When I planned my trip to Iran, I was nervous – it would be my first solo trip to a country in that region and I had no idea what to expect. But instead of focusing on my itinerary or the news, I occupied myself with practical preparation – what was I going to wear?
I meet the five other housemates. One is fixing some of the electrical wiring while standing on a disused fridge, another is frantically sweeping the floor apparently on my account, and the rest are sitting in what seems to be the central living space, burning down an enormous trompeta – a great big dooby. One Love by Bob Marley is playing in an adjoining room.
I was really excited at the prospect of entering Tallinn, so I don’t want to be a wet blanket and rain on my own parade or anything, but if I’m being really honest, I’d have to say navigating the Estonian public transport system at 7am after a 16-hour bus ride from Poland was not something I enjoyed doing. And I enjoy most challenges.
Couchsurfing gave me the opportunity to do things I never would have done otherwise, but when I shared my stories, what struck me was the amount of women were keen to try it, but hadn’t signed-up out of fear.
I may have journeyed through Europe for four or five-months, met a heap of new people, stayed in dorms, and made lots of friends while travelling alone, but don’t be fooled – I am not an outgoing person.