The double personality of the solo traveler

I thought a lot before writing this post: about all the people I met during the many trips, about the thousand different personalities and the extravagant people I met on trains, on international buses but also in hostels.

In the world there are many people who travel alone, so don’t be surprised if, one day or another, for convenience or necessity it should happen to you too. There are those who do it to seek a better life, those who try to “escape” from a more or less temporary stress phase and those who do it simply because they prefer this style of travel to that of a group.

Traveling alone leads to seeking more connections with strangers and this somehow forces anyone to travel in company and almost never alone. This is where the various personalities of solo travelers take over: there are those who prefer to limit themselves to a few chats or contacts or even isolate themselves almost all the time, rather than others who take advantage of total freedom to throw themselves into all the opportunities that the travel offers them. Evening outings, absurd excursions, changes of plans and everything that presents itself to them, becomes for some the opportunity to make a solo trip the biggest group party of the year.

I was in Tampere in Finland, the year of the Olympics in which Stefano Baldini won the marathon. I arrived at the hostel late at night.
At the reception they welcomed me with the usual phrase that announces a sleepless night: “Don’t forget! Make sure everyone is asleep!”
Obviously I found myself a serial snorer in my room. It was a man that his wife had put in a different room from his in an attempt to be able to sleep at least on vacation!
On the second night, shoes, objects of all kinds and various insults in macaronic English began to fly. I immediately understood that in addition to the snorer, I had found myself in the room with other Italians who, in general, I try to avoid because they force me to speak my language rather than learn new ones!

it was a couple of friends and another solo traveler: an architect who had decided to come and live in Finland to improve his working position and perhaps find a wife.
I was originally supposed to stay in Tampere for a night or two at the most. Because of my new “travel companions” I stayed 6 days.
Every night it was a disco or a pub or a tour of the city. During the day the market, the excursion or the stroll around the shops…

I know people who, due to a passing travel love, spent 20 days in the same city (without combining anything among other things). The solitary traveler who isolates himself manages to respect his travel plans, sees many things, meets a thousand cultures and certainly knows many people.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

The solitary traveler with a more open personality risks “wasting time” on unexpected events and programs not included in a travel plan … But in the end, this is also the beauty of the journey: don’t make too many plans and try to enjoy everything to the fullest what we manage to insert in those days of happiness that we can spend around the world.

To you the choice…

Traveling solo in Lanzarote ( with photos)

I traveled to Lanzarote alone in February 2019, the year before the pandemic. I remember everything very well: the warm sun, the low-season half-empty beaches and the long, very long roads that I traveled in total tranquility with my Opel Corsa hired at the airport.

Lanzarote is a special island. Unique.
Like no other.
The lava everywhere, the sudden white beaches of fine sand, the white villages and the perfectly maintained roads that run through this divine island. If you can afford a rental car, the off-season is ideal for enjoying the empty streets that never seem to end.
The warm winter sun and the less sustained tourism of this period allow you to better enjoy the island without sacrificing beauty and excellent climate. Some afternoons the thermometer of the car has reached to oscillate between 28 and 31 ° C and, if we consider that it was the end of February, that’s not bad!

Lanzarote: the road to Orzola

I do not deny that one of the most beautiful discoveries made on the island, apart from the beautiful beaches and the wonderful people I met, was to discover that, despite the lava covering most of the territory, here it is possible to produce an excellent wine (read article in this regard), so every lunch or tasting stop becomes a further opportunity to fill the day and satisfy the palate …

In Lanzarote, despite the many tourists, I always had the feeling of feeling at home.
Perhaps for that constant mild climate, for the flowers, palm trees and cacti.
In Lanzarote I loved the beauty of being able to go out every night in the middle of winter for a walk without worrying about the cold, walking on the beach as if it were spring.

In Lanzarote, despite having a rental car, I felt the joy of leaving my Opel parked often to walk under the sun or under the stars or, why not, barefoot in the hot February sand. Yes, because in February, while half of Europe freezes and suffers from the cold, here in the Canaries there are those who enjoy the waves and the sea …and if you fly 4 hours to reach these divine islands, then you want to take off the whim of having lunch outdoors, walk barefoot despite the wind, but also take some selfies in a summer outfit to make your friends “suffer” at home.

… maybe among the narrow streets of some white village

An unforgettable 70-day trip between Iceland and the Faroe Islands

A few years have passed since that endless journey between Iceland, the Faroe Islands and then down, passing from Scandinavia to Spain. But only today, on a cold December weekend, I started scanning some of those wonderful photos taken with the old reflex to tell about that wonderful adventure.

