In April, I went to Nice, France and Geneva, Switzerland– alone. So here’s how that went in a nutshell.
Nice, France: My favorite part was the walking tour group I’d signed up for on the first day of the trip. Having a tour guide explain the sights and the artistically rich history that Nice has helped me to appreciate everything I saw. It allowed me to explore the city, see the main sites, and add things to my to-see list.
Geneva, Switzerland: Oddly, the greatest parts of this trip ended up being the tour I took of the Palais des Nations where the artwork throughout encapsulated the UN’s history and mission as well as the group of travelers I met in my shared dorm room. And probably the best part: getting to paraglide from France to Switzerland from Mont Salève!
I found that being by myself the entire day only made me want to stay out from sunrise to sunset, even more, doing as many things as possible each day. Being on my own, I found places like cafes, museums, walking tours, and the beach in both Nice and Geneva to be the most fun and conducive to solo travel.
For the first time, I stayed in hostels. It’s certainly a place to sleep, but I will never forget to bring a sleeping mask and earplugs again. Trust me on that one. Overall it was a good experience since I got to meet other travelers. In Nice, I was able to walk everywhere because of the hostel’s central location. In Switzerland, I got to take advantage of the free travel pass provided to tourists who stay at hotels/hostels, so it was easy to get around.
Being alone, people will feel more comfortable approaching you, warranting either harmless situations like people asking you to take their photo or finding yourself needing to get out of an encounter quickly. For me, I think the experience of being able to figure things out on my own ultimately ended up outweighing this step outside my comfort zone and the increased risks of solo travel.