I have always wanted to do solo traveling. I find it so cool to go and explore a new world all by oneself. To follow my own itinerary, to meet new people, to go and see places wherever my feet takes me. It’s all about me, no waiting and no adjusting. The desire got stronger and stronger every time I read travel memoirs and blog posts about it, but I never had the gut to really do it. So when my friend said she couldn’t make it on our Beijing trip due to some urgent thing, I decided to keep the initial plan and go there by myself. I was pushed to solo travel, and I was ready! Or so I thought..
I woke up at 5.47 AM even though my train from Shanghai to Beijing was scheduled at 9 AM. I was about to do two things from my bucket list , solo traveling, and later, taking a seflie in front of The Great Wall of China. I know.. I know I was old enough, too old even, to travel alone for the first time, but still I was feeling extra anxious.
I love taking the train, and this journey offered me a scenic view of rural China. It was beautiful! But I didn’t move much during the five hour train ride. I didn’t go to restroom, nor check out the food; not even people watch. I sat still with my bag on my lap. For some reason, I thought if I wasn’t careful enough, I would lose my stuff.
I knew I would love Beijing even before seeing it, and I was right. Beijing is a classic poem you guys! It’s a buzzing city with historical touch everywhere.
Once I reached the hotel, I immediately googled food (I only had a cup of latte the whole day, and I wanted to try the famous Peking duck). Found one! Somewhere nearby, so i decided to walk there. Cold weather greeted me.. Brrrr!! I walked fast shivering. “This isn’t how I imagine exploring the city alone would be like”, I remember thinking.
At the restaurant, I was served by the rudest waiter I have ever met. When I asked her what were her recommendations, she replied “You check” and shoved the opened menu into my face. Not hand. Face. She took the order and told me the food would come in 50 minutes. 50 minutes? I was already super hungry! I should have walked away and find another place to eat, but I was super hungry to do that also. So I sat there for more than an hour without my phone because the battery was dead. Sitting alone with a growling stomach, surrounded by food you can’t eat, without anything to distract your mind was a defining moment in life. It defines you if it doesn’t make you cry. I cried a little.
The duck came, served on a candle light heated plate, looking all glazed and delicious, and it was! It was warm and tender, so tender that it melted in my mouth. Was it worth the money I paid considering the waiting time and the rude waiter? Well.. I don’t think so. Or maybe next time I will come after a good breakfast and with a kindle.
My Initial plan was to roam around the neighborhood, and I did, for like ten minutes. The weather was too cold, I was feeling cold and lonely. It wasn’t even 24 hours yet, but I missed having my friends. I missed asking them what they want to do and following them instead. I missed talking already!
I turned to walk back to my hotel, half promising myself I would find something fun to do outside later at night.
Back in the hotel, I turned the TV on, (TV is my guilty pleasure, without the guilt part) but everything was in Chinese. That’s it! I stopped trying and called it a day. I showered, changed into my PJs and stayed in bed while binge eating the cheesecake I bought from the bakery nearby on my way back.
Solo traveling wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. Granted, the next days were so much better. I got to see the Great Wall of China, I got to explore and eat wherever I want, and it trained myself to entertain myself better.
So yeah, solo traveling, even if it’s nerve wrecking in the beginning, it will expand oneself. My suggestion is to do it. Like, now. Another suggestion is to always keep a bag of cookies with you because it helps. A lot.
Well, that’s all for now guys. Thank you very much for reading on my failure. I would love to see you at my blog, come and stop by! and Thank you Belinda for having me here.