Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Solo travel can be both rewarding and challenging so today I wanted to share a few things I've learnt so far...
1. The world is an exciting and amazing place
Now this may seem kind of obvious but you honestly get to see another side of people, places and society. You experience all the beauty this world has to offer and realise that its not some scary place where bad things happen like the news makes it seem.
2. It's fun to be on your own
There's no one else to consider or compromise with, you just get so much freedom to do literally anything you want! Want to go shopping? Yes! Want to sit in a park all day and read? Do it! Want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day? Why not! A lot of people get scared to be on their own in case they get lonely but honestly it's so much fun most of the time!
3. You won't really be alone but you might get lonely.
This might sound contrary to what I said above but what I mean by this is that you'll make so many friends and there will always be opportunities to meet new people however you might just miss people you know, your friends or family back home, or your home town or another place, whatever it might be it can definitely feel isolating even though you might be around a bunch of super friendly people.
4. Home comforts can make a world of difference
Whether that's cooking some spaghetti bolognese, getting a face mask and putting on your favourite film or hiring and airbnb and taking a nice hot bath, there will be things that you love and miss from home and can be the perfect pick-me-up if you're feeling exhausted, homesick or just a little burnt out!
5. You don't have to get along with everyone
When we're at home we can get caught up in pleasantries with people we go to school with or have to work with or friend groups and social expectations, where as when you're out on the road no one knows you and you can be whoever you want, and you if someone isn't your cup of tea you don't have to hang out with them, you can just tell them sorry I'm just planning to hang out on my own today.
6. You don't have to say yes just to make friends
Similar to above if there's something you're not comfortable doing then it's okay to say no, even if that means being on your own for a day. Same thing goes if you're on a budget and everyone wants to go out to eat, you could ask if they want to cook a meal at the hostel or cook for yourself say you'll join them for a drink later.
7. Less is more
When you're travelling solo you're the only one to carry all your stuff so if you have a huge bag it will weigh you down in more ways that one. Of course you'll be much more tired from simply carrying that on your back but also if you're in a busy place or trying to get from A to B in a hurry it'll definitely make you more of a target and slow you down. I know I talk a lot about minimalist travel, but honestly you really don't need nearly as much as you think.
8. Do your research but don't plan too much
When you're travelling solo it's definitely essential to research and find out the kinds of things you can do in the destination you're going to and general costs and local customs, and then roughly form an idea of where you wanna go and combine that with how much time you have. The only thing is you don't wanna over plan and restrict yourself too much by booking everything in advanced, sometimes it's really nice to go with the flow when you meet new people and decide to go with them to where they're going.
9. Tough times will pass
Like I said in the beginning solo travel doesn't come without it's challenges but I thought I'd reassure you that despite how you may feel, whether that's lonely, lost, homesick, bored, frustrated, nervous or anything in between, those feelings will pass eventually. But it's also up to you to find a way through, whether that's heading home, moving on to a new place, making new friends, or reuniting with old ones, you can do it, I promise!
10. Home will always be home
No matter how long you're away for or how many places you visit your home town will always have that feeling when you go back to it. Even though you might not want to return there permanently it will always mean something to you that no other place will. Whether it's your family or friends or the neighbourhood you grew up in or the beach you used to swim at, despite one adventure being over going home will remind you how lucky you are and that you survived travelling on your own!
Sorry to get a bit sentimental there at the end but that's it folks. I hope you found this post interesting, helpful and somewhat inspirational to start planning your own adventures!
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