Miami holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where I really put myself out there and learned to go with the flow of life.
I had never considered going to Miami before, especially as a solo traveler. But looking online at flights one day I found one from the UK to Miami for £160. I booked it and thought, I don’t care what happens but for that price I’ll figure out a way to make it work. It was also in January which I thought would be a great getaway from the cold Scottish weather.
I booked a hostel and was super nervous as it was the first time I’d be staying in one without friends. And I wasn’t really much of a party animal either so I was worried maybe a hostel in Miami wasn’t the best idea. I’m pretty socially awkward and shy too so I made up all of these scenarios in my head about sitting on my bed alone for the whole week.
But before I’d even made it to Miami I made a great friend on the plane there. I was excited about this as I usually only make small talk or none at all when I’m on a plane. We stayed in touch, he showed me around Miami and we have traveled together since.
About an hour after arriving at the hostel (in South Beach) I was out for dinner with one of my roommates then meeting some others at a nearby bar. I was surprised at how ridiculously easy it was to make friends in a hostel- and that’s coming from me who has struggled my whole life to make it past the ‘acquaintance’ stage. Each day I was there I had no plans but something would always come up and I was never alone. Sharing a room with 7 others meant there was always something going on and often we did things together as a group. And I’m lucky that my roommates were pretty chilled like I was- there was nobody out partying every night or making loads of noise.
There was one night that I didn’t have anything planned. Everyone in my room was out doing separate things so I decided I’d just go get some dinner then see what happened later. On the way to get dinner, someone stopped me in the street to ask if I was staying at the hostel. We got chatting and later that night had some drinks together then played giant Jenga with some others from the hostel. We became really good friends and even met up in Orlando. This showed me that going with the flow always works out best and it’s OK to not always have a plan.