Strolling Solo: Edinburgh, Scotland

“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” -Oscar Wilde

It’s a weird feeling when you’re about to be somewhere completely by yourself. There are no friends to debate whether you’re going the right way or not, or to laugh at the funny street performer. There’s no one there to talk to before you fall asleep, or to get a drink with you in a pub. But I’m here to tell you something quite amazing and revolutionary: IT’S OKAY!

I got asked so many times before my solo trip to Scotland: Won’t you be bored? Won’t you be lonely? Won’t you be scared? Do you want to know my answer from before my trip and after: Nope. Sorry people, but my life doesn’t revolve around the actions of others.

I think my generation so often forgets that we don’t need a body standing next to us in order to have fun. We don’t need someone else in our company just to help us live our lives. I’m okay with seeing a movie by myself, or going to a museum solo. I can shop alone and sit in a cafe eating in silence. I think it’s sad that people my age nowadays aren’t even willing to try these things without a friend there to break “awkward” silence.

Well anyways, my point is: don’t be scared! If you want to visit a new place even though none of your friends want to, just go. I wanted to see Edinburgh, but no one was willing to go with me so I went anyways. And I had the absolute best time.

I spent 2 days there. I went to The Elephant House, which is known as the birthplace of Harry Potter. I sat for about an hour and drank my coffee and enjoyed a sandwich. If you go, make sure to check out the bathroom. Oh, and bring a pen/sharpie with you (you’ll understand why if you go).

Then, I decided to climb Arthur’s Seat: an extinct volcano that rises 823 feet above the city. I can’t even begin to explain how breath taking the view was (partly because it was beautiful, partly because it was the hardest hike of my life). Get it… “breath taking.” Ha. There are a bunch of different paths that go up the mountains and all around them. I spent a few hours taking multiple different paths and honestly had the best time. At the top you can get a 360 degree view. It’s certainly worth it.

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The highest point of Arthur's Seat

I also went on a free Ghost Tour, which meets on the Royal Mile (near the corner of High St and Cockburn St) at 7pm and 9pm every night. I toured the Edinburgh Castle, which was pretty cool even given that I’ve been to like 5 castles already. I climbed the 287 steps to the top of The Scott Monument, which has, yet again, another amazing view. I walked through Greyfriars Kirkyard (in broad daylight), which is said to have the most haunted Mausoleum in the world. Seriously, look up the Mackenzie Poltergeist. It’s freaky. I went to the Edinburgh Dungeon, which is an attraction of skits and rides about the evils of Edinburgh’s history, but not in a boring way. It was pretty funny. I also ate at this amazing place called Oink. They have a whole pig roasting in the shop, and they cut you a sandwich right in front of your eyes. Seriously, it’s delicious and cheap.

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view from the Castle

So I had a blast, and I would definitely recommend doing everything that I did. And by all means, if you ever want to travel alone, don’t think twice, just do it (as long as the area is safe). I met Scotland solo and wouldn’t change my experience for anything.

Always, K.

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4 thoughts on “Strolling Solo: Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. I was definitely one of those people that had trouble traveling alone. Since I started college I have been much more open to doing things by myself. I mean look where I am now! Coming to London on my own has been one of the best experiences of my life. My time in London has showed me that being alone helps you get to know yourself better than you could ever imagine. I agree wholeheartedly with you. People shouldn’t be scared to travel alone. They should embrace it! Get lost and explore as you find your back. Life is too short to think about the ‘what ifs’.

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  2. Great post! Am so glad you had this experience – sounds like you learned a lot about Edinburgh, and about yourself. It IS good to get off by oneself every once in a while, and travel is a great way to do that.

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  3. I want to try to make it to Scotland so bad before we leave and this made me want to go more. I completely agree about doing things alone. It’s super important to be able to go have a day by yourself. If you can’t then you need to reevaluate. It’s nice having a break and having that silence as you walk through a gallery or eat in a restaurant.

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