My first solo trip was to Paris this year. I booked an apartment at Avenue Daumensil, Paris for my short trip. Coming from India, I was totally unaware of the French language. Although, now I can understand basic words. Almost all the confusions that I faced were because of the language gap.
The Metro station was a 2-minute walk. It took me several hours at the station to understand what to do and which ticket to buy as the person in charge did not understand English. No offence to anyone, the people in the help centre will very straightforwardly tell you “French only” and will offer no assistance, not even a smile. It sometimes looks very rude to a stranger looking for some help. Although I had done my google research still I wanted to get it confirmed from authority.
Anyways, I decided to go by bus and was trying to understand the map with very confused expressions. Somehow a lady deciphered my expressions and very nicely asked me if she could offer some guidance. Help was the only thing I was looking for. I asked her for almost the whole itinerary for my two-day trip and she very patiently told me best monuments and mode of transport to reach every point. She also advised me to write a date on my travel pass otherwise it could lead me to pay a fine if checked. Once I was equipped with all the information, my trip was a cakewalk.
While planning the trip, I was apprehensive about going alone. Several questions were blazing in my head like how will I enjoy alone, how will I communicate, how should I stay safe etc. But once I started the journey, I realized how free you feel while travelling alone. You could choose to stay as long as you want at the points you love, you could move in any direction and try any food. Certainly, this solo trip experience taught me to communicate with people who don’t understand my language. Also, now I can make any plan without fear of someone else cancelling it.