To kick off finding peace in solitude, I completed my first solo trip to Copenhagen!
I’ve been wanting to go on a solo trip for ages, but I kept pushing it back due to the fear of the unknown and the dangers found when venturing into a new territory. My fears were justifiable at first but not justifiable enough for me to keep holding myself back. I had some discouragement from booking it from my parents and friends but I didn’t listen in the end because I wanted to use 2018 to step out of my comfort zone because life is too short.
Everyone I spoke to about solo trips who had been before me said “just book it and you’ll be fine” and they were right, once I got past being scared, I really enjoyed it. I decided to go to Copenhagen because it’s in Europe and the culture is similar to the UK.
When travelling I always make sure I stay in a hotel that I feel comfortable and safe in, which is why I booked the AC Bella Sky hotel (4/5 on TripAdvisor). I don’t book hotels below 4 stars on TripAdvisor because I hate feeling like I’ve wasted money and comfort for me is the key when travelling. AC Bella Sky is 10 minutes drive from the airport, had a shuttle bus, a metro station close by, was very modern and had an excellent breakfast buffet. The hotel also had a spa for an additional charge, unfortunately, I was not able to use it as I cut myself while in Venice that week and did not want to take any risks.
I can’t put into words how peaceful and mentally free I felt when I arrived at my hotel, I think I felt that way because I was finally travelling alone — something I’ve thought about for so long.
Copenhagen is an expensive picturesque city with friendly locals. I bought a 24hr Copenhagen card because I did not want to worry about paying for transport or exhibitions and while exploring Copenhagen its many museums and waterway. 2 days wasn’t enough to see all of Copenhagen so I would recommend a 4 day trip.
NY Carlsberg Glyptotek had so many beautiful paintings and statues, I spent most of my day there, museums are multilayered portals to the past and I loved them! There’s always something interesting, whether it’s the paintings, statues or the general museum interior – all of it interests me.
At the Tower at Christiansborg Palace I was able to see most of Copenhagen, I could even see my hotel and the bridge that connects Copenhagen to Malmo, Sweden.
The Danish Design Museum was a bit boring, but had some really nice pieces, including a stunning black Balmain dress by the late Danish Designer Erik Mortensen.
Nyvhan was very busy and bustling, I took one of my favourite pictures there.
Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest amusement park in the world and the 5th most visited park in Europe and I can see why- it was enchanting. I felt like a little kid seeing all the bright lights and rides. Although it was bittersweet being there, knowing that Solange Knowles was supposed to play that night (she cancelled the previous day) and it was slightly sad looking around seeing people with their families and friends and I had no one to say “omg this is so cool” to, but I got over it because I chose to step out of my comfort zone by travelling alone.
Safety as a Woman
Unfortunately, as a Woman I had to take extra precautions for my own safety (yay):
- I avoided going out at night because there’s weirdos everywhere and being out late in an environment I’ve never been to before wasn’t worth the risk. However the day I went to Tivoli Gardens I did not get back to my hotel until 10:30 pm, I lost track of time and wanted to see as much as I could before I left the next day
- I didn’t drink any alcohol
- I was hyper-vigilant and aware of my surroundings at all times, if I thought someone was following me, I changed routes and when I asked for directions I mainly asked women (although women can be dangerous too). I barely asked for directions because google maps and MAPS.ME exist and I never left the hotel without my portable charger.
- I kept my bag on me at all times and I did not leave it anywhere because there’s professional pickpockets everywhere, especially in Copenhagen.
- I researched by asking friends and people on twitter about Copenhagen so I knew what areas to go to and what to avoid, hence how I knew about the pickpockets in the first place.
- As I was arriving into Copenhagen late, I decided to pick a hotel close to the airport with a shuttle so I wouldn’t get lost or have to navigate in a foreign city
- When I asked other people to take pics of me, I asked other tourists and locals who didn’t look shady when we were in a confined space e.g. At a NY Carlsberg Glyptotek and I also offered to take pictures of them in return.
Safety as a Black Woman
Unfortunately, as a black woman I had to take extra precautions for my own safety (double yay):
- I checked about Racism in Copenhagen. As much as people love to act like racism doesn’t exist, it does and I refuse to pay into any economy who hates me because of my skin colour and put my own safety at risk which is why most of Eastern Europe will never see me.
For my next solo trip
- I will have a spare phone just for GPS so I don’t have to bring out my own phone all the time
- I’ll bring a four wheels suitcase
- Spare batteries for my digital camera
- Plan and research the local area more so I’m less likely to get lost.
- I will bring a spare portable charger in case mine fails (I doubt it would ever happen as Anker chargers haven’t failed me yet but failing to prepare leads to preparing for failure).
Overall, I would recommend a solo trip to everyone, it was a great way to explore on my own and gain my independence, I’m proud I had the confidence and courage to do it and happy I didn’t decide to cancel it. As much as I love going on group holidays, I really enjoyed this because I felt free and didn’t have to think about anyone else which was nice, I was able to sleep off breakfast instead of rushing to start the day off and did other things I wanted to do without a second opinion.
You shouldn’t wait for other people to do the things you want because you’ll end up missing out on great experiences. So take that solo trip you’ve been thinking about, it will probably go smoother than you think — mine definitely did!