Barcelona was my first stop on the solo portion of my trip. It was also a lot of firsts for me as well. My first time navigating a foreign airport completely by myself which was to say...a little testing. My flight landed at midnight Barcelona time which was my first mistake, I got in and the entire airport was completely closed. I tried to take money out of 3 different ATMs and all 3 of them were giving me out of service signs or transaction could not be completely signs (note from Matt: it was my fault – I told her that ATM's give the best conversion rates and not to exchange money beforehand as it always works for me).
I started slightly freaking out because I had absolutely no euros on me and had to buy a ticket to get on the bus...with euros of course. I went to find the bus service window hoping I could use my credit card and when I did find it the window was closed. I started to freak out even more and tried to connect to the internet to call Matt (I have no idea what he would do to help - except calm me down) and my phone refused to connect. Strike 3 for Tessa. Cue full on panic mode.
But then, out of nowhere, I had a big realization that this is what solo travel is like. I started to see that I was going to just have to figure out things on my own and ask for help, which I hate doing for reasons I can't explain. I asked the information desk to point me in the direction of the bus stop for Aerobus (a direct shuttle to the city center) and I honestly went outside thinking, "it's fine, I'll find a taxi and pray they take credit card."
When I got outside I found the bus stop had a ticket machine that took credit cards! HALLELUJAH. I bought a ticket, got on the bus and arrived in the Plaça de Catalunya all within 30 mins which would have been perfect if I hadn't had spent an hour wandering around the Barcelona airport trying to figure out ATMs and freaking out about having no euros. So lesson number one of my trip was that even though it's a bit more expensive to exchange money in cash beforehand, having Euros in my pocket on arrival would have been worth the peace of mind. Life would have been wonderful and easy after my flight instead of the clusterf*** that it was.
Anyway, I checked into my hostel and spent the next 2 days wandering the city according to my own free will and constantly smiling that I was on my own. I talked about how freeing it was on my instagram so I won't beat a dead horse. But it's safe to say I love solo traveling so far.