Traveling Solo?

View of the harbor at night from Paper Island, formerly the site of vast storage halls for the Procurement Association of the Danish Press, hence the name Paper Island or Papirøen.


“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” — Hannah Arendt

Copenhagen was a city that, from the moment I knew I would be studying in Europe, I knew I wanted to visit. Since it was January and only the third weekend since I had arrived in Scotland, I didn’t really think I could get anyone to come with me. So instead I booked a trip to Copenhagen by myself shortly after arriving in Scotland.

I have to admit, I was kind of nervous to travel completely by myself.

Would I get lost if I was by myself and my phone died?

Would I get lonely?

Would I look awkward?

Would it be boring all by myself?

All these questions ran through my head as I boarded the nearly empty plane in Aberdeen and arrived in Copenhagen around 11 PM. My initial thought as I walked through the dark Friday night streets full of people drinking with friends all by myself with my suitcase, clutching my phone following the directions, was that I was right. Why did I think it was okay to travel all by myself? I look pathetic.

But as the next day came, and I joined in two walking tours, I realized that it was kind of nice, traveling by myself. I didn’t have to check with anyone to make sure we agreed on what we wanted to do next. I was completely free. No one knew who I was, no one had any expectations for me.

I could see the city at my own pace- stop for photographs when I wanted, whatever. And the city was beautiful, cold, but full of history and culture. I would highly recommend walking tours for anyone who goes to Copenhagen, or maybe even any city. It’s a great way to see the city and actually learn about what you are looking at.

After the weekend, I decided that I think it is a good experience to travel by yourself at least once in your life, even for a short trip.

Nyhavn. Originally a busy commercial port, now a popular tourist and iconic photo spot in Copenhagen. Not really the best day for a photo though!

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