I am approached often about my solo travels. I am praised for going on a trip alone, and then it is followed with a “I wish I could do something like that.” Truth is… you can!
“Do the thing and you will have the power.”― RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Solo travel is simple… you book and trip and you go away, right? Well, not really. There are things you should know before you book your first getaway alone.
#1: You Will be Alone With Your Thoughts
This doesn’t sound all that bad, until you start thinking about everything and anything. personally, I know my thoughts can rapid fire in my brain about anything you can imagine. It can get overwhelming and it is something you need to get used to before you travel alone.
The Good News:
You will hopefully learn to give yourself grace and kindness. Whether it is your first solo trip, or your 100th solo trip, each experience is going to have its own challenges. Most of the time things will be beyond your control. but even if you do make a mistake… you’re alone, nobody cares or notices… and worst case scenario, you’ll never see these people again.
#2: You Have to Depend on Yourself to Make Decisions
For some this won’t be a big deal. You already know exactly what you like or dislike. But for others, this could be a very big challenge. Some people are indecisive, and have trouble picking a cocktail from a menu, let alone a destination to choose from. You’ll need to decide if you want a relaxing trip, or a trip filled with adventure. Do you want luxury or backpacking?
The Good News:
YOU get to decide whatever you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it, and how you want to do it… every single aspect of your trip is up to you. If you want to wake up at 11am and go have gelato for breakfast, followed by participating in a nude portrait art class… you can! The only itinerary you have, is what your heart desires.
#3: Your Enjoyment is Your Responsibility
If you’re uncomfortable talking to strangers, now is the time to break through whatever limiting beliefs are holding you back. There is not one solo trip I have been on, where I haven’t made at least one friend. There are also plenty of time during those trips when I was completely alone and had to figure out how to entertain myself. Boredom is not something I ever experience, but for others it can feel overwhelming if you do not know what you enjoy.
The Good News: Like I said earlier, you get to choose what you want to do. If being alone in a library or museum makes you happy, then that is an easy fix. But if you crave social connections, then I suggest researching activities and excursions before you travel that you can join. Being a part of a group tour automatically introduces you to people that you might not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Also, just being open to new opportunities, and being friendly can easily allow you to make friends with the people around you.
#4: Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
Solo travel can feel awkward. I know for me, when I am on my way to the airport, I have this rush of adrenaline and nervousness. My heart is racing, my thoughts are running a mile a minute, but I am SO excited at the same time. I feel that same rush when I walk into a restaurant by myself, or when I decide to join a game of pool volleyball. I am uncomfortable, I feel nervous… but I do it anyway.
The Good News:
I do things that make me feel uncomfortable because I know that is the only way I can grow as a person. If you continue to do what is comfortable, what is safe, not take a risk… where is it going to lead you? …exactly where you began. I am not OK staying stagnant and content. Growth, knowledge, experience, are all things my soul craves.
My hope for anyone, is to live the life you dream of. Keep taking those steps forward, even when you don’t feel like you’re moving, don’t stop.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced by traveling solo?