Preface to my Athens Trip 2017

I often got asked by other solo travellers that I hung out with in Athens why I chose Athens and why I chose to solo travel. Obviously they had gone through a similar thought process the first time they had gone anywhere, and some were travelling alone for the first time too. My reasons were: 1. Athens is underrated amongst those who have travelled. I have never before met anyone who has travelled to Athens and I have a love of history and culture, so Athens, being rich in both these characteristics, was a perfect destination. Why I decided to travel solo was an internal struggle for me, before I left and found myself sat on the plane in a position where I was unable to turn back. During the week leading up to my departure my anxiety  was at an all time high. Sleepless nights and overthinking consumed me. Although I realise now that I fed off of other people’s fears, my mother is the world’s best over thinker, and he constant questioning of the ‘safety’ of Athens made me doubt my reassurance that it was in fact safe. When I told my father of my plans he questioned my mental health and couldn’t understand why I wanted to travel solo, even though he spent 3 months travelling solo last year, and vowed it the best thing he had ever done. Essentially, I wanted to prove to myself I could travel solo and overcome the fears I had that I’d be lonely or bored along the way, I just wanted to live in the moment for a while, doing what I wished when I wanted to do it. In fact, meeting people along the way wasn’t always beneficial, and I found at the beginning it was hard to say no when they invited themselves along, but this is another thing I have realised: you don’t have to do things you don’t want to and force yourself to do so for the sake of someone else, especially a stranger. The trip was for me to do what I wanted to, and not to have someone else tag along. I learnt to politely decline people’s invitations and to only spend as much time with people as I wanted. Travelling alone is the best and worst thing I have ever done…

 

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