You know, the idea of travelling solo did not across my mind when I booked my flight to London last November. I was originally going to do Europe with my best friend, as we had been talking and planning it for a couple of months. Unfortunately, she ran into some personal issues early this year and had to pull out. I was left with the option of finding another travel buddy…or to go on my own.
We must travel in the direction of our fear.
~ John Berryman.
I knew of a number of people who were already going to Europe at the same time as me, and they already had booked their flights. This also gave me the chance to reflect on my previous travel experiences, since I had never done solo travelling. When I was housesitting for a friend in the Blue Mountains over the Xmas and New Years period, I came across a book about solo travel in her bookcase…and it gave me the inspiration to do Europe on my own. My friend, whose house I looked after, had done solo travelling numerous times and she encouraged me to do so. My mother has done Europe and Southeast Asia on her own – she also encouraged me.
I came to a decision around March to go solo…and looking back on it, I can say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. No regrets. No hassles. If you have friends who are going to be the same town at the same time, you could just simply meet up with them for a drink and meal, and to share travel stories and memories.
There are times when you do feel lonely, but not so often because you are always surrounded by strangers in new places. I’ve certainly come across quite a lot of interesting people. I’ve made new friends. I’ve had my horizons broadened. I’ve developed a new appreciation for simplicity, culture, and the world around me.
I’m not sure what I’ll do, but—well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Would I go solo again? Yes, definitely – no questions about that. I love making decisions on where to sleep, what to eat, where to go, which attractions to see and everything else that involves travelling. It has been so liberating not to wait for others as I could just go whenever I liked. If I wanted to stay longer, then so be it. If I wanted to leave early, I left earlier than anticipated. Essentially, I found that I enjoyed travelling the most while being solo.
The most essential part about going solo is that you get to step outside of your comfort zone. You don’t have to wait on anybody – just go whenever you feel like it.
Go solo. You will have no regrets and for that, you will be a better person.