After years of of talking about traveling, I finally just booked a trip. I went to Ireland for almost a week and Paris for three days.
A quick aside-
The first thing I would caution anybody traveling to an older city is- bring comfortable shoes. It should not be a surprise that you will walk a lot, but you will be walking on cobbled sidewalks and roads. The city terrain calls for shoes that can handle uneven pavement.
I was nervous traveling alone to Europe. I am not afraid to fly and I was not worried about being robbed. I was worried that I was going to be stranded in France by sleeping in! That, miraculous, did not happen.
Traveling does not fundamentally change who you are, at least for a short trip, but it does challenge you. Especially, if you are going by yourself. I was surprised how calm I was!
If you are shy then it will likely then you will be still shy. If you are sociable, then you will be sociable. Despite, being in another location you always bring one thing; you always bring yourself.
I am not saying anything about human nature or how people change or do not change: I am saying you always bring your mental and emotional baggage with you. It is unavoidable- unless of course you can move beyond that! If you can, the please leave a comment or an email. I am definitely interested in that.
Books and guides are alright, but frankly walking around works too. I wandered mostly. You can ask the locals what to eat, but in Paris their food is their pride. It is well deserved. They will not give you a suggestion.
I did not plan very much because like the last post indicated, I had a few things on my mind.
Be careful traveling alone, it can be lonely. Dublin and Paris are very busy places. There are a lot of tourists and it is hard to chat with stranger, unless you are bold already. Though you can do whatever you want. You will be compelled to go wonder aimlessly. You can observe the place with a keen eye.
I was faced with my own problems walking around. The problems came rushing to the forefront of my geist, but I was on vacation. I could think about them from every angle, without my routine in the way, and I confronted them. I may have not conquered my problems but I faced them. I would start a walk cherry, then become gloomy, and return to my cheery disposition.
If I can do it, you can too!
I will return shortly with my observation on Dublin and Paris.