Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How Solo Travel changes you!

Please see link for full article from other solo travelers

Solo Travel is Transformational
A year of emotional stress led to my decision to follow my dream of planning for a 6 month trip to Europe. I learned that solo travel is healing, each day was better than the day before  with beauty at every corner. For the first time in a long time I felt alive, The joy and happiness radiated from my face. Traveling solo allows the freedom to follow your own path, to be lost in contemplation and get to know oneself and enjoy your own company. 
Confidence and Conquering fear
I was doubting my decision about traveling to unknown countries solo however was determined to not let the fears to me. I allowed my self to feel the fear but not to worry about the outcome and to be prepared for unexpected events.
A blogger inspired me to travel to Romania. There was minimal tourist infrastructure and many locals did not speak English. I discovered those who spoke English were happy to engage in conversation about the Romanian life, culture and economy. 
I successfully travelled to 7 cities in 2 weeks. As I traveled, my confidence increased and added to my security to travel to other countries outside of my comfort zone. I learned that when things get rough I can reach down inside myself and know what I need to do.
Living in the Moment
After years of multitasking and looking forward to what is next on my agenda, I lived in the moment. I learned to slow down and hold that breath for 2 seconds longer. The time is only now, the place is only here. There are many special moments while traveling: listening to the street musician brings a song to my heart; evening wine in the main square in Brasov; watching the beautiful sunsets. I learned to stop and savour these delightful moments rather than rushing to the next sight. 
Life is short! Learn and grow and travel while you can!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Solo Travel over 50 

I am a solo female traveler, writer, and photographer. I have traveled solo for four years beginning at 70 years of age.  I sold my home, furniture and most of my belongings.
My journey began in Nice, France, which holds a special place in my heart. Overlooking the clear azure blue waters with rocky cliffs, it is paradise. With a positive, relaxed lifestyle and sun most days of the year.
Although intimidating to travel outside my comfort zone, my confidence increased. Each country provided a unique experience. One does not recall all the places you see but you remember the surreal moments and the people you meet along the way.
I rented an apartment in a local neighborhood in Bucharest, Romania shopping at the local market, making friends with the locals. Erica sold flowers at the market and the first few days she would beg me to purchase flowers. After a few days, I decided to buy flowers daily to help support her. We became friends and she bought tea, which we shared, at her flower stand on my last day there. 

                                  Erica sold flowers at the local market

The Soviet era is apparent in Bucharest although there are gems such as a large park to stroll, museums and the food is very good and inexpensive.  There is a language barrier primarily among the elderly however, the people are helpful. The young people speak English and open to communicating about life in Romania.
I arrived in Istanbul the day a large cave explosion caused over 300 deaths. People were angry about riots near my apartment. I was fortunate that the owner accompanied me to the apartment and helped me get food for the evening since it was not safe to go out. The riots continued while I was in Istanbul however, I learned how to avoid them.
Istanbul became one of my best memories: “Have a cup of tea” an invitation everywhere in Turkey; Call to prayer each evening; Tea overlooking overlooking the Bosporus with the apartment owners family; Turkish bath ; the ferry to the Islands; the palaces; walking the seven hills of Istanbul.
Travel changes you in unexpected ways. One can never return to who you were before. You are never too old to travel. Onward!
Read more stories about traveling including mine here at XYYandBEYOND Travels over 50

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Genoa Slideshow

Genoa is one of the main Italian ports in front of the Sea of Liguria. The oldest settlement dates from Neolithic. The alleys of the historical center are a designated UNESCO site.