Thanks for your thoughtful post comparing Venice &
Florence as well as your reactions to solo travel.
I have found that having a mission of some sort
can help with the feeling of isolation: sometimes
photography, sometimes sketching, sometimes
searching for certain obscure sites or items. The
mission is just something I feel passionate enough
about that I will get out of my accoms &happily
pursue my interest. It#s amazing how I then often
meet other like-minded souls. For example, in
Jordan one of my missions was to find old silver
bells or doodahs a friend could sew on her belly
dancing costumes. That got me into all kinds of
conversations! On a trip to Vera Cruz, it was old
holy cards for my sister the artist to use in her
collages. Also great fun.
I figured this out after a solo trip about 10
years ago to southern Chile; as a 50-something
gray-haired vegan hiker traveling by herself, I
was definitely the odd one out. If I#d had the
presence of mind to think about the ramifications
of being alone there, I would have been better
prepared with the sketching or other mission.
Hosteling makes it easier to meet folks as well,
at least for me. It#s less stressful to ask to
join other diners in the communal kitchens/dining
rooms than traditional hotel dining rooms I think.
I#m sure you came home a different person than the
one who left Toronto however. And isn#t that the
mission as well?
In Eugene but never for long