It was a hot summer (not so hot in Iceland) in 2004 and I embarked on a long journey around Europe with no return (meaning that I ended up living over a year in Ireland). With me, at least the first few days, there was a travel companion, Matteo, with whom I shared the first tour of the Icelandic Ring Road by bus. We spent the first night inside our uncomfortable and cold runway tents at Keflavik Airport, after landing late in the evening.

n distant memories I still have in mind a fisherman from Keflavik who told us about his boat and about Baldur, a deity of Norse mythology. We will carry the memory of both for days and days. At least until our arrival in Höfn, the day of the legendary football match

Höfn, Iceland: the football match

Höfn was the first clear example of the contrast between the apparent desolation of Icelandic villages and the strong group life that binds this people. If you walk among the houses of some Icelandic village it almost seems to live in deserted villages but, it often happens to find yourself in small parties, places where people gather or meet. Despite everything, Matteo and I were invited by a group of kids to a football match between complete strangers. And it wasn’t the only time someone made us sweat despite the cold … On my first Icelandic trip, I had the opportunity, among other things, to try a fabulous fish soup in a small restaurant in Höfn. Don’t ask me for the name. I could never remember. I just remember the cold outside and the heat of the boiling soup.

Excursion through the lava by bus

In our infamous journey through the immense Icelandic lava fields, I clearly remember Landmannalaugar, if only for the difficult pronunciation we encountered in the early days and also for the absurd cold we suffered in the tents after the storm that welcomed us among the magnificent canyons of the Icelandic valley crowded with tourists. So crowded that when we got the good idea of renting a bungalow for the night, they told us that they had all been booked since March! (plan accordingly)

Landmannalaugar, Iceland: a jeep crosses a stream

Equally frustrating but a little less spectacular from a landscape point of view was, a few days later, the night spent in Husavik. Matteo and I left for the usual walk around the village but, on our return, we found my tent completely destroyed. I don’t know how it could have happened. Maybe some kid playing soccer. The fact is that Matteo and I huddled for a couple of nights in his tent and, after a worthy Viking funeral at mine, we wandered among the caravans of Husavik’s free camping in search of the truth.

The impressive Icelandic landscape

At this point there were few common stages left. We would pass Dalvik, then return to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city, where I would buy a new tent. From there I would have traveled alone around the island, while Matteo would have embarked for a flight from Keflavik towards Norway.

Dalvik welcomed us with the usual free deserted camping and the muddy soccer match with the local kids. Pratically a football field with changing rooms adapted to a public bathroom in which there was only Matteo’s tent, a few kids playing football (with us) and the usual summer rain. An absurd cold did not leave us even in the showers, but he forgot about us when, in the evening, passing in front of a village gym, we met a group of boys intent on taking part in a private party.
Matteo had so many flaws, but the fact that he was able to get to know anyone and in any place did not displease me at all. There was even rumor that he was one of the few who had actually had sex on the legendary “hornet ship” (if the translation is correct), one of the ships of the Viking line steeped in legends and rumors that crosses the Northern seas.
But he never told me anything about it. And I didn’t ask him for anything. I preferred the myth of youth to remain so.

Anyway… We were walking around Dalvik and Matteo stopped to talk to this group of guys outside the gym.
He went out of his way to enter but, as you know, a private party is private for Icelanders. No it goes wrong. However, they brought out drinks and things to eat and talked to us all evening.
The next day we met some of them around…
and the welcome was almost better than the night before.
I have heard that Icelanders are like their volcanoes: cold and icy on the outside, but hot and “fiery” on the inside. In Dalvik I really had proof of this side of their character.

The championship final

top view photo of soccer field during day
Photo by Tom Fisk on

Back from Akureyri with my brand new and ultramodern tent, Matteo and I were getting ready to spend the last day together. It was a cold day in July 2004 and Greece were preparing to face the most famous Portugal in the final of the European Football Championships with very little hope of victory.
Matteo forced me to take a seat in a very crowded pub in Selfoss, where we would have witnessed the probable victory of Portugal.
In fact, Greece took home an inexplicable victory and we an exaggerated amount of Icelandic food and beer enough to get the 90 ‘.


