So this year I've travelled twice by myself and one of them was pretty much completely solo in that I was by myself for 2.5 weeks (well apart from overlapping with my parents for 3 days). And look I legit LOVED IT and think that everyone should do it, if they can, at least once in their lives. And ok maybe going overseas for a few weeks as your first solo expedition may seem a bit too daunting and not your cup of tea, but even just a weekend get away or few days to recharge. Your body will thank you for it, not to mention how much you will learn about yourself. You'll learn to actually be ok in your own company and become more adventurous and sociable because of it.
Whenever I would tell people I was travelling by myself I would get the,
"omg you're so brave",
"wow that's amazing", or
"I wish I could do that"
Ok, so I just don't get it?? What is so amazing about it?? to me it's completely normal.
If you want to go on a holiday and no one else can come ... well go!?!? who and what is stopping you and who cares that you're by yourself apart from you??
It's not like i was travelling to a war ravaged country and in danger of not returning home, so it definitely wasn't bravery .... The only danger in me not coming home is that I would fall back in love with Canada so much I wouldn't get on the plane home (which it did re-steal my heart and would move back there in a second #thedream, but something about having a pup that I needed to get home too forced me on the plane - how rude haha)
I've always been quite independent - packing up and moving to Canberra at 18 to go to University and then moving to Canada at 19 for 8 months. So to me travelling by myself was a no brainer. It wasn't a big daunting thing - it shouldn't be - it's supposed to be fun!!
And I am almost 30 so i'm pretty sure i'm a big girl and can manage to get on a plane by myself - ok look, let's forget about the time I got on the wrong train and ended up in Italy instead of France - yeah woooops (a story for another day). Parents will always be parents and I had dad asking every 3 seconds do you have your passport, do you have the right currency, did you get on the right plane - Yes dad, and after the aforementioned unplanned Italian expedition even more so haha. Proud to say, this recent trip all the correct flights were caught. #winning
The first solo trip I did in June was to Europe (France and Spain) - after 3.5 years of a very crazy uni schedule, going solo was just what I didn't realise that I very much needed. I think also the fact that I didn't have time to actually consider that I was going alone (I booked it a week before I went) also helped so that I couldn't stress about it. It didn't actually sink in that I was going alone I guess till I was there and by that time, oh well, it was too late. I was too busy enjoying my trip to worry about the minor detail about not having anyone with me.
As much as I adore my pup Ajay, I even needed a break from him. It was the perfect holiday to just recharge my batteries before starting the business and be completely selfish. Selfish in that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn't have to consider anyone but myself. If I wanted to get up at 6am and go for a run I did. I got to choose where I had dinner, I didn't have to ask anyone else and there wasn't a 5 minute discussion about where we should go. How often in life do you get to be that selfish without actually being considered selfish?? Not that i'm married or have human kids I run around after, but literally just not having to make plans or consider anyone else was so liberating. Usually I am a very social person and on weekends am always seeing my family and friends and going for Breakfasts/lunches/ dinners so for the first little while I had to admit I did feel like I was being selfish when I could literally just decide what I wanted to do and not have to think about what else I had planned that day and who else I was seeing. It's not something you can really do in your home city. Besides the fact that if you went out anywhere you'd probably run into people you knew, imagine telling people you're not going to see or talk to anyone for 2 weeks??? kinda weird and people would probably intervene and think you were going through some mid life crisis. So doing it overseas/ in a different city is a lot easier. Look by the end of 2.5 weeks, yeah I was so excited to see my parents and be with people again, but I loved those 2 weeks and can't wait to do it again - kind of thinking about it for my 30th next year!
My last trip, only a couple of weeks ago was a more gentler form of travelling by myself. I went to five cities and I knew/ was staying with people in all of them but one so I only had 3 days really alone. So I hardly even consider that travelling solo, but growing up, from our first trip to Disneyland at age 10, travelling was always the 5 of us. So I guess even just getting on planes and going from place to place by myself felt like travelling by myself.
So here are my trips for travelling by yourself.
1. Make friends - Ok so look I have to say something i'm proud of. One of my talents is making friends in random situations. One of my best friends I met on a plane. You're probably thinking what?? No, I'm not joking. Literally we were sitting next to each other on a plane, 10th of Jan 2015 coming back from Hong Kong, started chatting, and 3 years later she's one of my best friends. Another friend I met at the gym as we were probably the only people there at 5am. Ok i'm not saying go up to randoms in the street and start chatting (that could be dangerous) but don't be afraid to talk to people. On my recent trip I made friends going to a Toronto Maple Leafs Icy hockey game by myself. I was sitting next to these 2 girls, we started chatting and then went for dinner after the game. You just never know where you will make friends. And don't be afraid to do things like go to sporting events or concerts/ shows by yourself. You may think people are staring at you and care that you came by yourself. But hate to burst your bubble, everyone is so involved in their own lives that they are not even considering you and don't even register on their radar. And if you tell them you're there by yourself most people are in absolute awe of you.
2. Get out and explore - Don't sit in your hotel room and be afraid to go out or do things by yourself. Have a few tours pre-booked (which is also another great way to meet people) and have a list of things that you want to see and do in each city. Make a plan for what you want to see and do each day.
3. Go to restaurants by yourself - take a book or magazine or here's a novel idea (haha pun intended) just go and sit in a restaurant and eat by yourself and ENJOY it. Because i would be willing to put money on the fact that you have never eaten out alone and are too scared to eat alone/ be seen eating alone in your home city. We are all so stimulated every second of every day, how often do you actually just be? I also find this a great people watching experiment to see who's on first dates (and in my mind mentally guessing how long it'll last haha), who is out with colleagues, what people are fighting about, and to see what people order too.
4. Get good Accommodation - Choose a place to stay that is close to what you want to see or do in the city. It makes it easier to be able to get around and do things and will save you money on uber fares.
5. Bring Entertainment - You are inevitably going to be in your own company a lot of the time so bring an ipad, ipod, books and magazines. How nice is going down to a local beach or park and sitting out in the sun with a good book! Just because you're on holidays doesn't mean you can't have relaxing time like that and that you have to be up and around and site-seeing the whole time.
MY BIGGEST TIP
You are on holidays after all so relax and enjoy it!! Because soon enough you'll have to come home and adult again!