I follow a lot of travel blogs and traveller groups on social media. Solo travelling is something that is mentioned over and over again. It is today’s hype and everyone seems to be doing it. Today I saw a post by a fellow traveller, stating her concerns about how she is trying to ride this solo travelling wave but not succeeding. Every time she does it, she ends up feeling either depressed or lonely. That post led me to a lot of thoughts, and ultimately decided to write these thoughts down 🙂
After reading that plea, I couldn’t stop wondering what led this girl to feel this way. Why is she feeling the need to go travelling by herself, and why does she persist when she doesn’t feel at ease on her own? Why is she asking her fellow travellers to help her succeed? Solo travelling, or well, actually just travelling, is meant to be a means to refresh your mind. Get in touch with whatever the world offers. It is meant for us to feel better and get back to reality feeling energised. It is not meant for us to feel worse than before going on the trip. Is solo travelling becoming so much of a trend that everyone feels that they need to go for it, no matter what? Will solo travelling be listed with the other million trends that everyone feels the need to follow, just to be like everyone else?
Looking back at my experience, I have never been on a full-on solo trip. I have travelled on my own, wandered cities on my own, slept in hotels on my own. But there was always someone I knew in that city, and my evenings were spent with them. Thinking about my experience with sleeping on my own in hotels though – on my first night, I had an anxiety attack, and on another night, I cried myself to sleep. So it’s safe to say that solo travelling is not made for me. And that’s alright 🙂
Travelling, whether by plane or by train, on your own is nice. Makes it feel more like an adventure. Wandering streets in unknown cities on your own is one of the best feelings for me. There’s nothing better than stopping for ice cream before you even had lunch, and no one giving you the look of shame. It’s up to you to decide whether you feel like going in a museum or not, and you plan out your day solely on your mood. But when it comes to the evening, when everyone is drinking and having dinner with their family and friends, that’s where I need people I actually know. Recounting the day to your people feels good, and talking about it is much better than simply texting it to your loved ones at home. This, however, is only my point of view. A million people will have a million thoughts about this, and that’s good. That’s what makes us unique in our own way.
However, one needs to experience this before deciding whether it is for him/her or not. What I suggest is that for your first trip, you pick a city or a country where you know people living there. Going to the airport and boarding a plane on your own will already give you a bit of a vibe of how it feels like. Spending a day or two on your own, while your friends are at work is good. Later in the evening you can meet up with them and reflect on how it felt like to be on your own versus being with people you know.
I must state here that travelling on my own has made me grow, and I became more independent. You have to deal with situations that might arise, all on your own. So doing it at least once in your life will definitely help you in becoming a better person.
With that being said, my conclusion for solo travelling and whether everyone should do it, I just say that it’s totally up to the person. Like any other trend, not everyone feels comfortable doing the same thing. And that’s alright. Just forget about everyone else, find what makes you happy and what you’re comfortable with, and stick to that 🙂
“To each their own. One must live each day so that there are no regrets.” – Arina Tanemura