Hi everyone! So, as I’m sure you guessed from my title, this weeks post is about the solo trip that I took after the family went back to the states! I left on the 3rd and returned to campus on the 9th (6 days of traveling cities alone!) to write my essays that were due this past Monday. I meant to write yesterday, since I did say I would post every Wednesday, but this week has been a little rough. Don’t worry though, things are looking up. Anyways, for this first solo trip I went to Bath, Bristol, and Cardiff. They were absolutely amazing so let’s just dive in!
Bath was gorgeous, I mean I really just absolutely loved it. Even the cheap hostel I stayed in was in a beautiful building. I was about a 20 minute walk from the city centre, thankfully the bus was cheap because that was not an easy walk. My first day there I walk around and checked out a bunch of different shops. It was really nice to kind of just wander. Then I went to the Thermae Bath Spa, totally worth the long line and extra bit of cash. It felt amazing to just relax for a little and unwind before the days of traveling really began.
The second day I did a two hour walking tour in the morning. It was great to learn about the history from a local, someone that just wanted others to be as in love with the city as they were. I got to cross a couple places off my travel list, which is always satisfying, all while chatting and listening to some cheesy jokes. After the tour I went through the Roman Baths, it was incredible to just walk through something that had so much history. Even though the water looked gross it was cool to think about what it meant for people back then. Once I toured the Baths I went over to the Fashion Museum where they were displaying 100 years of fashion through 100 articles of clothing. The gowns with their different styles were gorgeous and I was sad when I had made it to the end. I think I loved the fancier dresses the most, though that is certainly not surprising. It was perfect going to the Fashion Museum because the Jane Austen Centre was only a few minutes away. Let me just say that I am in no way ashamed that I took a picture, in a whole dress-up outfit, with a wax figure of Mr. Darcy. It was by far the highlight of my trip and a great way to end my last day in Bath.
After Bath I took the train over to Bristol, arriving midmorning. After dropping off my bags I went to look at the most gorgeous and gigantic Cathedral I have ever seen. I mean it was really something. Of course I took a picture in front of it. Then, like the little kid I truly am, I went to the Bristol Aquarium and geeked out with the fish for a solid two hours. It was so fun to walk through the different places they had set up, and I loved the giant octopus the most. After the aquarium I decided to have some downtime before heading over to We The Curious (aka Bristol’s Science Centre) for their star planetarium show. Of course before the show started I also played around a bit with all of the different stations they had downstairs, those were pretty cool. I absolutely loved the star show and wished it had lasted even longer. It rained on my second day and so after walking around and seeing a few random things I stayed in and read my book. It was nice because the hostel was right along the harbour, so I got a great view.
Cardiff was next on the list, which is where I met my new friends! Upon arrival I hung out in the lobby and finished my book, it was getting pretty intense at that point. I was a little further from the city centre too, so the walk left me pretty exhausted. When I moved in I met Chloe, who then introduced me to her friend Louise at dinner that night. We hung out in her room and just chatted, it was really nice to hang out with people my own age again. The next morning Chloe and I went to a late breakfast and walked around the town. Cardiff wasn’t originally on my travel list so I was happy to do whatever. We met up with Chloe’s friend Dan and then Louise joined us for lunch. After we continued to walk around and just chatted, it was really nice to feel like part of a group for a bit. Then we went back to the hostel and got ready to go out, that was a process. We went to a really fun bar that had some live music, and when the band left we got to dance on the stage. I met a bunch of people (Sam was my favourite…hehe) and really enjoyed just being able to go out without having to worry about anyone or anything. Let’s just say that the next day involved some recovery before the train ride home.
Of course I was really nervous about this journey originally. Six days of traveling by myself was something that I hadn’t done before. However, I had an absolute blast and cannot wait to plan my next solo travel. My only big piece of advice for those traveling solo: make friends! The people in hostels are so friendly, they absolutely want to connect and socialise just as much as you do. Being able to make new friends along the way is great because we have so many ways to stay in touch now. So don’t be afraid to say hi and strike up a conversation. Just enjoy it and really take in your surroundings.
My next travel stop is Scotland, Edinburgh specifically. I am going with Laura, one of the exchange students that is also here for a year. I leave on the 22nd and arrive back in Guildford on the 26th. I can’t wait to share that one with you guys! Miss and love you all.