Vik, Iceland: Me with the new tent in front of an Icelandic log cabin

I left Selfoss a couple of days later in the freezing rain. I was alone and eager to discover new corners of Iceland. In Vik I went back to the usual camping site and to the same wooden house where I had been a few years earlier.
The tent was soaked in rain and weighed heavily on my back from these first few weeks of travel. So I decided for a more solid roof while waiting for the tent to dry.
If during the first trip I was lucky enough to find the house all to myself, this time I shared it with a German family consisting of a mother, father and two daughters.
Needless to say, I spent the night in one of the two double beds with the father, while a little ‘everyone disposed of the birthday cake of one of the two daughters, to which they sang cheerful songs in German all evening..

After leaving Vik I stopped again in Akureyri, where I wanted to embark for Grimsey Island, the only point in Iceland from which the Arctic Circle passes. I’ve always had a soft spot for Akureyri: a tiny little girl of extraordinary beauty once approached me and held out her hand. She then she opened it and handed me a black pebble. I asked her what she was and with perfect English equal to that of a university student she explained that it was a piece of Icelandic lava and that she wanted to give it to me.
It’s really true. The heat of the Icelanders is like that of their volcanoes. Even when the lava turned cold.

The skuas

Image by Eduardo Ruiz from Pixabay

Grimsey was a nice surprise and a perfect destination for a day trip. A small harbor and a very colorful church (inside and out) make this small island a little out of this world special. However, Grimsey was also the second place in which I aspired to the infamous skuas, very aggressive arctic birds, accustomed to attacking anyone who dares approach their territory from above. At both Jokulsarlon and Grimsey you will be given sticks a meter or more in length to keep skuers away from “flying” above you. However, the same thing did not happen when I arrived in Bolungarvik, in the fjords of Westfjordur.
In Bolungarvik I was attacked by a rather “aggressive” group of skuas and, when my thin sweatshirt was going to shreds, a small family with an SUV came to my rescue. I saw myself throw open the back doors and heard shouting: “Come in, come on!”
But in the back seats there were two very small and very blond children that I was afraid of crushing when entering.
Eventually fear prevailed, I jumped in and that dark SUV and got to safety.

Bolungarvik, Iceland: Osvor Maritime Museum

Meanwhile, time passed and August was approaching with the imminent end of summer (which in Iceland coincides with the middle of this month more or less).
Once I explored Westfjordur and visited Ísafjörður, I would return south where I would stay among the lesser known villages on the island.
I stayed one night in Blönduós to admire the small church turning orange at nightfall and the next day I took a mail van driven by a nice Icelandic gentleman who didn’t speak a word of English.
My destination was Sauðárkrókur and I would stop here one night. It would be the last in the tent. The postal driver and I tried to communicate and understand each other in some way throughout the journey, until a few minutes from Sauðárkrókur he made me understand with his wide and varied gestures, that we should agree on the time and place of departure of the day after.
His was the only semi-tourist vehicle that traveled to and from that village and, if I hadn’t left with him, I would have risked spending the rest of my life in a small tent “parked” in the middle of a meadow..

Sauðárkrókur, Iceland: my tent under the Icelandic sun

Upon entering the village, the intrepid driver of the van thus began to look for his nephew who, he made me understand, spoke very good English. A tall, very confident blond boy poked his head out the window and in a few words told me that I would have to wait for his uncle the next day at 10.00 am at the same point where he was leaving me. In other words, at an approximate point in front of the free camping of Sauðárkrókur.

My penultimate stop was the tiny and unpronounceable village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur (if you repeat it several times then it gets into your head), where an excursion to Þórsmörk was waiting for me. It was the wettest, wettest, most torrential and flooded excursion of my life. But I saw things that only in Iceland and in no other country in the world could I have seen!

Þórsmörk, Iceland: A 4×4 bus crosses a swollen river

A tip: if you are not Icelandic, carefully avoid going into too “undriveable” areas just because you feel strong in your super Jeep. Were it not for an old Icelandic 4×4 bus (yes! The one in the photo above), now I would be talking about a jeep being pulled away by the river, rather than a brave Icelandic driver who pulled a group of tourists out of the raging river. terrified!

