This guest piece touches my heart more than others because most of my own traveling has been solo. I have found that if you are always waiting for a travel partner or partners, you will never go. And, as I keep traveling, friends have joined me or I have met people along the way so I was never really alone. But, taking the first step is scary.
Here is the guest piece (with my words in Italicized).
Scrolling through social media can quickly give you a sense of wanderlust that can’t be quelled, but if you don’t have a travel partner, it can feel more frustrating than inspiring.
Solo travel is an incredible experience that can be confidence building and life changing, but it’s understandable that if you’ve never done it before, it can be a daunting prospect.
Solo travel can be empowering, so don’t be put off immediately just by the thought… Read on, and you’ll soon be raring to go and ready to explore!
There are many different ways to travel by yourself
When we think of travelling alone, we often picture a lone backpacker treading an exotic countryside path – but that’s not the only way to do solo travel!
There’s nothing to say that you can’t travel somewhere by yourself to meet someone else at a destination, to attend a structured getaway or itinerary tour, or to spend some time in luxury and relax by yourself.
If you’re feeling nervous, you might wish to start small, book a day trip somewhere new, a weekend staycation or a short break not too far away and build up from there.
Once you can feel comfortable by yourself, the world is your oyster. If you can’t afford oysters, there are ways to travel on a budget!
Being prepared is key
Solo travel requires a decent degree of organization, to both keep you where you need to be and prepared for all eventualities, and to take the pressure off you once you depart.
Ensure that you know where you’re going, how you’ll get there and that you have a working knowledge of your destination.
Make sure you’re well packed, that you have everything you need, and then there will be no need for panic or stress later on. This doesn’t necessarily mean mapping out your days hour-by-hour, but could mean keeping a list of places you’d like to visit, things you’d like to see and photos you’d like to take.
You also don’t ever want to feel ill at ease whilst you’re traveling solo. There’s lots of ways to quell any fear of feeling too ‘alone’.
On this front, many will tell you things are dangerous or they wouldn’t do it. That’s them, not you. Do you!
Plan to call and FaceTime loved ones still at home, carry a book with you at all times (a great tip for dining alone – people will tend not to approach you if you’re busy reading!), or set yourself challenges for tasks to do at different destinations.
Putting a little more thought into your travels and what you’ll do when you’re there can really transform the whole solo travel experience.
There are lots of tour companies and travel agents who cater for solo travelers and even have groups of them that meet and travel together once at a destination, so seek these out if you’d like to see somewhere new without spending the whole time alone.
Stay true to yourself
It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t step out of your comfort zone once in a while or try something you haven’t before (duh, you’re travelling solo for the first time!) but you should still remain cautious and keep yourself safe.
Stay true to yourself and look after yourself. You’re growing, and your perspectives will grow and change too, but you mustn’t lose focus, and it’s unfortunately very easy to do.
The benefits of traveling alone are vast
Those who do travel alone, even for short trips or for just part of a journey, often say they feel empowered for having done so. Having the confidence and courage to travel alone can be difficult to find at first but anyone who’s done it will agree – once you’ve found it, there’s no stopping you!
Be patient with yourself (in departing and arriving), take your time and embrace every second.
Your self-belief will skyrocket and along with it, the life experience you’ll gain from having seen another little corner of the world.
Hi, I’m Emma from ‘Yellow Brick Roads’ – Helping women build their confidence, one brick at a time.
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