Solo Travel

By Emily Farnan

I studied abroad last semester in the Czech Republic. I loved traveling and wanted to see of much of Europe as I could while I was there, so I decided to set off alone for a summer backpacking trip! No doubts about it I was scared out of my mind. I had little experience traveling alone, especially in Europe, but I knew this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I covered all these cities in 35 days pretty much all by myself:

  • Malta
  • Sicily (Catania and Palermo)
  • Naples, Italy
  • Sorrento, Italy
  • Positano, Italy
  • Pompeii, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Pisa, Italy
  • Lucca, Italy
  • Cinque Terre, Italy
  • Milan, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Verona, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Munich, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic

I lived out of a backpack. I stayed in hostels. I hopped on random trains. I met amazingly cool people from everywhere. I had gelato for 35 days straight (super proud about that one).  I took over 3,000 pictures that I will cherish forever. I met and traveled with people from Russia, the Netherlands, the UK, California, Oregon, France and more.


My closet for the summer!


Train Station in Milan

As uncomfortable as the experience made me, it changed my life in ways I am still trying to figure out. I am more open to new experiences. I am more comfortable meeting new people. I view my life completely differently. I took so many things for granted at home before I left like free toilets, phone service, dryers, English-speakers, and my closet just to name a few. But if I could do it all over again I would. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even being sick in Rome, sleeping with my passport under my shirt in Sicily, missing my flight home in London, or any other crazy thing that happened to me. Because out of all those missteps, I discovered beautiful chaos. And that is truly a beautiful thing.

I’m not saying everyone has to go travel alone to find all this. If you are open to change, immerse yourself in the culture, or do something different you will change your life in immeasurable ways.



Overlooking Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, Italy