top of page
  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Oiga

Going Solo

It's Friday evening and I'm on a train. Three days ago, I didn't even know that I would be here. If you had asked me, I would've been absolutely clueless.

Wait. Let's backtrack.

Part of the reason I wanted to do an abroad program was to put myself outside of my comfort zone and learn to not let other people hold me back when I could just be out and doing and living my best life on my own. I’m tired of being scared to do things I want to do because no one will do them with me. I want to live with no regrets.

I’ve always been the type that is kind of scared of taking on the phone and gets anxious asking people for directions and stuff like that. By going abroad I wanted to force myself to do these things and to learn to be truly independent. I’m just sick of being anxious about everything and letting it rule me, so this is essentially me trying to take control of it.

So when the perfect travel weekend came up and none of my new friends in my London group chat could make up their minds on where we all wanted to go, I made a big decision.

I decided to go with or without them.

No regrets, right?

I have a few weekends marked in my planner as “perfect weekend trip dates” just based on the events organized by my abroad program and public holidays and work dates and the like. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t use this one, the first one, to go and DO something.

Sure, I absolutely love London and there’s still so many places to check out and see but I’m there for six more weeks with my program, i have plenty of time to do London things with my new London friends.

And, transport and accommodation for Edinburgh on short notice (I booked everything Wednesday night, leaving the following Friday afternoon) came out to about US$250 so it was a sign, I couldn’t possibly pass this up!

Upon telling friends, I could’ve gone to Glasgow for cheaper with company, but I had my heart set. I had already decided to do what I want and people could come or not come, not up to me.

Am I a little anxious? A little scared?


I’ve never done anything like this before. I rarely even do stuff at home and at uni by myself. I don’t even like going to the gym by myself.

But I definitely needed Me Time after all the stuff I’ve been doing since arriving in London. Between socializing/trying to build real friendships and working full time at my internship, it’ll be nice to be able to just do whatever I want, when I want to, with no real obligations to others.

There are things that I want to see in Edinburgh because they’re special specifically to me, and I don’t know if anyone I could’ve gone with would’ve appreciated them like I do.

For example, my favorite book is Cloud Atlas and in the movie adaptation, Frobisher and Sixsmith have this Moment that makes me cry every time, a scene I’ve read over and over and over again. It’s a scene that inspires me as a writer but also in life in general. It’s filmed at the Scott Monument, which is a physical commitment to climb and £5 entry. I wanna go up both days I’m there just because it’s just so personally important to me.

I’m also a HUGE Mary Queen if Scots fan, the history of the messy Scottish monarchy is one of my favorite parts of history. I’m so into royal history and castles and everything related. Also? The TV show “Reign” is one of my guilty pleasures.

King James, MQoS’s son, is also one of my favorite monarchal histories, and I could go in forever about George Villers but I’ll be chill for now. Point is, the Scottish monarchy in Edinburgh is one of my absolute favorite pieces of history and I want to soak that up as much as possible.

I also love Museums and exploring and all the fun daytime stuff. I’ve heard the nightlife is great and part of me wants to get involved with it — and I will if I’m feeling it and make hostel buddies I think — but I’ve already decided that it’s not my main focus.

Besides, European club music is WEIRD. I’ll have plenty of time to go hard and get drunk and party in Chicago, and even in London. Who knows when I’ll have the opportunity to soak in the things that are very much Edinburgh-only.

I’m a little anxious about people judging me when I set up my phone tripod and take pictures of myself. I’m a little anxious about the hostel. I’m a little anxious about touring places by myself.

I’m VERY anxious about going to restaurants by myself. But I even reserved high tea for one and I’m actually very excited about it! I’m going to bring my notebook and pretend I’m a food critic (or at least a food blogger lol) just to make myself feel more comfy. I’m going to hold my head high and enjoy my overrated tiny sandwiches and the whole pot of tea to myself.

I’m a little anxious and a little scared but this is me trying to grow, trying to learn, trying to do something for myself — as in, to BETTER myself.

So here I am on a train (which I had to ask TWO people for help to find and get on lol) by myself, to a city I’ve never been to.

But I’m ready and I’m excited and I’m going to take it by the ears and have a good time because I want to. Because I said so. Because I’m the one that gets to decide if I have a good time or not.

I’m ready for you, Edinburgh.

I just hope everyone back in London enjoys the pictures ;-)

xoxo, j.


bottom of page