Have you ever wanted to just jet off and go somewhere on your own? While I was abroad, I wanted to see other cities so I took a sudden solo trip to Amsterdam and here’s what happened
I’m obsessed with going to as many countries as a can and while I was abroad in Dublin, Ireland, I realized it was a perfect opportunity to add some names to my list. Flights from Ireland to anywhere in West Europe were incredibly short and the variety of discount airlines made it much cheaper to go on an impromptu trip. Once I saw how doable a weekend trip was, I just had to decide where I wanted to go.
For a long time, I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam. There are many great things to do in Amsterdam besides the obvious activities. I love art and Amsterdam is home to some of the most famous art museums like the Rijksmuseum, which holds some of the great Dutch masters’ work, and the Van Gogh museum. If I was going to take a trip all the way to Amsterdam, I was going to prioritize going to all the amazing exhibits they have there over nightlife.
Why Go Alone?
I befriended some people in my internship abroad program, but the girl I was closest to was going to be in Italy with family and my other friends had no interest in spending all day in a museum. In addition to this, I had no interest in going to clubs or partying and I knew other people would want to do that every night and then heavily object to getting up early the next morning. For safety and social reasons I had never considered going solo as an option but the more I planned, the more I realized it was actually the only option if I was going to have the trip that I wanted.
While I still had the confidence to do it, I booked a flight, hotel, and even a taxi to take me to the airport. I was really doing this and there was no going back. I had committed to taking a solo trip to Amsterdam and there was no going back! I was worried about getting bored of myself or getting trapped in my own head, but it was a risk I was willing to take to go on this adventure.
What About Safety?
Amsterdam is pretty safe but obviously there were concerns I had about being a single young female in an unfamiliar big city. However, instead of focusing on all the bad things that could happen, I came up with solutions to reduce risks. I got a hotel instead of a hostel and I made a rule for myself that I wouldn’t be out past 10:30 at night. This really worked because I wasn’t going there to party, I was sightseeing from nine in the morning until dinner so I was so tired that I was asleep before ten every night anyhow. Even after reducing those risks, I still made sure to read up online to learn about what activities and areas were unsafe.
The time I spent in Amsterdam was so much better than I expected. Of course all the art was incredible, but I really loved walking the streets and getting a feel for the city. I never felt unsafe while I was there and I had a blast, even without any friends. I tried a lot of interesting food and went to a random museum about the diamond business, which I only would have done if I was by myself.
I only spent two days in Amsterdam but what I learned about myself was incredible. I totally thought I was going to get lonely but I really enjoyed being alone and having true freedom to do what I wanted. What surprised me was how great of a time that I had. I was able to have these experiences and be comfortable to enjoy them without sharing it with anyone else.
Being able to solve all the problems that came my way (broken room key, language barriers, and getting lost) completely on my own was a huge confidence boost too. I had always been pretty self-sufficient but this solo trip to Amsterdam really showed me just how independent I actually was because part of me believed I wouldn’t go through with the trip. Not only did I go there and handle the roadblocks with grace, I actually was able to plan one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on!
Why You Should Go on a Solo Trip Too!
To anyone thinking about going on a solo trip themselves, I have some advice. Definitely do your research about where you’re going so you can eliminate as many stressors as possible. Also, if you’re going to crowded attractions make sure to buy the tickets before you go so you won’t have to wait in line. If you don’t think you can pull it off, try a solo trip that’s not that far away. All in all it’s a great confidence booster and an even better way to be more comfortable being by yourself. Sometimes if you really want to do something and no one can come with you, going alone is just as good if not better!
Have you ever been to Amsterdam or on a solo trip? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Featured image source: www.instagram.com/p/BWnhadHAJW8/
I've got a case of wanderlust, I'll never stop traveling because my goal is to go to every single continent. I've made it to four out of seven so far. I graduated from Emory University in May of 2018 with a degree in English and Political Science. I will be attending law school this fall but in the meantime I write, travel, and love to be outside in nature.