Last weekend I embarked on a journey I would have never imagined myself doing. Well at least in reality, because I’ve always dreamed of touring Europe but this was different. Two months ago I received an email from my supervisor asking if I was interested in a particular meeting being hosted in Bonn. At first I was so hesitant, because 1. I just started working at this department a month before and 2. I would be traveling to Bonn by myself!
However, as you’d know I’ve been reading the year of yes, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to put what I’ve read into play. So with a bit of a boost from my friends and many questions to my supervisors/coworkers I decided to take up the offer.
The processing was extremely quick and within a week I had my itinerary; all that was left to do was to gather information on the meeting and learn all that I could *this included a lot of reading!*
*skips forward to last weekend*
It was finally time and I couldn’t believe how quickly it came. I was set to leave Antigua on the night of the 17th. With a bus transfer and a connecting flight from an airline I’ve never heard of I was hella nervous! The only time I’ve been to London was as a kid, which I have no recollection of. Therefore, I’m considering this my very first time to Europe.
Even though I checked the transportation routes a gazillion times and printed many maps, my anxiety would not let me rest. Luckily, when I was checking onto my first flight I met someone I knew and they also had to make the SAME transfer from Gatwick airport to Heathrow. So I began to relax and felt like things will continue to fall into place.
Time for my next obstacle – catching my 11:30 a.m bus to Heathrow for my connecting flight to Germany. It took us TWENTY MINUTES to walk from the plane to passport control; I was definitely annoyed given time constraints. Then I turned the corner and BAM, the longest line ever!!! In my head I started doing all the calculations as to what time I’d need to get through to make it to the other airport on time. I wasn’t worried about the bus ticket because I got a “flexible” one, where I could jump on any other bus in cases like this. Never once did I think to alert an immigration agent to let them know I’m in a rush, like c’mon???
Thankfully I made it, ran *speed walk* through the airport to the bus terminal and hopped on the next bus *which was 12:10; btw my flight was 2:45*. It’s also an hour ride from Gatwick to Heathrow so I was cutting it close. Thankfully the bus had wi-fi and my brain finally started working, so I did my best to check in online and was successful. Boarding was at 2:30 p.m. now it was just to hope there was no traffic on the way or long security lines.
Things finally began to work with me as I ran through Heathrow and there were no lines, simply to scan my boarding pass and go through security. I did all of that with 10 minutes left before boarding. I finally sat and took a breather as it wasn’t time to display the gate information to board the flight.
Funny enough I also met someone attending the same meeting as myself from St. Lucia when we landed in Germany. Seeing as she’s been here before I was more relaxed and had her help in getting transportation into the city to get to my hotel.
I’ve never been happier to see a bed in my life, it was an extremely long day traveling through different time zones.
I’m so happy and proud of myself for doing this journey solo; I just need to trust myself more and stop overanalyzing/worrying so much. It really wasn’t bad! I made it safely and I asked questions, walked around and got familiar with my surroundings pretty quick by the next day.
The only thing I somewhat hated was having no-one to take my pictures, dine with or to share the experience in real-time. Plus getting lost with someone is way more calming than being by yourself. So solo travel is a bit lonely, or I guess the point of it is to make friends along the way.
Have you ever traveled solo? How’d it go?
Any traveling stories you want to share?
Let me know!!
P.S: Next post at 12:30, you don’t wanna miss it.