Going on a solo trip to Europe was a dream that I had seen multiple times, sometimes even while I was wide awake! However, at most of the plans that we make, time laughs its mighty laughter and twists them into something else. Interestingly, the change sometimes turns out to be better than what we had in mind at the onset! That’s how my dream solo trip to Europe turned into a partial solo trip to Ireland & UK for 15 days!I had heard great things about solo-trip experiences but I never knew that some of the most useful experiences take place even before one steps out to board the plane! I learned a lot during the planning stage of my trip! I hope ‘well begun is half done’ turns out to be true! 🙂

So here are 10 things that I learned while planning my solo trip to Ireland & UK:

  1. Dream drunk, plan sober
    For me, it was a huge challenge to remain practical while planning & be dreamy while creating my bucket-list. It was a real struggle to train my mind to switch from being dreamy to practical to dreamy on a day-to-day basis. But now that I have learnt this art, a lot of things have become easier in life and I have become more balanced since I am able to cater to both, my left & right brain!
  2. ‘Now or never’ is overrated 
    It took me several anxious days to understand that this need not be the last trip of my life! So it was pointless to tick all the marvels I had on my list, leaving insufficient time to fully be present in any of those places! Trust me, it wasn’t easy. But finally, when I let go of the compulsion of ‘having it all’, I am much more peaceful and complacent. 😇
  3. Self Love is underrated 
    Until I started to plan my solo trip, I never realized how much others were a part of my life inevitably! As I started to plan what I want to do, where I want to stay, etc. , it all became about me. Interestingly, it made me more cautious, caring & affectionate towards myself & I realized that self love is much more than self-pampering!
  4. Be two steps ahead
    Always. I learnt it while applying for visa. It really made a difference that I proactively submitted all documents (in addition to the mandatory documents).
  5. Count on yourself first
    It’s a fast paced world & most times, no one will have the time to hand hold you through situations. So I reckoned that in times of need, it helps to look no further for support than the image in your mirror. Additional perk of this lesson is that one comes out stronger, wiser and smarter! 😉
  6. Don’t copy bucket-lists
    Thanks to social media, I had been conditioned to believe that I should desire what is commonly desired. 😉 It took me a hell lot of conscious effort to step back each time I included something in my plan only because it was ‘in’!
  7. Know your expenses
    This one hit me hard. 😅 In my head, my expenses were much less than what they actually turned out to be! I had to zero down on ‘must do’, ‘should do’, ‘can do without, this time’ & prioritized those expenses accordingly. And all that while, I was cautious on neither being too lenient, nor too stringent with myself.
  8. Always remember ‘why’
    This saved me a lot of internal ruckus! There are so many styles of traveling that I ended up wanting to do a bit of each one of them over the span of 15 days. It created a feeling of burn out even before the trip could start! After a lot of internal debates on various things, places, & experiences etc., I asked myself one day ‘why am I even doing this trip?’ The answer was a plain ‘to explore these countries and experience a glimpse of their culture and lifestyle’. Eureka!
  9. Pack like a minimalist
    I have been ‘famous’ for carrying my world with me wherever I go. But this time, I learnt to pack like a minimalist. Although this is a skill that will take its own sweet time to develop, I have grown substantially better in limiting my luggage. Thank the tools & hacks for efficient packing! 😇
  10. Respect Time & Patience
    At the end of the planning stage, I have developed immense respect for time & patience. Things take their own time to work out & in most situations, we can do only so much to ensure a successful outcome. I supported myself to understand, accept and follow this principle!

Most of these lessons will remain with me long after the trip would conclude. I am excited (butterflies-in-the-tummy-excited), anxious (sweaty-palms-anxious), restless (I-wish-I-had-wings-to-fly-right-away-restless) and grateful.

Hoping that my solivagance leads me nowhere. ❤️

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