As you may have noticed if you’ve been following the blog, I did a bit of traveling this month. Before leaving for my big trip, I wanted to visit the cities I was really missing in Europe, mostly in Italy. It was also a good way to try out solo traveling for the first time.
I left from Toulouse by plane with EasyJet to Rome. I took the train on the fifth day to Florence and after a few days there, went to Venice. I really wanted to visit Prague and Vienna was on the way up north. I came back to Toulouse after 15 days (surprisingly with Air France which was really cheap).
I loved Italy and I really want to come back in the future to visit more of it. I was lucky because the weather was nice (which greatly influences the perception of a city). I didn’t find anything special to Vienna and didn’t like it very much. Prague on the other hand was great and like everyone did before I left, I would also greatly recommend it.
I was on a tight budget for this trip, similar to the situation I will be in 2013. I only used the train to go from place to place and mostly walked rather than using public transportation. I stayed in hostels everywhere. At the end I’m a little bit over budget but I knew I went a little too much to the restaurant! I also visited a lot of museums which adds up quickly. The final cost of the trip (all included) is 1300€.
Solo traveling was a first and I enjoyed it a lot. I was a bit scared at first that I would feel lonely and that I wouldn’t meet many people. The opposite happened and I met great people from all over the world! This was especially true in Rome and Florence where the hostels were packed.
It was a bit harder in Venice and Vienna where the hostels weren’t very social. I’m not good at starting conversation with strangers (in the street, in a museum…) and I still cannot motivate myself to go to a bar by myself. These are things I want to work on during the next year.
The planing was good but I now know I should be really careful when choosing an hostel. It’s the quickest and easiest way to meet people and as I noticed in Venice and Vienna, the experience is really different when you meet nobody. The great thing is that I was able to take note about all the little things I can optimize before leaving in January. I traveled with my brand new bag and camera. It was the perfect situation to test them and they were both great.
All in all, it was an awesome trip. I now have a lot more confidence for my round-the-world trip and cannot wait for January!