Wet but happy I could go to Seyðisfjörður, the colorful village where the Icelandic port of Norröna is based.
If you don’t know it, it’s the ship, or rather the huge multi-storey building, which travels between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. I slept one night in a village school and the next day I embarked for the Faroe Islands. Iceland has so many tourists in relation to accommodation that, in peak season, some schools are used to accommodate travelers.
That evening, I arrived when the village was now sleepy and deserted. The local gas station vending machine was the only one that still had something to eat. I took a snack with the last few coins and walked between the houses in the village.
After a few minutes a car stopped and the driver asked me if I wanted a ride. I cannot hide that, if the girl of my dreams had happened, I would have stayed to live also in the North Pole but, after a short conversation and some attempt to speak with the few words of Icelandic that I had learned in these 60 days, we arrived in front of the school .
I thanked, got out of the car and understood (once again) that this journey had to continue. Starting with the crazy group of Italians who arrived late at night offering me all the good things to eat …

The Faroe Islands


Although we were now approaching September, the days I spent in the Faroe Islands were the prelude to summer. A phase of high pressure with splendid and warm days (for the area to be clear!) Invaded the islets in those days. I had booked a bed in a hostel in Torshavn, the tiny but charming Faeroes capital and had run out of money before I even got off the ship.
My old credit card could not withdraw in such a remote place (for her) and it took me two or three days to get some money sent from home. Something similar happened to me in Turkey and in Trujillo, a very small village in the Extremadura in Spain.
I shared the mixed dormitory of the Torshavn hostel with 4 other people: Antonio, was a Spanish boy with whom I shared long walks around the capital every evening and long chats about the habits that bound Italians and Spaniards (such as not being able to stay too closed in the house in good weather). Then there was an American woman who offered several times to lend me money to continue the journey, but I preferred to manage alone and not spread debt around the world. Finally, there were two Swedish guys who continued to show their desire to move to Italy… and I never understood why..

Lighthouse, Torshavn


Ever since I started traveling, Mykines has always been one of those legendary islands I wanted to visit. Together with Foula in Shetland. Because I had seen photos, read stories and this distance from everything attracted me more than anything else. And, I must admit, the journey here was absolutely worth it.

A small boat on the “route” to Mykines

Mykines is permanently inhabited by about fifteen people and an incalculable number of seabirds who come to lay their eggs on the island’s cliffs.
When the tourists arrived, part of the inhabitants sat waiting at the small port, while some men fixed the grass roofs of the houses. I don’t remember ever seeing so much beauty and simplicity put together in another place.

Mykines from above

In the following days I continued to explore the islands by walking through the deserted streets or by taking some small postal or tourist boats. I particularly remember the Gjógv hostel and the people lying in the hot September sun admiring the sea. In my memories of these beautiful islands are the sheep eating grass in every corner of the islands and the thousands of seabirds flying free in the sky.
A fisherman told me that at the beginning of summer the sheep were brought to the top of some hills to eat the grass and prevent it from overgrowing. I think all the other animals came more or less spontaneously and will never go away …

Faroe Islands: Geese on the road


I have never made such a long journey again and, if I could, I would do this in exactly the same way. The people, the places and the climate have marked the beauty of everything that happened in those “moving” months. The photos I managed to recover are only a small part of what I took (two heavy books of old prints on photographic paper), but resurrecting the memories of yesteryear with today’s quality is not always possible.
But then, let’s face it … some memories are nice to carry inside: like the driver of an Icelandic bus who sang a typical song on the road that led to the Viti volcano, which in Icelandic means hell (it’s not a name given at random!) , or chats with the many people met along the way…
There is no need to always photograph everything … the beauty will still remain within us…

The Gjógv hostel

My two favorite books on Iceland and the Faroe Islands

  • Last places. A Journey in the North
    by Lawrence Millman

    I have read and reread (the Italian edition) this book several times because it is a journey that the author travels starting from the Shetland Islands, then to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland following the route of the Vikings to the extreme North America. One of my favorite books ever!
  • 101 Reykjavik
    by Hallgrimur Helgason
    The story of Hlynur is a bit peculiar. Unlike many of his peers, 30-year-old Hlynur still lives with his mother and struggles to take the reins of his life in a serious and mature way. Life in the Icelandic capital is made for him of pub nights and wake up late in the morning. An unusual Reykjavik described in an original way by Hallgrimur Helgason’s “pen”

The incredible story of the ghost traveler

Today I will tell you a story.
An incredible story of a strange solo traveler.
This traveler without a suitcase went from one adventure to another, never stopping.

Now, you may wonder: “how could this traveler continue to travel and live all these adventures without ever stopping?”
Simple. He was a ghost.

person in ghost costume on brown grass field
Photo by Monstera on

Once he was also stopped by the conductor who asked him: “where is your ticket?” But he vanished into thin air and got off at the next station.
Then he waited for another train and used the fog and darkness to cross the world on trains and ships.

