Monday, 2 May 2016

Why It's Good To Travel Solo


Why it is good to travel solo

I didn’t intend to write this blog post. It just sort of happened because I posted a photo on my Instagram on Friday about enjoying going to a bar alone and the feedback was interesting. I had some people agree, others say they could never do that, and other says they wish they had the confidence to do so. This got me thinking about why its good to travel solo and the times I’ve been solo travelling and what an amazing experience it was. Not because I was in some amazing location, but because of what it does to me as a person. Confidence, independence and even self-worth.


Why it is good to travel solo

Growing up I was this shy, timid, under confident girl. I was hounded at school by bullies and it left me even unable to speak on the phone to someone without stuttering. I still remember at 16 having to call a shop about a temp job, and barely getting through my name. 

As I got older I gained confidence and even became a sort of champion of the independent woman. I moved to London when I was 19 to do a yearlong internship, not knowing a single soul. I moved in with strangers and found myself exploring London by myself. This is definitely where I found my love for going to bars on my own!

Why it is good to travel solo

The first time I solo travelled was to Paris. It was my first time to Paris, and one of the few times I’d been abroad. I was meeting my boyfriend 3 days later, but for those 3 days I would be alone. I think I must have got to the Eurostar about 2 hours early I was so panicked about missing it! Of course I had reservations. I didn’t speak the language. How would I get around? What would I do all day? Would I be safe? Yet, with a sort of “Oh sod it” attitude I booked it and there was no looking back.

Being alone for those 3 days was magical. I got up when I wanted, strolled outside and wandered the streets of Paris. I visited pastry shops for breakfast, had a glass of wine outside a café, watching with people go by and I hopped on the Metro (and navigated!) my way to the Eiffel Tower and sat on the lawn reading a book. When it came to dinner time, there was that slight dread feeling. Was it OK to eat dinner in a restaurant alone? So I had a thought. I looked up a restaurant with a bar area and went there. It meant I could eat at the bar and not feel as intimidated, but also I found myself chatting for hours with the bar staff and not once feeling alone. This made me realise it was good to travel solo after all.

Why it is good to travel solo

One year on and I’ve travelled solo a good number of times. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I crave other people’s company, but traveling by myself I find very satisfying.

Independence

It sounds all very whimsical and stuff from Instagram quotes, but being by yourself, just soaking up your surroundings is very moving. Plus having a glass of wine in a bar by myself just makes me feel all powerful and Beyoncé #IndependentWoman

Being by yourself means you’re in control, you can do whatever you want. Do you normally find if you go with friends that someone takes over and you didn’t get to go to that museum because “it’s boring”? Well now you can spend all day long there. Do you want to set up your tripod and wait patiently for that that perfect crash of waves, so you capture it? You can wait all day without annoying someone else.

But all of that being said, it means you do have to take control. You have to make decisions as you have no one else to fall back on. Sometimes I’m a terrible decision maker. Mainly when it comes to food; I just cannot make a decision. Being by yourself forces you to take action, and that is something that you will take back with you once you come home.

Why it is good to travel solo

Confidence

I’ve said before in one of my posts how I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember, and this often leaves me feeling like I’m useless and I can’t do things. Going away alone will boost your confidence so much. You’ll feel brave, you’ll feel powerful, you’ll fist pump the air when you managed to navigate that crazy public transport or successfully asked for a coffee with 5 sugars with the confidence to own that sugar addiction.

You’ll come away knowing you can do things, that you and with no one’s help, are able to make things happen. And that is a wonderful thing.

One of my favourite trips being by myself was to the Scilly Isles, but that trip also had it’s fair share of complications. My flight was cancelled, but after a 3 hour train journey there was no way I was losing a day out of my 4 day trip. So with a lot of back and forth discussions, phone calls and “Can I speak to the manager?” I got myself to Land’s End to catch another flight. How bloody proud did I feel organising it all, all by myself? So much so.

Why it is good to travel solo

Self-Worth

I’m not saying ditch company and go all ‘Solo 4 life’ on me, but I’m a firm advocate of women believing in themselves. Of course this applies to men too, but it’s a statistical fact that women are less likely to travel alone than men.

I’ve been with my boyfriend now for over 2 and a half years, but I still travel frequently without him. It’s healthy to be able to do things independently and assert some self-love. We have many shared passions, but we also have many different passions. There are plenty of times when you should compromise on things, that’s part and parcel of life, but you shouldn’t compromise to the point of not living your life the way you want to.

