The Power of Going Alone
Grace, Spring 2024, Rome
February 12, 2024

To me, studying abroad is about meeting interesting and exciting people to travel, explore, and have fun with! It’s about studying in a different country, experiencing new cultures, and learning new ways to adapt, improvise, and overcome obstacles and challenges.

My first destination on my walk alone, the Colosseum. Being alone, I had no one to take my picture but I wanted to commemorate the moment, so I took a .5 photo. This trend of the .5 photo continues throughout all my excursions alone. 

In the past month since I’ve arrived in Rome, I have gone on four trips outside of Rome, met so many amazing people and hopefully lifelong friends, and have already had such an immensely transformative experience. However, I have found that the most transformative experiences have come from silence, from seclusion. From being alone.

I was not expecting to stumble upon the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. It was beautiful and outstanding. Another .5 photo was needed.

There is something powerful about taking time to be silent and simply observe. There is so much to see in Rome, so much to take in. The best way I have found to take in all the extravagance of this amazing city is to go on walks around the city, alone. No music. No calls. No distractions. Phone set aside and eyes open.

My first week in Rome, between classes I simply set out to explore the city. I was mesmerized by the wonder of the Colosseum, blown away by the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, and found peace at the Piazza Navona.

Going alone allows you to be selfish. You can see what you want to see. You can stop, sit, and observe for however long or however short you want to. When no one else will go with you, you know that you have the power to go alone. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing, but instead is how a student studying abroad can take full autonomy over their experience in a foreign city.


Although the fountains at Piazza Navona were not on, it was still amazing to see such iconic Roman monuments, and even better I was able to experience them in my own time and reflection.

In my personal experience, I have found the most peace, most reflection, and most fulfillment on my walks around the city of Rome. I urge everyone to try this simple action, and promise if they set aside their phone and focus on their surroundings, they will feel the power of being alone.

Disclaimer: Be aware of surroundings when alone. Be alert and aware. Go in daylight.

Written by: Grace, Spring 2024 Rome student from Baylor University

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