He had no home to sleep in and nowhere to go. So he wandered all the time getting on a train and getting off when he arrived at his destination.
But why did the traveling ghost keep traveling through time?

Because he was once a solo traveler… and not even death had made him desist from the beauty of traveling.
So he kept jumping from train to train and, when the tracks ended, he walked and walked through meadows and wheat fields, then beaches and cities until he reached the sea.

At this point he boarded a ship and continued the journey…and he or maybe she never stopped.
According to a legend and some rumors that circulated among the railway workers, it seems that the ghost could also be a girl.
A girl who ran away from home many years ago and never found…

13 motivational quotes about solo travel, which will push you to travel immediately

Sometimes, you know, we need some to remind us of how beautiful it is to travel, to leave, to plan, to abandon ourselves to the unexpected. If good memories don’t bring it all to mind, then let it be some healthy literature or some quotes to do it. Here are some famous solo travel quotes that will probably make you want to leave and, if you haven’t already, make you want to start traveling alone.

  1. “I am never happier than when I am alone in a foreign city; it is as if I had become invisible.” Storm Jameson
  2. “Some journeys can be only travelled alone!” Ken Poirot
Photo by Andy Vu on

3. “If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” Maxwell Maltz
4. “There are some places in life where you can only go alone. Embrace the beauty of your solo journey.” Mandy Hale
5. “I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.” – Daphne Du Maurier
6. “Anything we fully do is an alone journey.” — Natalie Goldberg
7. “Not I, nor anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself.” Walt Whitman
8. “When the traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.”  Diane Von Furstenberg
9. “Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.”  Henry Rollins

Ten. “Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” Jacqueline Boone.
11. “The inner journey of travel is intensified by solitude.” Paul Theroux
12. “Traveling alone was like laundry for my thoughts.” Mark Foster
13 “Good people go to heaven, bad people go everywhere “ Unknown

Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay

I hope this short post has been of help to convince you to leave alone (but also not), as soon as possible. Feel free to add your favorite quotes in the comments.

10+ 3 abandoned European villages that only a truly brave solo traveler should visit

It may happen that, between one trip and another, we feel like trying our luck and organizing something a little more exciting than usual. You know, traveling alone can mean a few more unexpected events but, if for one reason or another we decide to get away from everything and everyone, here are some cities or villages around Europe that only the bravest should visit traveling alone.

These are some villages that for various reasons (geological events, wars or more), have been evacuated and never returned to their original state. The inhabitants have been relocated en masse to new nearby settlements and now only onlookers, photographers and wildlife roam here.

1.Oradour sur Glane: This French village not far from Limoges is remembered for a massacre that took place on June 10, 1944, during the Second World War. Here 642 people lost their lives and, since then, only a museum of memory has been established here. Everything else is in a state of neglect. If you decide to come here, remember what happened and that it still remains a place of memory.

Wrecked car in Oradour Sur Glane (Photo by Guitou60 from Adobe stock Photo)

2.Doel, in Belgium, has a very special history: up to the 1970s it had a thousand inhabitants but with the new project to expand the port of Antwerp it was decided to start demolishing houses here. However, there are still a few hundred “dissidents” who do not want to know about selling their house and, today, Doel has become the village of street art and murals.
So there remain closed windows and doors and walls full of incredible drawings. Maybe a visit here could be worth a few hours of your trip if you are passionate about street art

Doel: facade of an abandoned house (Photo by Ronny from Adobe stock Photos)

3. Pripyat also has a very special history. It was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster, the well-known accident at the nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 that initially caused 65 deaths. Pripyat, evacuated after the disaster, can now be visited thanks to some Kiev tour operators who organize excursions here. On the way back, if you just can’t resist the idea of visiting this desolate place, there are still many radiation checks. It even seems that a few hundred inhabitants managed to escape control and now reside permanently here.

