I was all set to write my ‘inspiring post’ on a weight loss transformation post I found yesterday until I took a trip to the commons and found Itchy Quill’s post on traveling alone.
His post brought me back eight years to when I was traveling solo around Eastern Europe. I was returning from two years teaching English in China(I had gone there with friends, but coming home alone) and went the long way home through Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia.
I had traveled solo once previously before this trip. I spent two weeks in Viet Nam and Cambodia the winter before, so I knew I was capable, but it was still a daunting task for a single female to travel solo for a couple of months.
It wasn’t all rainbows, there was a sketchy moment in Serbia where I had a stalker and ended up cutting my visit there short. But the fact that I even went to Serbia was a triumph of my solo travels.
Both Serbia and Bosnia were not originally on my list of countries to visit, but how could I not go there when I was so close. And as it turns out Sarajevo was one of my favorite places on the trip.
My experiences in those two countries (stalker aside) were far richer than anything else on the trip. Even though it was a decade later, there were still destroyed buildings in Serbia from NATO attacks. A stark reminder of a battle that has raged for generations. Sarajevo too bore the scars of this conflict in the form of ‘Sarajavo Roses’ (Mortar shells that have been filled with red resin that are scattered throughout the city). These two places made me realize how lucky I was to grow up in Canada, a place that has never seen a modern war.
If I had been traveling with others it is unlikely that I would have been able to convince them of this detour as it was something that was special to me. I had studied the area in University and wanted to see what it was really like.
And that to me is why traveling alone is a must for everyone. You can change your mind on a whim and have some of the best experiences of your life.