My First Solo Traveling Experience

my first solo traveling experience!If you follow me on social media, you've probably seen me posting 'grams and snaps (snapchat :: lifeofchar) of myself prancing around a European city, biking everywhere, eating amazing food and relishing in the freedom of travel. Last week I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I will be staying for the month (maybe a little longer!) This is my first solo traveling experience!  While this trip feels like it was a long time coming, in reality, I only booked it roughly 2 weeks before actually flying out. However, I've been thinking about a trip for months. Finally my intuition kicked in and I felt a strong urge that I had to go to Copenhagen, Denmark in August. I'M ON A SOUL TRIP, you guys. A soul trip is an adventure you take that serves your soul and allows you to connect with yourself on a deep level—allowing you to get in touch with your intuition and authentic self.

So you might be wondering why I chose Copenhagen? I decided on it as my #soultrip destination for a variety of reasons:

- I am extremely inspired by Scandinavian culture (food, design, lifestyle)

- It is a safe city for a young female to travel and live alone in—perfect for my first solo travel adventure

- Danes are very friendly and most speak english

- There is an epic healthy food scene —raw, vegan and paleo

- The climate ranges from 65-75F in the summer; perfect in my eyes

- You can get everywhere you need to go on a bike

- Wanted to create personal connection to Danish culture seperate from my ex-boyfriend

A soul trip can be anything you want it to be as long as it satisfies something deep inside of you—for me, it meant staying in one place for a long period of time. A lot of people my age like to travel from country to country post-college, spending a few days in each major city in Europe. Just thinking about that exhausts me—I prefer slow travel that allows the opportunity  to get intimate with a culture, the people and the place. So for my soul trip, I decided to rent a cute apartment via Airbnb (sign up here!) and stay in Copenhagen for the month. I've included some pictures of my Airbnb in this post, but here is a link in case you'd like to stay here. Every time I travel I use Airbnb—in my opinion, it gives the most authentic travel experience and allows you to live like a local. Plus, having your own kitchen to cook in is always a plus.

So how do I fill my days? Exploring the city by bike! Eating incredible food! Meeting up with people who I've connected with on social media! Photographing! A big part of travel for me is taking my normal routine and simply doing it in a new city. That means that I'm still going to the grocery store, cooking great food, working out, going to yoga, having time to simply just relax and recharge. This allows me to really connect with local people, experience what daily life is like in a different culture while at the same time staying centered and in balance. Furthermore, I have dropped all expectations of what I should do and instead, wake up each morning and ask myself what I want to do. I've had crazy days of biking 15km +, meeting five different people, working out and going out for every meal but I've also had slow days of doing nothing but drinking tea and listening to the children laugh and play in the park across from my house. Each decision I've made has been guided solely by my intuition and so far, every experience has been great. This trip has been a great experience is honoring intuition and trusting that deep down, you already have all the answers.

For me, this soul trip represents a huge turning point and shift in my life. I think I may file my life phases as "before my soul trip" and "after my soul trip." I haven't talked much about my recent break-up on the blog mostly because I haven't known how to put it into words. Basically, though, I recently ended a 5+ year relationship. It was the right decision but by no means was it easy. We met as 17/18 year olds and we grew up together. Parting with my ex was terrifying and scary—I wasn't really sure who I was without him because we had spent essentially every single day together for five years (1825 + days!!!) But over the course of the past four months, many tears and sadness, I have connected and discovered a part of myself I never knew. This soul trip is a celebration of my new found independence. It's my first time traveling alone and has showed me how capable I am on my own. I've been forced to show up for myself, to romance myself, to love myself and be my own best friend—because the most important relationship you have is truly with yourself.

If you'd like to connect with me on my trip, I'd suggest finding me on instagram or for a more intimate look into my life and who I am, join me on snapchat—my username is lifeofchar. And big shoutout to my family—my sisters and my dad—who encouraged me to take the leap and go on this trip. My life and relationship with myself is forever changed.