Traveling alone: A solo day trip to San Francisco

Illustration of person travelling
Armaan Mumtaz/Staff

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College is a time for growth and development, there’s no question about that. This crazy period in your life will be filled with new experiences, knowledge and more often then not, challenges.

What college can also be is monotonous — filled with an endless cycle of classes, midterms, club meetings and parties. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with developing a routine (in fact, routines can be great for mental health!) sometimes what one needs is a little sojourn to shake up the repetitiveness of college life. Enter: solo weekend traveling.

While the word “travel” brings to mind excursions to far-flung places, it needn’t be only that! I’d like to think of “travel” as any trip that takes you out of the UC Berkeley bubble — your destination could be as close as a 20-minute walk away from campus!

Now, as for the “solo” component of this article, I’d like to say the following: the beauty of it is that you’re forced to actually sit down with your own thoughts for a change. College often means endless socialization and hectic daily schedules, so getting the time to just be with yourself can be quite a pleasant change. I challenge you to take this weekend to take a little day trip to one of the many gorgeous places near UC Berkeley and just enjoy being with yourself.

Some great options include Tilden Regional Park (which is still technically in Berkeley, but feels like another world), San Francisco, Santa Cruz or Napa Valley. You can choose to aimlessly wander around and explore, or you can investigate in advance and find some things to sightsee. The beauty of traveling alone is that you can afford to be spontaneous! This day is all about what YOU want to do — see it as an exercise in self-care.

I, for one, took a quick trip to San Francisco last weekend — the BART ride was so easy (and surprisingly peaceful) and allowed me to listen to a podcast and relax. I then headed to a workout class called Rumble Boxing, which was super fun and challenging. Next, I walked a mile up and down the hills of San Francisco to a vegan restaurant called Nourish Café, where I had, no joke, the best cookie I’ve ever had in my entire life (it was the super seed cookie in case you guys are ever in the area!)

Then, I headed back home to get some studying done. The quick trip had me home by 2 PM, and left me feeling relaxed, recharged and super happy! 

In the end, what I want you to leave with from this article is this: “traveling” is incredibly achievable during college, and can help you shake up your routine and leave you feeling invigorated. Take a few hours this coming weekend to explore the Bay Area: find some cute coffee shops, eat at a restaurant you’ve never tried before, take a walk in a green space, listen to a podcast on the train or car ride there and just embrace the feeling of being in a new environment! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Contact Jazmin Cubilla at [email protected].