2015 marked the year that I took my first ever solo trip. Slovenia was my destination of choice and as you can see from the above photos – I had a whale of a time! You can see my other posts about Slovenia here. You’re obviously going to be nervous on your first solo travel trip and other people’s blog posts really helped me, so I thought I’d give my two cents!
The general consensus regarding “holidays” is that you should be surrounded by loved ones, have a brilliant time together and enjoy each other’s presence. Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling with my friends, family and boyfriend and sometimes it’s nice to have a familiar face on the journey with you.
So, why is solo travel so much fun?
You can do what you want, when you want. No squabbles over where to go next, what to see, where to eat. You make your own decisions. Take the long scenic route, go off the beaten track, chase that destination that you’ve seen on Pinterest/Instagram (I’m guilty of that one) and feel no regret at not having seen/done something.
You meet extraordinary people, without even trying. Okay, maybe you do need to try a little bit – the girl I met that spent her entire 4 days in Slovenia in bed certainly didn’t make many friends… If you are travelling with friends/family, you tend to stick to those people and don’t expand your horizons to meet new people. Whether it’s a group of people in the hostel, the people working at the sights you’re seeing, local people on the streets/restaurants, you will never feel alone. (Warning: you will inevitably add your new friends on Facebook/follow them on Instagram and then have constant updates as to where they are in the world, therefore expanding your wanderlust bucket list).
Absorb the simple pleasures. So, you’ve gone on a city break with one of your girlfriends and they spend 80% of the time texting their boyfriend, neglecting you and the sights around them. When they’re not texting, they are probably moaning about said boyfriend. The answer? Solo travel allows you to take some time to explore by yourself, soak up the silence and the beauty of the places around you. I like to try to go off of the grid (albeit, it is always tempting to post copious Instagram pictures when you’re travelling in a particularly beautiful areas!). Obviously check your phone every once in a while so that your family know you are safe too!
Grow as a person. What better way to grow as a person than to throw yourself into an unknown territory with nothing but a guide map, a wishlist of destinations and a whole bundle of excitement. Independence, courage, confidence, cultural understanding are all great qualities to have!
So, you’re thinking about travelling solo, what do you need to know?
It’s not as scary as you think! As I boarded the plane for my first solo adventure, I was SO nervous. Despite doing every single droplet of research possible and knowing that this was exactly what I wanted to do, I knew it was normal to feel nervous. Within 5 minutes of checking into the hostel and getting out into the city, I knew I’d made the right decision, you will have the time of your life!
Do your research! You’re going to be nervous and perhaps feel vulnerable if you haven’t been in this situation before. Make sure you research your hostel, read other customer’s reviews, make sure that they felt safe on their visit too. All cities have safe and slightly more dangerous areas. If you’re heading somewhere with a bad reputation, make sure you know the areas to avoid and you will be just fine! Follow the locals and stick to areas that other travellers have recommended.
Have your wits about you. There’s always things that can wrong while you’re abroad (or travelling in your own country for that matter!) and you won’t have immediate friends and family to help you. You are therefore responsible for all of your belongings and yourself, if you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation. Follow your gut & make sure you have the right travel insurance.
Dining alone isn’t really an issue. From what I’ve seen on blog posts about solo travel, a lot of people have a real issue with dining alone. This really isn’t something to worry about. If you make friends in the hostel, you will without a doubt end up dining with them most nights – everyone is in the same boat after all! If things don’t go this smoothly at first, dining alone isn’t something to be scared of. Bring a book/your iPad for entertainment in a restaurant, order room service if you are staying in a hotel, grab quick and easy food that you can eat on the move/at the hostel.
Just do it! You’ll have the time of your life!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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