Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel

April 16, 2015

Without a doubt, traveling with friends is a great way to bond, try new things, break out of a comfort zone, and make lasting memories. But recently I discovered the unexpected beauty of traveling alone through Milan and Verona travel experiences.

My two-day, one-night getaway took me to Verona and Milan, two cities I had been meaning to see but hadn’t yet had the chance. My friends already had plans for the weekend, so I finally seized the opportunity encounter solo travel during my semester. When study abroad veterans first suggested the idea to me, I was hesitant to travel alone as a female. However, my friends insisted that even if it were only for a day, I had to make sure I did it. I’m glad I took their excellent advice.

Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel

Here are five benefits of solo travel that I experienced during my short adventure:

Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel

1. Traveling solo allows you to take in the sights completely

When traveling with friends, you will probably discuss the sights you’re seeing while you’re there and perhaps even on the way to your next destination or attraction. But inevitably, at some point the conversation will drift to where to eat lunch, the cute guy who just walked by, or your frenemy’s latest post on Instagram. When you’ve got no one to converse with but yourself, you’re more likely to live in the moment a bit longer and think a bit harder about what you’re seeing.

Throughout my weekend, I found myself doing this more than I would have been comfortable with in a group. Several times, I was en route to my next site and got caught up in the beauty of Verona, so I found a bench to sit down appreciate the view. I wouldn’t have done this if I were traveling with others. Instead, this experience was one of my best memories from the weekend.

2. It encourages you to practice your language skills

During the two days I was away, the only people I interacted with were cashiers, ticket sellers, and waiters. Because I was only speaking Italian, I began to think more about my grasp of Italian and eventually began thinking in Italian. The process was exhausting and at times I gave up, but I felt like the exercise was beneficial.

Had I been with friends, I would have spoken to the waiter in Italian and then been dragged right back into a conversation in English. This didn’t happen simply because it wasn’t an option. Speaking English with my roommate when I returned to my flat in Perugia almost felt strange.

Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel.

3. It enables you to do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want

Even the most compatible of groups will have issues prioritizing, budgeting, or compromising. When you are by yourself, you waste no time worrying if everyone is content or you have allotted time according to the group’s interests. I changed my plan 10 times per day on both days of my trip. I made impromptu decisions and several times abandoned my plan altogether.

On my night in Verona, I set out to find a quick bite to eat, and, before I knew it, I was sneaking my kebab into a cinema to see Cinderella in Italian! Throughout my semester abroad, I wanted to see a film in Italian but didn’t want to go in Perugia by myself. This was the perfect opportunity to do something I had been intending to, and I did so without any hesitation!

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4. It forces you to take responsibility for your mistakes

When any group of friends travels, people will be in charge of different things like checking opening times for attractions, finding places to stay, or researching food options. If you travel solo, you alone have to figure everything out. Now I’m not perfect; I made a few mistakes, but I was the only one who had to face the consequences. For example, I arrived too late in the day to one of the churches I had intended to visit. Disappointed, I sat down in the courtyard outside to figure out my next move.

Soon, my disappointment faded to entertainment as I people-watched and smiled at the group of small children running around and shouting playfully in high-pitched Italian. If a traveling companion had erred, I would have been annoyed. But there was no one to blame but me, so I made the best of it. My budget and my interests were my only concerns, and that freedom was liberating.

5. It makes you feel empowered and inspired

Just like giving me the freedom to choose how and when to do what, traveling solo made me feel like I could take on the world. After strolling through the Galleria in Milan, I emerged into the piazza and caught sight of the Duomo for the first time. I stopped as it suddenly hit me that I was in Milan. I had wanted to go, so I booked a ticket, hopped on a train, navigated public transport, decoded a map, and now here I was.

In that moment, I realized I was truly free and could do anything (within reason) I set my mind to. It was a moment of pure clarity and I found myself smiling as I walked. Perhaps I would have come to the same conclusion with my friends. But I doubt the effect would have been as pronounced.

Solo travel might sound intimidating, impractical, or even unsafe, but my adventure was nothing short of enlightening. I can’t recommend this experience enough, and I hope all travelers are able to have a similar chance to learn something about a new place while learning something about themselves.


Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel

Have you traveled to Verona, Italy? How was your trip? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Verona Travel: 5 Experiences You’ll Gain from Solo Travel photo credits: Kate K.


About Kate Kielceski

Currently studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, Kate is an undergrad at Penn State University majoring in Political Science and International Studies. In addition to suffering from constant wanderlust, Kate is a lover of crosswords, wannabe photographer, and nationally ranked equestrian.”

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