Pripyat: Abandoned bumper cars-Photo by Robert Armstrong from Pixabay

4.If it is already hard to think of going to the Svalbard Islands (either alone or with others), trying to get to Pyramiden could prove to be fascinating but somewhat prohibitive.
Founded as a mining town in 1910, Pyramiden bears this name due to the shape of the mountain behind it. In 1998 it was abandoned by the last Russian miners after being used by several mining companies for years. Since 2011 it seems to have been inhabited again for tourist purposes. If you do not like the idea of coming here to meet bears, birds, wild animals and some humans, however, know that on the Svalbard Islands you can visit 3 other ghost towns:
-Advent City
-Grumantbyen ( photo below)
… unless a polar bear eats you first

Grumant settlement at Svalbard, Spitzbergen

5. Belchite, in Spain, was also destroyed by a war. We are in the period of the Spanish Civil War and on 22 August 1937 a siege begins which will only end at the beginning of September. Belchite will be completely destroyed and only a monument of the heroes will remain here. Some films will also be shot after Belchite. But what you see in the photo below is what remains of the historic center of the city.

a view of the remains of the old town of Belchite, Spain, destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and abandoned from then, highlighting the San Martin de Tours church

6.Craco is a small town in the province of Matera in Italy and in the 1950s it began to depopulate due to a landslide that endangered the stability of its houses. At the beginning of the 80s Craco became a ghost town even if today it is a real tourist destination and even a film set on some occasions. Surely a destination within the reach of even the most fearful.

Craco: a donkey grazes the grass at the foot of the abandoned town

7. Dvigrad is a medieval Croatian city also called Due Castelli. Its history has been full of battles and continuous sieges which it has often resisted thanks to its fortifications but, only in 1715, after a strong malaria epidemic, even the last inhabitants were forced to leave

Aerial view of the abandoned village of Dvigrad

8.Not much information about Jantuha, a city in Abkhazia, one of the autonomous republics in which Georgia (formerly the Soviet Union) is divided, but it is certain that looking at the image probably even the most fearless of solitary travelers would find it difficult to enter such a desolate and abandoned place.
Doesn’t it remind you of a scene from the film “Eurotrip”?

Abandoned mining ghost-town Jantuha, Abkhazia. Destroyed empty houses, the remains of the cars, remnant of The Georgian-Abkhazian war

9.This is a real gem and, even if we don’t recommend sleeping at night, it’s sure to be worth a visit. Kayakoy is a completely abandoned Greek-style village that overlooks the Aegean Sea but stands, or rather once stood on the Turkish coasts. The inhabitants now live in the valley and tourism is certainly not lacking here thanks to these splendid ruins surrounded by greenery. For all types of travelers.

Kayakoy, Fethiye, Turkey

Ten. Irbene and Skrunda-1 in Latvia are two Russian military bases with giant radars that are also abandoned. If you want to take a beach holiday, here we are not very far from the fresh seas of Northern Europe and, judging by the photos, already inside the abandoned site, you can see some sand dunes. There are also some hotels in the area. Think about it!

Foto: Edijs Pālens,

Seven good reasons to travel alone…and two reasons not to

It has happened to many that we have to travel alone but some of us almost always happen because, as you know, it brings various advantages, especially at certain times of the year. I know many people who have found themselves starting alone because they were “ripped off” at the last minute by the group they were traveling with and others who were left by their boyfriend or girlfriend a few days before a trip planned for months.

Personally, I discovered this way of traveling more or less when most of my friends started getting married and starting a family. The large traveling groups slowly disintegrated and in the small groups that remained there was no longer the harmony of the past. Also I realized that I certainly could not plan to travel with the families of my friends who had grown up all my life (which has happened but in “uncle” mode and entirely acceptable).

But in these years of pure messing around, casual encounters, planned trips the evening before leaving and total carefree, I have found that even the solo trip has a large number of advantages that when you are in too many people you cannot have. Obviously there is also some negative side, but if life were perfect, we won’t spend so much time trying to improve ourselves.

Good! let’s go in order

  1. The first good thing that comes to mind when I think about traveling alone is the idea of being able to plan everything in absolute freedom. The very low season is now my high season and this allows me to save money, travel more and not have to insist too much for vacation when no one else is on vacation.
  2. Second thing: when traveling alone, you are hardly ever alone. This means that you can choose your travel companions, without having to offend someone if, in a moment of your trip, you do not want to socialize or do not feel the need. I have traveled thousands of kilometers and, especially on international buses and night trains, I have met dozens of people. Slow travel is the best way to meet new people. Sometimes we talk for a few hours, others stop to eat, still others stop in the same city. In hostels, on the other hand, I shared days and nights with strangers and changed my travel plans because I was fine with my new travel companions. Had I been with some group of travelers it would not have been possible for me, I think.
  3. When you are traveling alone and have left without a plan or even a reservation, it is certainly easier to find a place to sleep alone. If you exclude the high season, where it can happen to find everything full, the math teaches us that a free bed in a hostel is easier to find than three or five. In any case, I have wonderful memories of a trip to cold and rainy Scotland where, in an emergency, I stayed one night in a container near the port of Aberdeen and another outside Glasgow station during the hours in which it remained. closed. But, even in those few hours of cold and uncertainty, I happened to meet the craziest people I have ever met in my entire life!
  4. When you travel alone you can decide which mess to get yourself into
Photo by Inzmam Khan on

