I went on my first ever international solo trip earlier this month. If you kept up to date with my plans for October you may have already known about my little solo trip. Let’s start off with a story of how my solo trip to Brussels came to be.
I had booked a Friday and Monday off work simply because I needed to use up my outstanding holiday days. Not wanting my long weekend to go to waste, I curiously searched for flights to ‘anywhere’ on Google Flights. It turned out for that weekend I could get to Brussels for the cheap and cheerful price of £38 (or there abouts). Next thing I knew, I had booked flights to Brussels before my 30 minute lunch break was over.
With that, I went on the search for an equally penny-savvy AirBnB, after all I am supposed to be saving right now. I found the most perfect apartment which I booked and paid for a few days later.
Fast forward a few more weeks and I was on the plane to Brussels feeling suitably giddy about my first ever solo trip. If you aren’t a fan of flying I probably wouldn’t recommend reading The Book Thief as I did. Reading a chapter about a plane crash whilst you are in the middle of the air on a plane is a little bit odd. Luckily, I love (seriously love) flying so it didn’t phase me. For the hour long flight I relaxed with my book whilst listening to some Disney Hits, as you do.
Stepping off the plane into a foreign country all by myself was truly refreshing. It felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was free to explore and do things as I pleased in a strange city for 4 whole days.
My exploring started with getting lost in Midi station (note: I got lost a lot whilst I was away, the above photo is one I snapped whilst lost in Bruges). Once I’d figured out where to buy my travel card and get the bus from I was finally on my way to my cute little apartment. The bus journey from the station to my AirBnB was so simple. It stopped by all the main destinations you’ll want to check out in Brussels. A great bonus feature was that the bus has a little screen to show the upcoming stops. This is perfect for when you have no idea when you’re meant to ring the bell to get off.
My AirBnB was the most incredible tiny living space ever. I would move there in a heartbeat if such a place existed in my home town. Add an extra bedroom and it would be my ideal small home. I adored having a mezzanine level bedroom. The whole decor was seriously dreamy. I couldn’t have asked for a better space for the perfect hygge weekend away. Even though I didn’t use the garden, it was lovely to know I had my own little outdoor area if I wished to sit out and enjoy the fresh air.
Brussels is a city filled with charm. As you wander through the cobbled streets you’re bound to stumble across a beautiful view or a building of grandeur. Grand Place is Brussel’s central square and it’s beauty is exquisite. I passed through the square every day and on my final day I found myself a perfect little spot on the wall to people-watch and read my book. Is there any better pastime than people-watching? I really don’t think there is.
During my four day solo trip, I managed to tick a lot of things off the explore list.
On my second day in Belgium, I jumped on a train to Bruges. The journey should have been just over an hour but I unknowingly jumped on the slow train, meaning the journey was more like 2+ hours. But hey, it was 2+ hours filled with Belgian countryside that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. I promise to put up a little post all about my day in Bruges. Minnewater lake was my absolute favourite spot of Bruges. It was a little corner of tranquility.
Back to Brussels, I spent my final 2 days soaking in all the sights as I enjoyed my own company. From Grand Place and the Mannekin Pis to the European Quarter and Parc du Cinquantenaire. I obviously made sure I squeezed in some Belgian waffles and a couple of trips to some adorable lunch spots.
Rocking it solo is something people often shy away from. I can’t tell you how many people gasped in disbelief when I told them I was going on a solo trip. If they weren’t shocked at my brave plans to jump on a plane by myself, they pitied me. Why? I enjoy my own company. I’d even go as far as to say sometimes I prefer my own company. It gives you the chance to do things your own way. You don’t have to worry what someone else may think. You can be undeniably selfish without a care in the world and that’s cool.
Going adventuring on my own also gives me the chance to clear my head. Life can get overwhelming at times. I often feel engulfed by life current going-ons and need nothing more than to escape. A few days in my own company exploring somewhere new is often the breath of fresh air I need to help me find my feet again.
I feel like life is too short to be spent waiting on other people. It probably doesn’t help that I have serious trust issues and constantly feel like people will abandon me. But that is most definitely a story for another time. In this case, it simply adds to my reasoning for why I’m more than happy to do things by myself without the worry of anyone else.
All in all, I loved my first ever solo-trip to Brussels. I can assure you this won’t be my last ever international solo trip either. Brussels was just the tip of iceberg. There is so much more left for me to explore and I certainly don’t mind making memories as I go on grand adventures all by myself. Life doesn’t wait for anyone and neither do I.