Understanding your worth is extremely important, and if you only get to go away to places other people want to go to, then you need to reassess the company you are with. Compromise goes both ways.

So sometimes going alone makes you understand the value you have and understand your self-worth. Spending time on yourself, not in a materialistic way, but in a way that you feel happy and loved, is one of the most important things you can do.

Whilst it may seem scary, why not book a trip somewhere short and small, even to another city? It’s the best leap I ever made, and now I look forward to it.

Here is my video experience at solo traveling in Dubrovnik. Let me know your thoughts on solo travel, I want to hear both sides.


Shop Travel Style



Liked this post? Please share with your friends

SHARE:

13 comments

  1. This is like the perfect timing post for me, I am looking at heading out to travel on my own next year and it's something I have wanted to do for so long and never done as I let fear get in the way. I'm now 31 and I know if I don't go now I never will. This post gave me a boost I needed :)
    Also I love that Scilly was your favourite solo destination, my family live there and it's wonderful. Who knew we had so much beauty so close. Did you stay on st marys? or go off island exploring? x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved this post! Well timed for me too - I'm finishing up college next month and am planning to head off on solo trips in the next year. Plenty people are worried about solo travel but I'm yet to hear someone come home and say they haven't loved it! So much easier being able to make up your own itinery, even if it does involve forced decision making haha.

    Thanks for sharing the tips btw - I wouldn't have thought to look for restaurants with a bar but it makes so much sense!

    lily x
    jolihouse.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this! I'm always thinking of new places I want to go, but struggling to find people who are free to come with me. Travelling alone is a very scary thought but something I would definitely like to work up the courage to try. I think, like you say, maybe just to visit a town/city in the UK might be a good starting point :)

    Ceri x
    October Eleven

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love travelling alone, and, like you, enjoy the freedom it gives me. I plan quite a lot, but I always end up deviating from that plan as I see interesting things along the way. Even travelling with one other person hugely reduces that flexibility.

    I also love visiting cafes on my own, but, unlike you, I've never really enjoyed dining alone. Eating out, for me, has always been a social experience. Somehow I never feel as comfortable in a restaurant pulling out a book or laptop or writing a postcard as I do in a cafe.

    Funnily enough, my next trip, which is in a couple of weeks time, is going to be with a group of old friends. I suspect that after a couple of days, I'm going to be longing for an hour or two by myself!

    Thanks,
    Brian.

    ReplyDelete
  5. wow your travels are so inspiring!
    Stefanie | Casualllyawkward | Bloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a great post! I love having time by myself, I love being able to do whatever I want when I want. I can only do 2-3 days by myself though before I start getting super lonely, so mini-trips are good for me :)

    C x | Lux Life

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really admire you for travelling solo! It's something that I also would like to do, but I can't seem to find the confidence in booking a trip and just going...maybe one day!

    XO S.
    Cocktails & Glamour

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing photos!



    http://brightdecember.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really liked this post. I think it's a very important idea to do things alone and be your own best friend. I personally like to have me time and go out shopping or out to lunch...I find it very relaxing! Traveling solo kind of intimidates me at the moment, but it's something I'll have to do!

    Great post! xoxo Olivia
    www.ourwanderingmind.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really liked this post. I think it's a very important idea to do things alone and be your own best friend. I personally like to have me time and go out shopping or out to lunch...I find it very relaxing! Traveling solo kind of intimidates me at the moment, but it's something I'll have to do!

    Great post! xoxo Olivia
    www.ourwanderingmind.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I absolutely love this post! I've just returned from a six month solo trip taking in Australia, Thailand, Singapore, America... I did stay with friends in Australia but I still took solo trips in Oz and traveled to LA and New York alone. In LA I went out for one drink at 8pm and ended up partying until 4am!

    My travel was inspired after a difficult break up with a long term partner, and of course there were very tough moments (as there is for everyone going through a heartbreak) but there is also something incredibly empowering and liberating about being comfortable in your own company and testing your resolve. When you accomplish travel, siteseeing, socialising and generally surviving on your own it builds your self-confidence beyond belief. I realised that I WOULD survive without my ex-partner and that I can be happy alone. I am so much more confident than ever before speaking to strangers, making new friends, joining teams, going on dates because of solo travel. I would HIGHLY recommend it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very true.I've traveled on my own before and it's really quite amazing and exciting.Great blog you got here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have often travelled alone too, especially when I am on extended business trips. I take those weekends to explore new places by myself, at my own pace. Stopping to take lots of pictures for the blog without following anyone's itinerary. It's great.

    ReplyDelete

Designed by pipdig