You would think given how much I’ve traveled I would have already traveled on my own. While technically all of my big trips have been done by me alone, I also had support in one form or another, such as through a program or company.
When I originally came to Spain, it was with the intent of exploring Madrid on my own for a weekend before heading to Linares, where I didn’t know anyone either, but had plans to meet with future and then present auxiliares. So Madrid was to be my first trip completely by myself. That meant exploring museums, parks, monuments, and yes, eating in restaurants alone for two and a half days. I remember the liberation I felt walking up and down the Prado by myself, moving on my own speed without worrying about losing anyone in the crowds. However, a few hours later, I caved and had somehow managed to get in contact with other auxiliares in Madrid and spend the rest of the weekend with them.
Obviously I have no regrets, because it’s always great to meet people, especially when you travel, because everyone has such interesting stories to share. But I wanted to really get that experience of knowing absolutely no one and going through a more natural process of meeting people (i.e. at a bar or in a museum as opposed to the communal thread of a program that everyone is participating in).