About 75% (or maybe more) of the trips I take annually are solo trips. I remember my official trip out of the country by myself was in 2015, when I went to Barbados for 5 days.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t too nervous to go alone, because I’ve always the type of person to do things by myself if company wasn’t readily available. Movies, dinner, concerts, and other things some have anxiety about doing without others, never bothered me. I’ve been that way since my days as a youth and its manifested even more into adulthood.
|Solo Trip to Mexico City, Nov. 2017|
Since 2015, I’ve been on numerous trips (domestic & international) accompanied by me, myself, and I.
|Walking The Streets of Barcelona, February 2017|
Here are some reasons why I think solo travel is ahh-mazing:
You only have to cater to what YOU want to do
Theres no one to consult with about where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. You truly march to the beat of your own drum.
|Getting Lost In Italy, July 2016|
You’re forced to meet new people
When traveling with others, its typical (for most) to only communicate/interact with those people you came with. Traveling by yourself, makes you vulnerable, in a sense to talk to other people. Whether it be to take a picture for you or to ask directions, one simple interaction can lead to a longer conversation, and in some cases, a connection.
Sidenote: As a woman, sitting alone for dinner or drinks, I’ve been privy to bold men sending over drinks or offering to cover my tab. (Perks of being a solo-female traveler ::wink, wink::)
|New Friends on the Beach In Colombia, February 2018|
Memories to last a lifetime
When I think back to the greatest times in my life, many of them have been on my solo trips. I cherish these the closest because no one else has access to these but me. No one to put their spin or take on. And it’s great because I always have a story to tell that is mines and mines alone 🙂
|After a Long Hike in Barcelona, February 2017|
You become more aware of yourself
You know that thing…your intuition, your gut?? Yeah, that. You definitely learn to trust it more when traveling alone. After all, there is no one else there to bounce ideas off of, especially when you have to make quick/spur of moment decisions.
|Contemplating If I Should Keep Climbing Further
Mexico City, November 2017
(I Kept Going Though)
For those that are contemplating taking a trip alone, here are some tips that always makes things easier for me:
The overwhelming majority of my solo accommodations are done through AirBnb. I purposely do this so that I can have human interaction at my leisure. It is a priceless experience to live with someone that is from the area you’re staying it. I often find that they are able to offer the best tips, because they are local and truly know the ins/outs. I’ve been saved from so many tourist traps and have found gems within places I’ve visited all because of my amazing AirBnb hosts throughout the years.
|My Bnb Host (Left) and Her Sister, Bahamas
|My Host, Getting My Bedding Together in Venice, Italy
|Sipping Piña Coladas in Punta Cana, DR With My Awesome Host
I always make sure to book at least one or two excursions before reaching my destination. Going on an organized tour/activity is a guaranteed way to not only do something that interests you while on vacation, but an avenue from which to meet people. I typically book my excursions on Viator or an independent site that I may have found through browsing on the web or from Trip Advisor.
|“Night Out With a Local Parisian” Tour in Paris
|A New Friend a Made at a Previous Excursion.
She Asked If I Wanted To Check Out A Soccer Game And We Did Just That
Barcelona, February 2017
Many cities offer FREE guided walking tours, which I try to do almost everywhere I go, because its at no cost!
|Lovely Photo Op In London, All Thanks To A Free Walking Tour
I have met the most amazing people all from booking excursions.
|This Cooking Class I Booked in Barcelona Allowed Me To
Continue My Night With Some Awesome People
|All Four Of Us Were Solo Travelers And Had a Blast That Evening Together|
Most recently, I met several dope, beautiful, kind hearted women while on my trip to Cartagena, Colombia this past February. One my first full day (which you can read about here), I went on an excursion. On this day long trip, I got to meet a few lovely women, which then in turn allowed me to meet many more days after.
|Can You Tell I Was A Solo Traveler Here?
Cartagena, February 2018
I met a few people from New York (my home/current city), a couple of sorority sisters, and others that were in the same Facebook travel groups as me. The connections were real and I hung out with many of them past the excursion I had on the first day.
|Dinner With Sorority Sisters I Met On Day 1 in Cartagena
|Solo Travelers United!
Cartagena, February 2018
I account it to the travel gods that truly worked it out, because not time did I have the feeling of being “alone” during my five day stay in Cartagena.
Things like Google Maps (download offline prior to arrival), XE (money conversion) and Google Translate make life much easier when conquering unfamiliar territory.
Again, I am a huge advocate for the solo-travel-life. If you’re someone that is on the fence about going somewhere alone, I’d say to plan something domestic, and not too far from home for a quick weekend. See how that fares out and then expand your horizons.
The biggest thing, that I could never state enough is to not let other people discourage you or hold you back from your travel goals! If there is somewhere you really want to go and you’re waiting on others (and they don’t seem to be making any monetary moves) please, please just don’t wait.
Time will still keep moving and days will keep passing on by, so please don’t let fear, other people, or anything else prevent you from traveling solo.
I hope this information helped out!
Thinking of traveling solo?
Anything I didn’t address that you’re curious about?
Are you a seasoned solo traveler that wants to offer more insight?
Drop a comment below and let me know!