The thought of travelling abroad alone can be very daunting and it probably won’t be appealing to everyone. I have wanted to travel the world for a long time but with half my family afraid of flying and none of my friends really interested I felt my only option is to go it alone but it turns out this was not a bad thing.
By travelling alone you can make the experience your own, cross things off your bucket list and live your dream without anything or anyone getting in your way.
In February I went to Canada for a week completely on my own and a lot of people have said I’m brave for doing it but I wasn’t going to let the fact nobody could come with me stop me from going. One of the best things about travelling alone is that you can please yourself. You can go where you like, when you like and do what you like. You can get up in the middle of the day and then go and lie on the beach, or you can get up at the crack of dawn and hike a mountain. Fancy ordering room service in a 5* hotel? Go for it! Staying in a hostel and happy to eat junk food all day? There is nobody there to stop you!
In my experience the hardest part of travelling solo is telling your friends and family you’re going by yourself. Everyone will be worried and tell you how ridiculous the idea is, how dangerous it could be and ask “are you crazy?” but they will warm to the idea eventually and each time you go it will get easier.
So many people choose to travel alone so wherever you go you will meet people in a similar position to you and once you get to know them you could become very good friends and maybe even end up travelling together in the future.
Don’t be afraid to talk to people while you’re away, they could be locals and give you advice on where to go and things you should see, You never know, they could tell you about amazing little places you’ve not heard of or thought of going to. They could even be other travellers to give you recommendations or even tag along with you. Walking up to strangers and starting a conversation my seem a little scary and you should be careful but you shouldn’t isolate yourself as this can make you feel very lonely. Eating alone should not be something to avoid, it’s not as bad as it may seem. I have no shame in saying that when I was in Canada I went to the same restaurant 4 nights out of 7 (not just because the food was amazing) but because the waiting staff are so friendly and they do look after you! On my first night one of the waitresses was just clocking off and she came to speak to me. In the end she ended up sitting and eating with me!
If you don’t fancy going it completely alone you could make a group tour an option. Of course you’ll more than likely have to fly to your destination alone but once you’re there you’ll meet a group of people just like you and although you will all be strangers you’ll be together 24/7 so it won’t take long to get to know them! I jumped in at the deep end and my first solo trip was a 5 week trek across America but because this was something I really wanted to do having nobody come with me didn’t really phase me. Because I was on a group tour with Trek America I wasn’t completely alone, only for the first and last day and I would recommend a group tour for you’re first solo trip as it will give you an idea on what it’s like but you’ll always have someone there with you in case you need help.
Unless you’re planning on going to a deserted island in the middle of nowhere you will have internet access so there will always be a way of getting in touch with people back home and making them jealous of how much of a good time you are having!