Several years ago, I went backpacking in Europe with some friends. Toward the end of our trip, we all split up to check out different cities and countries.

Six weeks on your own gets lonely. Eating alone, walking alone, seeing the cool sights alone. I met up with other backpackers at hostels and took some tours with them, but in the end, it was just me traveling the world. It teaches you something, and I’m glad I did it.

One of many new experiences was attending a movie by myself. Thanks to train schedules, I was stuck an extra day in a French city I’d already seen. I found a hole-in-the-wall movie theater showing American movies in English with French subtitles.Cost: 2 Euro.

Oh the joy! I escaped the hot sun in the cool, dark theater and wrapped myself in the comfort of hearing my own language and seeing familiar faces in Shrek 2 and Harry Potter. I forgot where and who I was, drowning my isolation in the movies. It’s something I’ll never forget.

I recently overheard a girl exclaiming how ridiculous it would be to go to the movies by yourself, and I smiled. I’ve done it, and it was fantastic.

Since returning, I have never gone to the movies alone. Here, it’s a social activity, and I don’t often want to shell out $12-15 for a movie anyway. But I feel like it’s something you should not be afraid to do.