Going Solo in the City of Love and Light
by Stephanie Mork
Romantic travel destinations like Paris, France or Verona, Italy are reserved for trips shared with a significant other, right? Oozing with lovey romance-y things like sharing spaghetti and meatballs (lady and the tramp anyone?) or strolling under the Eiffel Tower in the moonlight.
One of the most inspiring and freeing things you can do for yourself as a solo female traveler is to indulge in the most romantic cities in the world. Alone.
Romeo and Juliet may have originated in Verona, but their story is tragic and who wants to end up like them anyways? Verona is full of classic Italian culture and vibe that have nothing to do with romance. I will admit the city has a certain tranquil pace to it compared with the craziness of Rome, but all the better to treat yourself to a glass of wine while people watching in front of the old coliseum, right?
I would even argue that Verona is one of the best places to be a solo female traveler. It is the perfect size for a short 4-day trip. Not too big and not too small, you can easily see everything you need to and spend time enjoying each place without rushing around, always anxious for the next thing. The city is compact and easy to find everything you need, while also having those side streets and back alleys that are sometimes fun to get a little lost in.
Don’t even get me started on the beautiful nature of the people. I had such an easy time speaking with locals and striking up conversations with the man making one of the best sandwiches I have ever had, or my waiter at the coziest woodsy little restaurant, or even the elderly man sitting next to me enjoying an espresso in the sunshine. They all were kind and interesting and interested in me and my story.
Traveling alone in Verona will give you time and space to think, enjoy your surroundings and treat yourself to some of the best that Italy has to offer.
Paris on the other hand, the city of light, is a one of a kind destination. Paris is cliché for lovers so one doesn’t normally think to go there alone. Let me allow you to change your perspective a little bit if you are waiting for the perfect man to sweep you off your feet to a romantic getaway in Paris.
If you want to go to Paris, what are you waiting for? Going alone, you have no expectations of someone else and you make your trip what it is.
When one thinks of Paris, there are usually a few things that take people by surprise when they are a new visitor. Let me expose a few of those here.
Firstly, Paris is huuuuge. There is no way you will see everything unless you stay for at least a month. There is also no way you will survive unless you get a pass for unlimited rides on the metro. No matter what kind of shoes you have if you try to walk, you will not be a happy camper and your feet will hate you. The Paris metro is extremely efficient and most metro stops are only a short walk from where you need to be.
The Eiffel Tower is nice, but so are a million other things in Paris. The monuments are inconveniently not close to each other at all, so plan your days to spend some time around each monument and move to the next closest one. It is inefficient to run all over the city and spend three hours in the metro just getting from one place to another. Relax. Linger in spaces you are enjoying. You are alone aren’t you? There is nobody else’s agenda to worry about but your own.
Get three crepes in one day, buy yourself a something from a fancy French designer, try a new wine each time you eat out, but mostly let yourself do whatever you feel like. What are you most interested in? Museums, monuments, parks, history, shopping, fancy restaurants? You get to decide and the options are limitless.
Solo travel is a scary phrase to some, but when you do it once you will understand the exhilarating and freeing feeling it can have. Of course not everything will go perfect as peaches, but that is all part of the experience and you are smart enough and brave enough to figure it out. Plan your trip and go explore the lessons a new culture can teach you and the riches the world has to offer.