I remember the first time I travelled solo, and what an alien idea it seemed. That is until I took the plunge. I had one free ticket to New York City, someone suggested I go on my own. Never being one to let a free plane ticket go to waste off I went for the weekend. What an adventure it was, my first time in NYC and so much to see and do. One could just wander around for hours and be entertained in New York.
I remember the freedom of eating when I wanted, exactly what I wanted, and liking it. Liking that I could go see, or not see, what suited me no compromise and no hurrying. I also remember being more aware of my surroundings and the details of what was going on around me, the couple saying goodbye on the street corner, noticing the change in fashions from Soho to Wall Street to 5th Avenue, ease dropping in restaurants wondering what kind of cool New York City life they lead. That was over 10 years ago, and I’ve been on many solo adventures since, but I will never forget that first trip on my own.
Travelling solo doesn’t mean travelling alone though. When travelling on your own you are more approachable and more likely to make the effort to approch others. Try to stay in accommodation that has communal areas, such as hostels or small one off B&B and Inns (stay away from any romantic looking places at all costs). You may also find when on longer trips you bump into the same people. A flight delay or a long train journey could lead you to meeting a new travel companion. You never know what a trip might bring or who you might meet when travelling on your own, it’s all part of the fun.
A way to test the waters of solo travel, is to book a trip with a company like Intrepid Travel. They do fantastic small group tours all around the world, and they will pair you up with someone of the same sex for accommodation so you don’t have to pay a single supplement.
If you are thinking of travelling solo there are a lot of sites dedicated to Solo travel with lots of great tips, ideas, and advise, so if you are unsure google and see what you find. Here are a couple to start you off:
Adventurous Kate – A blog to encourage other women to travel solo.
19 Indispensable Resources for Solo Travelers (bootsnall.com)
Who knows, if I never learned the joy of travelling solo, if I would have considered moving to London on my own. What’s great about starting out on your own is that there is no one with preconcived notions of who you are or what you are like. You’re flexible to change your plans, and priorities on the fly as you go. Most of all it is really rewarding, freeing and confidence building when you have done something as big as start a life in a new country on your own.
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