At the end of November 2017, I took myself off to Austria’s capital, Vienna. As I strolled around the spectacular Schonbrunn Palace gardens, clutching my Vienna tourist book and phone for numerous photographs, I began chatting to two Spanish tourists. Both ladies were in their early thirties and were visiting a few European cities together.
Consequently, both fabulous ladies had lived in London, spoke beautiful English and the three of us then explored Vienna together for the rest of the day. I joined them on the free walking city tour, we shared ideas, plans, a piece of Sacher Torte cake (Austrian chocolate cake) and a pre-opera cocktail.
The topic of travelling arose and in particular the idea of women travelling alone. We found that many still find it a strange and scary concept for a woman to be travelling anywhere alone. Something I have always thoroughly enjoyed, but understand the need to be extra vigilant in doing so. Author Roman Payne states that ‘never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without travelling.’ Certainly, a lot can be learnt from travelling alone and also simply enjoying your own company.
After discussing the topic of travelling with my new-found Spanish friends over a couple of Austrian beers, one of my friends coined the expression that we were ‘all travelling alone, together.’
I had traveled to Austria alone, as I have done to many places, but I often find I am never truly alone. My travelling experiences and memories are filled with the fantastic people I meet along the way. People from all walks of life, different countries and backgrounds and whose stories and conversations fill my travelling memories and have enabled me to develop into the strong woman I am today.
Or, in the very least, these people will take a good photograph of you next to a key monument for your Instagram!
Fortunately, I have always enjoyed my own company. From a child reading alone, to an adult traveling alone. However, I take great comfort from remembering my Spanish friend’s beautiful expression. During European trips, having coffee alone or whatever journey you’re going through in life, look around and find that as my friend so eloquently explains ‘we’re all travelling alone, together.’