It’s been ages since I’ve done any real solo travel, but it was something I used to do rather frequently. Since I’ve met my husband, he and I have done all of our travel together, with the exception of 1 trip I did back to Canada this past year.
Up until I met him, solo travel is what I knew best. My first trip abroad and subsequent trips were solo. Since beginning my travel abroad, I have done trips with friends, and have still ventured on solo.
What I tell my friends about solo travel is that its great. It gives you a swift kick in the arse out of your comfort zone. It teaches you to be on your toes creative, reliable and more open.
I promote solo travel. I think you need to do it at some point in your life. It’s a great experience that I think everyone needs – even if its something you never do again, it’s life enriching to do, if only once.
What don’t I tell my friends (or family) about traveling solo?
- Sometimes I get nervous. If I enter a new city I’ve not been to, I do get a bit anxious trying to sort it all out, especially if it’s somewhere that the language isn’t English. When I arrived in Bangkok for the first time, I was overwhelmed. Both good & bad overwhelmed. It was a matter of getting my bearings, figuring out my surroundings, and getting stuck in.
- I’m actually a bit shy and suffer from social anxiety. Both things that no one knows me would actually ever think about me, I’m sure. Sometimes I struggle to approach people in my hostel room, at a pub, or on a plane, etc. It can be difficult to work up the energy to chat with someone, or to go do something (like eat in a restaurant) alone.
- Sometimes I wish I was doing it with someone. There have been occasions where I wish I had someone with me so I could be in awe of something with someone, so I could have a conversation about something I just saw or did, or to have experiences with someone.
- My favourite accommodation for solo travel is a hostel because you tend to meet other solo travellers. I fear that I’m ageing out of this option though and am going to start looking like the old creep in the room as I slowly slide further into my 30s.
- I typically do all of my research from other travel blogs, Trip Advisor and friends who have been to the destinations I’m planning on visiting. I don’t usually rely on tourist offices. If I’m looking for information, I’ll typically ask my bar tender, barista or waiter where they’d recommend. I like to do as the locals do and rely heavily on this information.
As I find myself travelling with my husband now, I do enjoy it. I love having someone with me who loves travel as much as I do, and someone to share in the experiences with. My husband is a brilliant travel partner as he’s always keen to go somewhere new and typically lets me do the planning, which is great for me!
I do find a weird sense of awkwardness if we’re going somewhere I’ve been before – like I need to be on and I need to plan every single step and we do all the things I want. I feel like I need to play tour guide, which doesn’t always work for me. I want it to be a holiday as well, so its always nice when we get to go somewhere new together.
What is your preference – travelling alone or with friends? How do you cope with both!?