First of all, I consider myself a lazy traveller. I like to spend a few days in one place or city. You will never see me go through 3 cities or countries in 5 days.. that’s just impossible to me! I don’t enjoy dragging my bags from one city to another every other day nor do I like doing hit-and-run selfies in some major tourist attractions (nothing wrong with selfies, btw, but I find 500-year-old historical sites more interesting). I do enjoy doing
(or at least trying to do) “normal things” in these foreign places. Tasting the local dishes, having long walks in the old town, buying bread and other delicacies in the local stores for breakfast and, as a tea lover, checking out the local tea at the nearest supermarket.
Anyway, this year I finally got the chance to do my first solo trip to Europe! I went to the Netherlands, Russia and Italy. It was fascinating and went very well, imo. I was a bit over-prepped and too cautious this time due to a rather bad experience in Athens last year. I took extra security measure by getting an anti-theft device for my passport, personal alarm (in the end didn’t need it at all) and two small anti-RFID wallets.
I was initially thinking of going to both Moscow and St. Petersburg but finally decided to go only to the latter (kinda regretted this!). The reason was I have zero knowledge about the Russian language and Cyrillic alphabets and according to my research at that time, Moscow is a much bigger, more hectic city, while St. Petersburg is much more tourist-friendly and English is used a lot more here in public places, street signs, etc. (I wondered if this would change for Moscow and other cities after the World Cup).
Anyway, I think taking this solo trip was one of the
(not so many) best decisions I’ve ever made so far and I will do it again in heartbeat if possible (meaning when my bank account permits!). I’m eyeing some countries like Romania or Bulgaria in addition to more Russia, like Moscow and Veliky-Novgorod.
Crossing my fingers!