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10 Things to Appreciate when Travelling Abroad Alone

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Nowadays, it can be really challenging to plan a trip on your own if you’d like to visit a place or country you’ve never been to before, or if you feel like going on a round trip it’s even harder.
A woman with her back turned towards the camera, looking into the distance. She is standing on a city square with a sunset in the distance.
Photo by Zi Nguyen on Unsplash

1. Interrail Trips


Nowadays, it can be really challenging to plan a trip on your own if you’d like to visit a place or country you’ve never been (visited) before or if you feel like going on a round trip it’s even harder. Some tips on how to get help in this case: Ask friends who’ve visited the targeted countries, there are online groups where you can ask locals for help. The Interrail pass gives you a chance to travel freely around Europe for as long as you want. Their mobile application helps you to plan your trip train by train to all your destinations. They have different passes, only for one country or more countries for more days, you can choose the one that fits you the best and start planning the best time of your life. Don’t forget that the view from the trains can be mesmerising!

2. Local Help

Wherever you go in the world, locals are living there and being proud of their countries. The best feeling there can be, is if you’re being asked by a tourist if you can recommend something or help to find the right direction. If you walk around with open eyes, you’ll always find the right people who’ll gladly help you, take you to places, and show you the best restaurants in town. For the youth, it’s much easier to make friends anywhere because we are open-minded and ready to explore new areas with people we just got to know because this is how the best adventures start. Never be afraid of talking to people and getting in contact with them.


3. Seasonal Programmes

It’s an amazing feeling to travel somewhere and surprisingly land in a huge, local event. But if you want to make sure of joining a special event while visiting places, you’ll have an even more exciting trip. I can definitely recommend the street artist festival in Wroclaw or an amazing fun fair and farewell in the Netherlands. Also, don’t miss the local charity events which happen everywhere all the time and are amazing opportunities to get to know people, do something good for the community, and get the feeling of the local culture.

4. Nature

One thing is simply not appreciated enough by people and that’s an amazing nature that surrounds us everywhere. There are hidden beauties in every country and those are just waiting for you to explore them. They are literally everywhere: You can find enchanting spots a few kilometres away from the cities like rocky hills in the Czech Republic, stunning lakes up in the mountains in Switzerland or amazing cherry blossoms by just walking in green areas in the cities. Going to nature for a walk, going down to our calm, chill mode is a gift in our running life. Don’t miss out on it because later you’ll regret it!

5. Regional Specialities

Food lovers -  this one is for you, you’re not forgotten! I’m a food lover, so my heart is talking this time when I say that the most important thing while travelling is trying the local specialities. Amazing new tastes, spices, dishes and so on. The best of travelling alone is that you can choose whichever restaurant you want and no one will criticise your taste, you can just chill, enjoy the city noises, watch the happenings and concentrate on your incredible, and exciting meal. Not a disadvantage if you order some local beer on the side (wink wink). The waiters are always super helpful and friendly if a kind tourist is in town, and they’ll recommend you some amazing regional dishes.

6. Hidden Treasures

The little details can mean so much if they come at the right time. Exploring new areas can make your day if you find something you have not expected. That could be a place, a person or just an amazing sight in the city, but you’ll know that it’s special and unique for you. During my travels around Europe, I found many hidden treasures that made my trip a whole, such as the witch of Kosice who really looked forward to having a coffee with me or the dwarf who brings luck to the entire Poland and you if you touch his hand. My wandering in Germany ended up at a local youth bar on a bingo night, where I met some amazing people and had so much fun while playing bingo together. Always take the chance and find something special wherever you are.


7. Time

Time and memories are expensive in our running world. Don’t rush through everything, take your time and enjoy every second of your journey. Take time for every activity you’ve planned for yourself and don’t forget that sometimes less is more. Take a long walk by the river, visit your favourite chocolate museum or just order a drink and slow the world down for a few minutes. These days are for you, don’t follow your diet, cheating is allowed sometimes, buy that book and enjoy all the time you have. After checking everything off your list, the best feeling is to sit down and feel like all the time in the world is yours. Appreciate TIME!

8. Culture

Everyone should be proud of their own culture. Don’t hesitate to get to know new things, new habits and cultures. Every culture is unique because it’s different from others, don’t forget where you came from and when locals share their culture, you can share yours too. It can be amazing how different we are but at the same time, we are all equal. Dig into the culture of the country that you’re visiting and try out everything they do. Sit down for a beer in a local brewery in the Czech Republic, go on a dwarf hunt in Poland and eat friets in the Netherlands and Belgium. I met a street artist on the main street in Frankfurt, Germany who drew all the country flags on the concrete, showing people that we are one, and we are all equal. I admired his work!

9. Sport

You don’t have to be a sporty person for hopping on a bike and enjoying a city ride. There are so many opportunities to do some sport even during your trip. If you’re in the Netherlands, it’s a must-do to just hop on a bike and experience how it feels to be a real Dutch person. Wherever you are, and if you find someone local with the same interests as yours, you’ll be doing your favourite sport on a coming day. I got so lucky in Germany because once they found out I’m a floorball player they immediately took me to one of the local university’s floorball training. Believe me, doing sport brings people together the best. If you like individual sports, it’s never too late to go on a morning run by the river.

10. Erasmus Friends

The whole point of travelling and/or participating in the Erasmus programme is getting to know new people, making friends and connections abroad, and visiting one another time after time. Making international friends is the best advantage of travelling, because it’s a whole different feeling to go somewhere where your friend is waiting for you and making you feel at home. It’s an amazing experience to get to know your Erasmus friend’s home, habits and friends from home. It’s always wonderful to see how happy people can be when they have the chance to show you around the city and area where they grew up and what they are really proud of.

The Mobility Is My Lifestyle is a competition organised by ESN,  under the Erasmus Generation Participation & Engagement project, funded by the European Parliament, aimed at raising awareness among young people about the work of the Parliament and the opportunities offered to them in the EU, while simultaneously promoting EU’s diversity and cultural heritage, as well as active citizenship and volunteering.