantage of every minute of my trip.