Today on the blog I have the pleasure of hosting a Best and Worst Holidays post with a difference, from a solo traveller. Ashley from Adventure Out There is sharing with us her best holiday as a solo traveller. Over to Ashley.
Best Vacation as a Solo Traveller
Moving from North America to Europe, it didn’t take me long to realize that travelling to many new countries could be extremely easy. I found a job in France, working Tuesday evenings through Saturday evenings, which gave me odd hours and days off from work. After things settled down a bit, I decided to start searching for places to visit during my days off. Unfortunately, because of my odd work schedule, everyone that I knew was busy during my free times, which left me a solo traveller. Fortunately for me, I am very independent and am happy to see a brand new place, even if it means travelling alone.
Weeks before my trip, I had searched on Kayak for the cheapest flight destinations leaving from my local airport. I lucked out and found some cheap flights to Naples, Italy. I took some time to build a Pinterest board of things to do in Naples, and to make a list of all the places that I wanted to see in my few short days away (Sunday until Tuesday morning). Before I knew it, I was on a plane and flying to another country!
As the plane touched down, I saw the incredible landscape, including the beautiful mountains. I was in awe. Having done no research on the geographical location, I had absolutely no idea that I would find mountains in Naples. Packing light, with only a backpack carrying my essentials, I began wandering the streets. Castles, fountains and incredible buildings galore, I was blown away by everything my eyes could see.
I slowly made my way to the B&B where I would be staying. Upon arrival, I met my host, a kind man who made sure I felt at home. He gave me a map and some pointers of where to go, and before I knew it, I was off again in the city.
Beautiful churches, crazy traffic and a unique culture, I felt like I had a chance to experience so many new things. There are two sides to travelling alone, some pros and cons, we will say. The downside is that sometimes travelling alone can be lonely. When you have an incredible experience, it is nice to be able to verbally process that with someone else who is there. When I’m having a great time, I find that sometimes I wish that I could experience that moment with those I love. On the other hand, one of my favourite parts of being a solo traveller is that you can see what you want to and you can do it on your own timeline. If you suddenly change your mind and want to add or eliminate a destination, no one is bothered. The other amazing thing about travelling alone is that you are more likely to connect with other solo travellers. This is an incredible way to meet new people and to get to hear their life stories.
I had the unique opportunity to spend time with 3 different people during my trip. The first one was a solo traveller from Ukraine. We met while eating pizza. (Because what else would you be eating in Italy??) We ended up walking the streets and exploring some very old and beautiful buildings. We eventually made our way down to the waterfront and had a chance to walk along it – which was one of my big goals for my Italy trip. The incredible landscape of the water on the left and the homes built on layers of the hillside on the right was amazing to see, especially as dusk fell and the lights in the homes began to turn on. After the waterfront, we decided to head back, but got a little bit lost trying to navigate the metros and trains, which was an adventure in and of itself. There is nothing like trying to navigate in a different language and literally running through train stations, trying to catch the next train before it is scheduled to leave.
The second person that I passed some time with was my host of the B&B. He was performing in a benefit concert, so I met up with him and had a chance to see him perform in front of a packed building of people. After his performance, we went to visit one of the highest points of the city which overlooked Naples. I was captivated by the city lights. We shared some pizza and wine (because ITALY) and spent some time chatting about life and travel experiences. Heading back to the B&B I had the opportunity to ride on the back of his scooter, weaving in and out of the traffic around us. Crazy, but exhilarating – what a memory.
The final person that I met was a fellow Canadian. I had decided to go and visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius for a day. Once I reached the bus stop for Vesuvius, I ran into a guy about my age, who was also waiting for the bus. He was from Toronto, which is about an hour from where I grew up and it’s the city where my sister currently lives. Taking the bus up, we had a chance to share a bit about what had brought us to Italy and what we do “in real life.” After we made it to the drop off point, we decided to hike up the volcano together. Despite being surrounded by a cloud and not being able to even see at the crater of the volcano, it was a cool experience to hike up Mount Vesuvius and to have someone to do it with.
After my volcano experience, we parted ways and I headed into the archaeological site of Pompeii. It was truly immaculate, and I really can’t say enough about it. I loved seeing where people used to live and getting a glimpse into the past. After spending time with others, I was glad to get to spend some time alone, exploring the site and seeing things at my own pace. Pompeii was huge and after 5 hours of exploration, I was exhausted and still hadn’t managed to see it all.
I took the train back to Naples and began to check off my food bucket list – “Official Vera Pizza,” deep fried pizza, baba, along with the gelato ice cream and sfogliatella that I had eaten already since arriving the day before. I managed to check everything off my list and more!
To see new places, unique ways that people live their lives and just the ability to wander and see what I wanted to in this fresh, unique country was just incredible. These are the memories that I will hold dear to me. Naples, Italy, you were beautiful and so far, you have been my best solo travel experience ever!
Thanks so much to Ashley for sharing her best vacation as a solo traveller with us. Ashley Nicole is a travel blogger, at Adventure Out There, who enjoys sharing tips, travel experiences and inspiration with others. She is a duel Canadian/UK citizen and is currently based and living out of Lille, France where she has currently planted herself to better her French language skills and to experience a new culture. Outside of travelling, she enjoys photography, exploring new places and spending time outdoors. You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.