I never understood why some people don’t want to go on adventures alone. I mean, I get it, but I don’t get it, you know what I’m saying? Solo Travel is the best!
Today, I’m gonna do everything in my power to convince you to start solo-traveling. Why? Because it’s SO fun! Solo traveling can give you a breather, undivided q-u-a-l-i-t-y time with your beautiful self and such a confidence boost!
So why are we hesitating? Well, we’re all scared of being alone in life, aren’t we? There’s so much status in having a lot of friends, a partner, being admired by people on social media, being the center of attention etc. etc.
We simply think that being alone is the same as being lonely.
We can’t even stand outside the café and wait for someone for 2 minutes in public without pulling out our phones to avoid looking like an abandoned puppy. Here’s the thing: Being alone is not sad. It’s flipping awesome.
My first solo travel adventure was a trip to London when I was 18, then I went to New York, started going back and forth to Los Angeles, then Paris a couple of times and now I’m in beautiful Milan, Italy!
You never have to worry if your boyfriend, dad, or friend will get upset if you say no to spend your friday night in a boring Renaissance museum if you solo travel. You don’t have to spend money on a trip to Disney Land with your step-siblings if you feel zero desire to glue Mickey Mouse ears to your face, stand in line with screaming kids for 3 hours, vomit Candy Floss after a Zero-Gravity Star Wars experience etc. etc. (I mean personally, I would L-O-V-E that), but my point is: YOU. DO. YOU.
You wake up and wanna go surfing? Go surfing! Sit in a coffee shop 8 hours straight and do nothing? (hi, hello, that’s me!) Go for it!
On Meeting People When You Solo Travel
When you travel with your family or friends you don’t really care as much to meet other people, since you’re already with a group. When you travel alone, you can’t rely on a travel partner, so you’ll have to turn to the locals to figure out your tickets, where the breakfast is etc. etc.
Naturally, you’ll engage with so many people – it’s the best! When you’re alone you naturally seem more approachable too – just think about the classic bar scenario, where it’s easier for a guy to approach you when you’re alone in the line for the bathroom rather than sitting in the booth with your 15 girlfriends staring at him.
Time to reflect
Exploring a new city with a self-development podcast in your fancy AirPods, coffee in your hand and sun on your pretty little nose, can easily be everything you didn’t know you needed. Being in your own head for a couple of days without distractions can be straight-up therapy.
It’s completely normal to start feeling a little down. Instead of keeping yourself busy like you do at home to avoid your feelings, a solo trip will more or less force you to face the things you usually hide. How you actually feel about people, if you actually like your job, why certain people said what they said, how you feel about yourself – as uncomfortable as it sounds – it’s necessary and healthy. I always get a hundred new ideas and 10 different ways to look at things during a solo trip.
Do you easily feel homesick? Don’t worry, here are my favorite tips and tricks!
Solo Travel On A Budget
If you don’t have the money to solo travel – which is a valid excuse – first and foremost I always try to look at a solo trip as an investment. This is how I talk to myself, are you ready?
“If you don’t go on this trip for a week, you will actually go completely insane soon and potentially throw yourself off the nearest cliff, which will not help you get to where you want in life. So if you just go to Milan for a second and recharge, meet new people and explore a new city, it will help you become a better human, a happier sister, daughter, teacher, writer, dancer and friend. It will make you more inspired and excited, and that’s a dang good investment, isn’t it?”
Then I go ahead and spell my name with my arms like cheerleaders do, followed up by a cart wheel and a purchase of uno flight-ticket, por favor.
I always try to save as much money on flights and accommodation as possible. I chose Milan over other cities simply because the tickets were $60 roundtrip.
I spent $280 to stay at “Spice Hotel Milan” (wtf, is that name haha #SpiceGirls), but it was great and clean! You can take a look at my Milan Vlog right here, if you want to see what that journey looked like!
Obviously the further away from home you are, the more overwhelming a solo-trip can seem (I mean going to the grocery store vs. going back-packing in Nepal, what is more terrifying?), but no matter what destination that first came to your mind when you started reading this blog post – don’t be silly, you’re totally capable of going wherever you want.
You’ll be so surprised by how simple it is. What is the worst thing that can happen? You’ll lose money, miss a train, a bus or a plane or end up without a place to stay for the night. I’ve made all those mistakes, I once missed a flight from China to LA because I was drunk, whoopsie, but guess what? You can handle it. And once you’ve handled it, you’ll feel so confident after.
People are just people
When you solo travel, you learn that in the end of the day, people are just people. Even if you don’t speak the language, trust me, they’ll help you when you get lost. Don’t you worry. Hear it from someone who can barely remember to put her phone in the charger at night. If I can travel alone, you sure as heck can too.
How To Use Dating Apps For Socializing When You Solo Travel
This one is not your typical mental-health-and-yoga advice, but hey, it’s 2020, so just roll with it. Download those dating apps when you’re on the go. Maybe not Tinder, since Tinder in my opinion is more creepy and more of a “hook up App”. My go-to is Hinge. I don’t know why, but in my experience people are just more… normal.
We are NOT trying find a husband or not even necessarily a date. Just fun company. Going for a drink with local people is super fun, you always end up in non-tourist-y places, there are 1 billion topics to discuss, and they will LOVE showing you around.
You can’t really do the dating-App thing if you’re traveling with your family, I mean unless you’re the most #YOLO person in the world who just brings the fam along – I would absolutely applaud you and love to see that.
It’s nice to have your flights and accommodation down – at least of financial reasons. But buying museum-tickets for specific dates and set a tight schedule for yourself is TOO MUCH.
What if you get there and you really just want to spend a whole day in your big comfy hotel bed? You shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where you go see a 4-hour Opera because you thought that would be really cute like 4 months ago.
If something on your trip doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Bring a book
If you easily get uncomfortable with eating alone, standing alone etc., make sure to have a great book in your bag! Whip it out in the restaurant, café or on the go until you’re a professional loner.
Include your hobby
The past years I’ve always taken a million dance classes in the cities I’ve visited. If you love yoga – look up yoga classes! Who f*cking cares if you speak the language, yoga is yoga. Take a local cooking class, or bring a camera along and take pictures if photography is your thing! And if it’s not your thing, but you would like to try it out, a new city could be the time to explore that too!
Let’s wrap Solo Travel up with a quote
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.”
Basically: Get comfortable with being alone, learn how amazing and capable and independent you are, go out there, get out of your comfortzone, so you can be the absolute best and happiest version of yourself.