Have you debated solo travel? Aileen tells us her most frightening moments as a woman alone in a different country at 2:00 AM in the morning.
Meet Aileen, an Atlanta based travel bug bitten teacher. You’ve probably related to her when scrolling through your Instagram feed and getting inspired to travel to new places, BUT Aileen goes one step further more often than not.
It was some time ago, in Aileen’s French class that she noticed a picture of the one and only Eiffel Tower. She told herself, “ I’m going to go there before I graduate college”. That’s an important part of inspiration – Don’t just say “I’m going there”, give yourself a time frame and like Aileen, you’ll find yourself there before you know it.
There are many ways to travel, but depending on your age and if you are studying in secondary or post-secondary education there are great options to study abroad. It was her undergraduate study that originally led her to France. Aileen then travelled all around Europe to ten countries and over twenty cities. While she travelled around countries like Interlaken, Barcelona, Galway and Brussels, her choice of accommodation was much like other “Backpackers”. Aileen stayed in hostels which she boats was” the best experience as a budget traveller”.
She found that staying in a shared type accommodation was a great way to meet people. Another accommodation experiences that proves to be beneficial when solo travelling is post-secondary residences open to travellers!
*Travel tip: Find ways to meet new people: one way, your choice of accommodation.
Being a woman, alone at 2:00 AM in the morning can be intimidating especially alone in another country. One of Aileen‘s scariest moments was on her first study abroad trip. She decided to venture from the group and spend a weekend in Lourdes, France.
She arrived alone, breathing in the scenic views of the small town nestled next to the Pyrenees mountains, south of France. Her trip was wonderful until she started her departure home.
The train tracks were broken and there was no way back to her hostel in Paris until 2 AM.
When she finally arrived, the metro was no longer running and everyone was quickly catching cabs. Being new to the French language, Aileen was nervous. The scene was dark, she was alone and didn’t have the strength of fluent communication to guide her home.
Standing there, noticeably worried, she caught the eye of a woman who came and asked her where she was going. The woman said she was going the same way and just like that, Aileen had made a friend and they were on their way towards her hostel.
“Sometimes you just have to have faith in humanity”- Aileen.
What’s next for Aileen? Well, there’s much between, but Australia is Aileens next stop where she won’t be too far from New Zealand so she may venture off.
New Zealand is definitely on Aileens bucket list. Influenced from (secretly) a famous movie she watched with her siblings growing up. Can you guess which one? Friends who have visited and of course, the oh so Instagram worthy pictures of the New Zealand mountains and lakes that pop up while scrolling through.
Aileens an outdoorsy, budget-friendly and in general friendly person you’d love to meet on your travels, but we’re not saying goodbye just yet. Living in Atlanta has its perks… and Aileen shares what those are with us. We’ll be sharing with you too, soon! 😉