5. One thing I noticed in “group travel”, but also when I was very young, is the big difference people have in terms of habits. Wake up in the morning, for example: there are those who at 7 are already running to the beach or have breakfast and others who do not want to get out of bed before 11. Yes, you are right, I have forgotten the ones that at 5 in the morning (or at night) are already around. It is not known if they are already awake or if they have never gone to sleep (but it doesn’t matter). Now, either we divide into small groups with similar times, or the solitary life is the ideal solution to plan the days in perfect harmony with yourself and never having to wait or be expected by anyone.

6. When traveling solo you can choose how best to poison yourself during the day: fast food, restaurants, street food or supermarkets are all at your discretion. There are no healthy girlfriends or friends who can advise you or protect you from bad choices

7.Traveling alone teaches you to get by without the help of others and without the help of mom and dad … When you are alone and in a distant country you have to learn to get by, at least for the little things, without the support of nobody.
Then it happened that I had to call my parents or the bank because I was having problems, but otherwise there is no one who will come to help you if you get lost in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.
… perhaps …

I would be a liar if I said that solo travel is always perfect. The first big disadvantage is that in couples or in larger groups you spend less (if the person who is with you is willing to divide the expenses equally!). Traveling alone involves sustainable costs if you travel by public transport and sleep in a hostel, campsite or, as it sometimes happened, on night trains or buses and, sometimes even on some sofa at someone’s home. But as you grow up (or get older) your needs change and you start going to hotels, renting cars and all these things. When you carry a camera and equipment that is worth a lot of money you have to spend a little more money and being two comes with an advantage (except for all the stops you make every time you see a beautiful subject to photograph)

The second “downside” of solo travel is probably the so-called “dead time”. Personally I have learned to fill them with many activities that I have created over the years but, I remember seeing so many people and myself getting bored for hours at the end of the day or waiting to go out at night because you don’t have someone to share your time with.

How to survive and enjoy in Seville and Andalusia on your own for 6 months

I arrived in Seville in a cool February a few years ago, after winning an Erasmus scholarship. I had already visited this splendid city as a tourist and the idea of living there for a few months thrilled me madly!
But one of the doubts that bothered me most (assuming that something could bother me in the face of all this beauty) was the idea of being able to do it with the single monthly figure that the European community offered me.
After finding a room that already covered 50% of my monthly expenses, I realized that with the other half I would have to bear everything else and that, I wrongly assumed, it would not be that difficult considering I was alone in an unfamiliar city, that I would have to work and that I still lived in a relatively cheap area

My first error of assessment
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

But nothing went as I imagined…
I was teaching Italian in a language school in Dos Hermanas, the most populated town in the district of Seville and its surroundings.
Aside from all that I’m not going to tell, I remember that on the first day, several people at school and away, asked me if I had someone to go out with.

“No, I just arrived and I only know you and my roommates” was my reply.

Thus it was the beginning of endless visits to taperie in Seville and Dos Hermanas, local parties, endless nights and weekends spent out.

If not to sleep a few times, eat and shower every day my room was hardly needed…. At one point my roommates became strangers.

…so what?
Photo by Jeff Stapleton on

“…and now? now how
will you tell us about how to survive in Andalusia on little money?”

Seville is full of pubs, taverns, places to eat and drink. A beer but also a tapa cost very little and, unless you want to gorge yourself (I hope the translation is right), you will not spend too much to spend the evening in company. We talk, drink, walk and listen to music and, above all, over time we discover new places.

I spent whole Sundays to listening to jazz or attending events I would never have attended anywhere else, just because the idea of spending a few hours under the heat with a glass of Tinto de Verano relaxed me in that place.
Or I liked people who frequented a certain place and the idea that it was also cheap put it first for that day.

