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  • Writer's pictureKiah May

Traveling Solo: The First of Many

Obviously, I love traveling, but sometimes it is difficult to find people to go with. Everyone always says that its too expensive or they don't have the time or a million other excuses. While I know that all of these things can be overcome with good planning and saving, I also know that sometimes, to get the adventure I crave, I'm going to have to go it alone.

So here we are. Finally, COVID cases were down enough that I could reasonably travel to mainland Europe! To ensure that my parents would allow me to go I booked a tour with GAdventures to go sailing in the Canary Islands.

Hiking in the Calle de Los Tilos National Park (La Palma)

While there were hiccups along the way (flight cancelations, delays, etc.) these were all good learning experiences. One of my favorite lessons about this is from the 2015 movie "The Martian:" "You solve one problem, and you solve the next, and if you solve enough problems" you get to go on an amazing adventure.

Eventually you will get where you need to be and when you do, the fun really begins. It took 2 flights and 15 hours of traveling, but when I arrived to Tenerife incredible food and awesome people were waiting for me.

Lobster at La Torre Gastro Bar (Tenerife)

After getting food for the boat, an amazing dinner and a good night's sleep we set said towards La Gomera. When we arrived, black sand beaches, hikes, and even more marvelous food was waiting. We hiked through Garajonay National Park and tried tons of local food including Mojo (a chili sauce) and gofio (a type of grain).

Hiking in Garajonay National Park

After two unbelievable days on La Gomera, we said for 10 hours to La Palma where we did more hiking, eating, and learned about Canarian fruit because La Palma is where most of the fruit in the Canary Islands is grown. March 2022, was just three months after the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption was declared to be over, so we also saw the horrible devastation from the disaster that destroyed over 3000 homes and buildings.

Overlook in La Palma with a Model of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria in the background

Once again we had a little hiccup with it being to windy to said back to Tenerife as we had originally planned, but this worked out for the best as we were able to explore more of La Palma including the Parque Arqueologico El Tendal, the Calle de Los Tilos National Park, La Destileria Aleda (a rum distillery), and eat some more amazing food (including paella!).

Fresh Made Paella at Tasca Luis

After an amazing extra day in La Palma, we boarded a 4am ferry back to Tenerife to ensure that we would make our flight! We had a bit of time to kill in Tenerife so we ended up eating at an amazing resturant (Pistacho Coffee Brunch) and hung out on a beach before catching a bus to the airport.

Oatmeal Carrot Pancakes at Pistacho Coffee Brunch (Tenerife)

After a quick flight I made it to London where I was ready for another amazing adventure. On a one day in London tour with Evan Evans I was able to get a super quick, albeit very detailed, history of London while seeing some of the most recognizable sites in the world including The Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Changing of the Horse Guard at St. James' Park, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and The London Eye. I then had an amazing dinner in Covent Garden.

While in London I also saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (which was pretty overrated), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History museum, had afternoon tea at Candela Tea Room (I would definitely recommend this place!), and had dinner at Queen's Gate in Kensington. I loved London and would definitely go back and see the things I didn't have a chance to!

I loved traveling solo and it was a great experience for me! Definitely make sure you're safe and know what you're planning to do! All the best on your first solo experience; this definitely won't be my last.



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