Mastering the art of solo travel can be a hard but worthwhile lesson for students

Partaking in a study abroad program through another school means you might not know anyone else on the trip. That’s what my semester entailed initially. Traveling by myself was one of the reasons England was my choice. What I didn’t realize is how quickly I made friends and inevitable travel companions. I have been here for over a month and have not had to travel for over thirty minutes alone. Until this past weekend.

England as a whole is smaller than the U.S., but it’s still a country with so many places to see and things to do. In many cases, the fear of traveling alone could keep you from seeing people and places only you want to visit. I’ve had a friend studying at Oxford University. She had been bugging me to visit her, but I had been worried about truly traveling solo. I haven’t been here long, and I don’t have any way to contact her without wifi. Preparing in advance was key, as it is with all travel plans. You need to make sure you know your destination and a good idea of how to get there. Even with doing all of that, you could still get a little lost. I did.

One of the great things about studying abroad in England is that there are no language barriers… most of the time. When it comes to directions, it is pretty helpful though. I ended up asking quite a few people for help with directions. News flash: people are nice, friendly and willing to help. It’s often a misconception when we believe that people are cold, unfriendly strangers that are out to get us, although of course there are always exceptions. Also, it’s a good idea try to follow your gut. You will usually be correct.

There are a lot of times where I have been abroad and thought, “I really wish someone would have told me that you will get lost or your card might get stolen or whatever else negative things that could happen while abroad.” And maybe people should warn you, but when it comes to the end of the week and I start to write these articles, I find it much more difficult to remember the troublesome parts of my day, week or entire trip.

Most of the time I just find myself in disbelief of the fact that I am able to do what I have been doing. All of the trouble that comes my way or yours if you decide to travel doesn’t take much to sort out. So, how could anyone be able to focus or even remember that when they traveled to Scotland or Paris or even the University of Oxford?

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