How Traveling Alone Taught Me That I Am Never Alone + {weekend} links

by Tina on October 18, 2013

in family, The Netherlands, Travel

amsterdam traveling mama-20

As you know, I was quite worried about traveling alone for the first time.  Call me silly, but the thought of going on an airplane alone and finding my way around a foreign city kind of scared me.  Ironically, quite a few things actually went wrong, starting with none of my credit cards working to pay for the taxi in the wee hours of the morning before I had even left Copenhagen and then arriving in Amsterdam to find out that the airline had lost my luggage. (Let’s just say that I will never wear a sweatshirt on my flight to a speaking engagement again, even if it’s super cute and styled well!)

Despite the fact that these normal little inconveniences felt slightly magnified because I was alone, I found it oddly therapeutic to travel alone.  I got to roam the city, popping into whatever store I wanted, taking as many photos as I liked, and generally indulge my every little wish because no one was there hanging on my arm, crying or begging to go to the playground!  (Or go sit in a coffee shop when I wanted to go, go, go!)

It felt like the ultimate luxury to peruse Amsterdam alone, but the really interesting thing to me was that I found myself talking nonstop.  Maybe it was the lack of a travel buddy (or four) but there was suddenly airtime to chat with someone at the luggage carousel (rather than trying to pull my littlest off of it!) and I met the kindest Dutch lady who not only helped me figure out the train ticket machine, but also walked and chatted with me about her recent trip to Mongolia until she had safely delivered me to the correct platform.

I was so encouraged by the kindness of strangers and fascinated by the oddity of being surrounded by people I did not know, perhaps on their way to familiar faces and or maybe, like me, to an unknown destination just waiting to be discovered.  Maybe you can identify with the triumph after overcoming a fear in your own life?  Victory is sweet!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos I took on my indulgent walk around Amsterdam:

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Here are also a few of my favorite links to send you off into the weekend!

While planning a trip to Spain next year, I found this drop dead gorgeous Small Boutique Hotel!

How cute are these leopard print nail appliqués?  Such a fun way to add a little something extra to an outfit!

Do you take photos of yourself in the dressing room, too?

Want a fun, new way to decorate your pumpkin this year? Check out these Embroidered DIY Pumpkins I created!

I am dying just a little over the new Filippa K Dinnerware.  Gorgeous!

I need a new wallet and this Glitter Bug by Kate Spade is adorable! Get 30% off with promo code: FALL13FF

Fall is here and I am kind of obsessing over it this year!

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Di October 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I love to travel alone. Usually I am off to visit friends so at least there is always someone to chat to in the evenings when I come back from a day exploring and they come back from work but I have also joined tour groups on my own and gone to Granada totally on my own for 4 days. If I am travelling with work I often try to get an extra day at my expense to see the town or city I am visiting- as I did last November in Copenhagen so I got to visit the lovely Tivoli at Christmas and see the amazing windows in the department store. I guess I am used to it because I don’t have kids so its easy to go alone, but I do also love travelling with like minded friends- 2 I regularly go with I met on a tour of Japan – all of us being solo travellers in the group.

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Tina October 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

I love that! Why wait for someone else when you can just go and do it alone? I’m guessing you always make friends along the way, too!

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Andreia October 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm

well, it seems we have lots of things in common…I could write a similar post if I had to go to Amsterdam (or everywhere else) 🙁 I don’t like to travel alone either …

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Tina October 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

Glad I’m not the only one! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, though!

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kelleyn October 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Traveling alone can be scary, but as you said we are never really alone and we might meat some amazing people along the way! Have a great weekend!

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Tina October 21, 2013 at 10:13 am

totally! I thought I would retreat and stay by myself, but it actually made me quite bold!

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Celena October 19, 2013 at 12:49 am

Beautiful photos! I talk to myself all the time and I never feel lonely 😉 Funny, the only time I really felt lonely was when I first moved to Denmark. To make friends with Danes took a large time investment and patience 😉

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Tina October 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

heehee! I had Maria from Sound of Music’s “I have Confidence” stuck in my head! Danes can be tough to get to know, especially if you don’t have a natural in road into relationships, but totally worth the effort!

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Celena October 22, 2013 at 1:20 am

I absolutely agree with you- when a Dane becomes your friend, they are a friend for life. Even though I no longer live there, my closest friends are still the Danes that I met while I was living there. Getting close to these lovely women was a funny experience- it was a bit like, suddenly one day, you were in their good books 😉 Also, I married a Swede and had a child in DK. Maybe it was the “growing roots” thing! Have a great week, Tina!

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Tasha October 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Getting married late and being a travel addict meant that I did lots of trips on my own.
But I have to say after having a family I absolutely loved travel even more – much more
enjoyable with loved ones and friends. Can relate to you Tina though as even with the family,
hubby would let me have an afternoon by myself to explore and/or shop a city while he looked after the
kids, and I would love this little bit of freedom, knowing they were safe in the hotel.
Love the photos.

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Tina October 21, 2013 at 10:16 am

That is such a great idea. Sometimes my husband goes and finds a great place to have a coffee while I explore so we both get what we want! 🙂

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