After a grand, but exhausting day, I let myself sleep in until 9:15 in my hostel in Cardiff. The hostel provided a nice little breakfast full of coffee, tea, pastries, breads, yogurt, fruit, etc. So I wiped the sleep from my eyes and went and made myself a plate and a cup of coffee. I sat with my new pals and ate my breakfast. (By the way, if you are ever in Cardiff I highly recommend the hostel. It was great and also cheap! It was my first experience in a hostel, and it made a great first impression for hostels–It was honestly my favorite hostel of the whole trip!)
Afterwards, I said farewell to my new friends as they left to go explore Cardiff bay, and I finished getting ready and checked out of the hostel. I had to check out by 11am, but my train didn’t leave until 12:05pm, so I walked around the city some more, bought a cheap 1.50gbp sandwich from Spar to eat on the train, and said goodbye to Cardiff. It’s a nice place, but not a place I’m eager to return to though.
- So far I’m really enjoying solo traveling. I’ve done day trips alone, and made the move to Ireland alone, but this is a different kind of travel. I’m very introverted so it’s not a struggle for me to be in the company of no one but myself, but solo traveling doesn’t mean I’m entirely alone. I’m constantly surrounded by people, but I have complete freedom over when I want to be alone in solitude vs when I want to socialize. Plus, it’s honestly easier to make new friends as well (I mean look, I’ve already made 5 new friends my first night!)
- There is a certain sense of independence, confidence, freedom, calmness, and serenity I’ve been experiencing. In a way, solo travel allows me to be selfish and get exactly what I want out of my experiences. This kind of travel isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for me!!
- I’ve seriously falling in love with Europe. And travel. It makes me wonder if I will ever be able to settle down. I guess as I get older I may want to settle down. I almost just want to make a living out of travel, and either just not get married for a long time or marry someone who will live a cheap life because we will spend our money traveling the world! I just often felt like I would be in a rut after living the same routine for a while. Like I wasn’t really living, but just going through the motions of life. But now, I actually feel alive. I feel like I’m flourishing.
Once I got to Manchester, I walked through the city on a search for my hostel. I was staying in a YHA hostel for the night. Once I arrived at the hostel, I went to go into my room. It was only like 4pm, but there was a girl sleeping in the room who I accidentally woke up. I wasn’t being loud, but I turned on the light and that was enough. The girl was sweet though, another solo travel from Switzerland. We talked for about a half hour, then I headed out to town and she went back to bed because she was feeling ill.
The sun sets early, so by 5pm the sun was already setting. I just walked around the city to get a feel of the place.
(The second to last picture, were people camping out in the middle of a main shopping street… And the last picture is the entrance to the tiny china town!)
I then went and got some tea (because it wouldn’t be England without tea) and a cup of delicious, hot soup at the Richmond Tea Rooms (located around the gay village area of the city). It was decorated with a Alice in Wonderland/Mad hatter type theme– Cute and charming! I talked with my server to get an idea of the city and the nightlife. They told me the nightlife didn’t really start until very late (which I later found out to be true), but gave me suggestions of good, more relaxed places I could go. They were all very nice and helpful, and when I asked for the bill, I realized they didn’t even charge me for my tea! I found it to be very sweet (especially because this place charged 3.50gbp for the tea, which is kind of expensive, but I got one of their most popular blends– vanilla chai. So delicious!), so in return I left a generous tip!
I then went and walked around the Gay Village…
Manchester was a nice place to visit, but its more of a modern city. Not as much history in the buildings as compared to other places I went. It is more of a grungy, hard edge kind of city. I feel like it would be a great place to go if you wanted to party all night long, but I was exhausted and headed back to my hostel around 11pm and called it a night.
I liked it, but definitely not my favorite place I visited.