Successful Solo Travel

I just returned from almost 40 days in Italy (5 in France). Places visited were Rome, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Chiusi, Cinque Terre, Florence, Agriturismo outside of Certaldo, Certaldo, Albena, Vence France. I did a blog for family and friends. I am happy to share information if helpful. - - edited by Webmaster... please review Community Guidelines and additional guidelines for the Trip Reports section - - I am not a company or a travel writer, just an excited traveler that used Rick Steves information (again) for a successful trip. For added insight, I am female and 50.

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

I just read Paige's blog yesterday and highly recommend it. Loved the photos and discussions of food and fashion.

Posted by Paige
Fredericksburg
34 posts

Grazie mille! It was wonderful. Ready to plan another!

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

I'm really enjoying reading your blog Paige (I'm still in Florence with you.. :).. especially the food.. I feel like I'm walking in your footsteps with you.. thanks for telling us about it! I may have missed this, but why did you decide to go to Italy on your own? I have always wanted to get the courage to do that and your blog was really helpful in that regard. I also love your style of writing... very enjoyable! You wrote that Florence was the only place you felt comfortable out after dark... I can assure you Sorrento is super safe too... ;)

Posted by Paige
Fredericksburg
34 posts

So exciting to hear you enjoyed!! Let me clarify my statement about "feeling safe", because I totally agree with you regarding Sorrento as well as Anacapri,Vence, Monterosso....being safe places. I guess by the time I was in Florence I was super comfortable with the whole concept of being solo. I probably wasn't near as skittish as I was in say Roma. I never had a single safety issue anywhere. Some places I was not as sure of myself navigating the streets after dark so by sunset, I wanted to be in familiar surroundings.
In reference to your inquiry of how/why I chose to travel on my own....first of all, this was our first summer for both of our children to be in college. They attend out of state schools so our empty nest is really empty. I am a teacher and I tend to spend most of my time up in my classroom. Without my own children to care for, I am becoming, in my opinion, pretty one dimensional. So this was a plan for me to reacquaint myself with myself. At times during this planning process, friends did consider "visiting" me, my daughter tried to work in coming for a time...but it never worked out...and I am actually thankful for that. As far as my husband goes, it is just not his deal and we are wise enough now to accept those differences. Bottom line, I think solo travel was something I wanted and needed. I fully expected to crumble at some point but I never did. Even if I had crumbled, I wanted to gather myself up...and make it to the other side.

Posted by June
Edmonton, Alberta
250 posts

Thanks Paige for the post and the link to your great blog. I am enjoying the fantastic photos. I too love solo travel. I often do a mix of solo, RS tour or travel with a friend or two. The mix is great, having some tome to myself, where I can spend 2 hours taking photos of the sunset over the river in Florence!

Posted by Kim
Paris
544 posts

Paige -- I'm so glad you did this for yourself. I used to do a LOT of solo travel, and still enjoy it when I get the chance. Going to go check out your blog now!

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

Paige, I sold my house this week as my first step to retirement and want to start a blog about my 'change of life' adventures (selling house, de-cluttering, retiring, moving) AND most of all traveling to Europe solo for an extended stay. Did you take the free option at WordPress or did you upgrade to one of the options they charge for?

Posted by Paige
Fredericksburg
34 posts

I used the free version of wordpress. I have since "purchased" the domain girlinroam.com . While I was on the trip, I unknowingly used the "express" (or something like that) version. It allowed very few options...but I did not know better. I since have learned to go to the site instead of using the app.

Posted by Paige
Fredericksburg
34 posts

Oh I look forward to checking out your blog this evening. Yesterday morning (6:00 am) I took my first Italian class via skype. I know I am a hopeless case, but if nothing else, I enjoy listening to my teacher talk!
I look forward to comparing stories.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

DARN why is this such an uptight website,, links to personal blogs not allowed,, really? How are they a threat I will never understand..
So,, how do I find the blog?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Paige, It's great to hear that you had such a fantastic time on your first solo trip! I'm sure it won't be the last one. Italy is also one of my favourite places, especially the Cinque Terre.

Posted by colleen
dallas, TX, USA
149 posts

Paige - thanks so much for sending me the link to your blog. I enjoyed every minute of it. What a wonderful time you had. (I can see why you are hooked on Apernol Spritzers!!! Have you made that fantastic little salted dough treat yet?)

Posted by Paige
Fredericksburg
34 posts

Colleen, I cannot believe I missed your post! YES I finally made coccoli and although the surroundings were not the same, the fried, salty dough brought back sweet memories.
This evening I made a cheese and olive tray, sat by the fire and wished for Italia!

Posted by colleen
dallas, TX, USA
149 posts

Yea! I will attempt to make them. Just nice for us, here in Texas, to have a evening, cool enough, for a fire!.....finally......

Posted by Ann
Houston
1 posts

Through a PM I accessed Paige's blog and am so happy I did. What a treat: the commentary, the photographs and the insight are invaluable. Have been to Italy several times but never with the ability to "do anything I wanted." This information makes me believe I can. Thanks!

Posted by tim
phoenix
32 posts

Great blog Paige. Your excitement as a traveler definitely came across with your writing and pictures. Not to be too informal, but you certainly do know how to get your grub on girl! Impressive.

It is very comforting and encouraging to see that a solo traveler can go over and immerse herself into Italy. The Italian leg of my trip is not near as adventuresome but still I have my doubts about really enjoying everything to the fullest by myself. Safety is not the concern for me (except for the brief time in Naples from the port to the airport - this site and others have me petrified about Naples), but the real concern for me is meeting and interacting with people. RS talks about what makes trips memorable is the experiences with people you meet. I am famous, in least in my U.S. trips, for going places, doing things that I wish to do, taking pictures and then I realize when I come home that I didn't talk to anyone other than front desk clerk or cashier. That cannot happen on this trip. I noticed you had quite a few pictures of people and with people. What is your advice for meeting locals considering my limited Italian (only because my Spanish is ok ) and my non-existent French.

Thanks again for the inspiration.

Oh by the way, I borrowed your Italian chair pic as my Facebook profile :)

Posted by Jean
Mill Creek, WA, USA
84 posts

Hi Paige,

I'll be going to Switzerland & Italy in September, so i'd love to view your blog. Could you send me the link?