It wasn’t long ago myself and a few friends were planning a summer away in Indonesia and not long after making these plans, life decided to get in the way, and they ended up either too busy with work commitments or not being able to afford it anymore. 

Not wanting to waste the time and effort I had already put into organising a detailed 2 month itinerary, I decided to pursue my first ever solo backpacking experience.  My travel ethos became to never let the lack of a companion stop you from doing the things you want to do, or visit the places you want to see - and I still stand by it! 

I think a problem with solo travelling which stops a lot of people from doing it, is that far too often people equate being ‘alone’ with being ‘lonely’, when in reality there is nothing sad or lonely about it. Being a solo traveller allows you to find peace with yourself and finally gives you and your mind the alone time it should probably get more often, in this world full of distractions

Just to not think at all. Relish the experience of not having to think or compromise at all, you are the only person you need to think about, do whatever you want to do when you want to do it. Which is probably one of my favourite things about solo travel. For me, taking as much time on photography on my travels without feeling like I’m making people wait for me is complete bliss, especially whilst I take a photo from every. single. angle. And likewise, its not ideal being on the receiving end, having to wait for other people all the time who may slow you down, especially if you’re as inpatient as I am.

Meeting people when travelling is so easy when you just push yourself outside your comfort zone. At first it can feel like your forcing yourself to meet new people, and don’t expect to become best friends with the first person you meet, because most of the time it takes time to find the right people that suit you! It all seems quite daunting at first, but everyone is pretty much in the same boat and everyone is usually really friendly so just be yourself. 

You will meet a whole horizon of different people from different countries with different cultures and the best thing you can do when you meet all these people, is to be open-minded and don't be judgemental. Don't be afraid to quite literally go and sit with them and start talking to them, nobody cares about social norms of whats socially acceptable and what isn't. 

If being alone is your worry, I find meeting people in the day, either at your hostel or doing a day tour of some sort the best way in making friends. It gives you something to talk about when it comes to the evening when you can share a beer or few! Also I think you have to consider the trip you want to do from the start, choosing the right country is fairly crucial. Although Thailand might be one of the cheapest places to visit, do you really want to be surrounded by that many tourists? Think about what interests you personally, and don't choose somewhere just because of the pretty beaches because if its not your vibe you'll soon feel it. 

I would be lying if I said at times it didn't get a bit solitary...

You'll find at some points you'll end up back by your lonesome when travelling with a group of people comes to an end - for whatever reason (usually because of different time spans) and in the transition of meeting new people, its just you by yourself, appreciating the wicked art or delicious street food. And its times like these I sometimes wish I had someone to chat with over a drink about these amazing experiences. 

There also become times when you just want to rant about things, like why we left the EU and how upset you are about the situation - and the random Brazilian who you've only known for 4.3 hours (as lovely as they are) probably doesn't want to listen to you moan for the next hour or so. 

There become times when you miss home comforts, mine being sausage and mash with onion gravy. Oh and family of course!

But despite all of this, the good outweighs the bad by a landslide! (even when you really are craving that sausage and mash).

Take the first step and invest in yourself by booking your first trip alone. Honestly you won't regret it. 

No words can really summarise the mix of feelings you feel when you step of that plane. Its inevitable to feel a little nervous - I still get nervous now, but as cliche as it sounds - you get a real feeling of empowerment knowing that the world, truly is your oyster.



  1. Here are the Top Destinations for Solo Travelers
    a. London, England
    b. Paris, France
    c. Los Angeles, California
    d. Tokyo, Japan
    e. Barcelona, Spain
    f. New York City, New York
    g. Toronto, Canada
    h. Madrid, Spain
    i. Berlin, Germany
    j. Seoul, South Korea
    k. Osaka, Japan
    l. Lisbon, Portugal
    m. Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks --- Ashley Rosa

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