Sevilla and all the Andalusian cities and towns have many traditional events such as the Feria. For an honest price you eat and drink (very well) for days and days, meeting people and dancing until you are exhausted.
Schools close and people leave work early. If you know a lot of people you have the honor of being invited and, if you are a girl, you are often given a traditional dress to attend the occasion (many have one that no longer fits a member of the family and lend it to those who does not have it).

Getting around cheap
Photo by gya den on

And if you want to go to the beach, know that from the end of March onwards in Andalusia you risk already getting a good burn (and an Italian who grew up at the sea tells you this).
I found passes to Tarifa, cheap buses to Cadiz and, once, even a Seat ibiza full of people who smoked illegal stuff (I think) that took me for free to the port of Algeciras, where I took a ship to Morocco and spent an absurd weekend at super cheap costs (for us Europeans).

In short …
without having to live indoors or even having to desecrate the family vault, you can very well get by for a few months by being careful to attend good company and eat decently.
I don’t know how the world changed after the covid but the Andalusians were wonderful people before and, I don’t think they changed with the pandemic! Then, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in one of his famous “Gunny” films, the basic rule always applies: “improvise, adapt and reach the goal”

Traveling solo in a convertible around Rhodes

It may happen that, after almost two summers away from your beloved Greece, you feel like returning to an island you’ve already seen. … But this time you decide to see it from a different point of view: – Almost totally alone and with the wind and the scents blowing in your face, while the hot July sun warms you from up there.

So it was Rhodes 2021.
A rental Mini convertible, the warm Greek wind, the emotions of a wonderful car through the solitudes of the wildest corners of this unique island. The less touristy beaches, the more remote typical Greek restaurants, the goats that slow down traffic and, finally, the white villages, which even with a small Mini Cabriolet you cannot enter. The beauty of being able to enter, find an almost deserted parking lot, walk a bit, then come back and find the car so hot that you can’t even touch the steering wheel.

My Mini on the way to Prasonisi Beach

In order not to get too bored with the same photos, here is some of the Greek splendor that everyone should enjoy and, without going too far, I am going to conclude with a few photos this short but intense journey that I hope to repeat soon, always on board of another Mini convertible and always on another Greek island.

A divine fish lunch in a restaurant on Primiri beach

On the road to Primmiri beach

finally the pearl.

A “small” accident (not caused by me of course) knocked out my Mini two days before my return home and, as usual, the Greeks proved helpful and efficient. When it comes to tourism, these people are always at the top and do not miss the opportunity to prove themselves the best for hospitality, kindness and respect for the traveler. After assisting me for most of the night, here’s what they brought me in exchange for the Mini the following morning. Nothing less than an Audi A3. (I preferred the Mini, which certainly lends itself better to solo travel but I certainly can’t complain)

and that’s it … if you see a Mini Convertible on some Greek island with someone driving who often stops to take lots of photos, it could be me. …follow me…

Lipsi: the island of the Dodecanese

In Lipsi there is no airport, no hospital, very few inhabitants and when I’ve been here in 2018, mass tourism had not yet arrived at the end of June.
People come here to be in peace, explore the island and enjoy the blue sea along with the splendid Greek sun.
The silence is broken only by the sound of the sea waves and, when you move a little away from the beach, also by the bells of the goats. They are the characteristic sounds of these parts of Greece. They will make you fall in love … Just as you will fall in love with these splendid little churches with blue roofs that are scattered almost everywhere. Some are open, others closed, but the best part is climbing a hill, walking for a while and finding these buildings perfectly preserved over time …

Photo by Patty Apostolides on Unsplash

Here, in Lipsi, you can get lost in the village streets in search of a restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious Mediterranean meal. While there aren’t crowds of other Greek islands, some evenings you may already find some full restaurants, especially the more popular ones or those with sea views (not necessarily the same ones). But breathing this peace and quiet of the place after a panorama of is always worthwhile.

Lipsi: the white and blue houses of the village crossed by small streets
Photo Adobe stock

If walking a bit doesn’t tire you, you can admire the landscape that leads to the most suggestive beaches (alternatively you can rent bikes, scooters or take a taxi).

Robert Powell, CC BY-SA 3.0, through Wikimedia Commons

Personally my favorite beach in Lipsi is Platis Gialos (not the one in the picture) for these reasons:
– there is a suggestive walk to get there (under the sun so get organized);
-there is a restaurant;
-the water is blue like that of a swimming pool and also at a pleasant temperature;
-until too many people start to arrive, it is divinely;
-here too you will find ducks and goats and, if you are with children, you make them have fun without having to keep them in the water all the time.