I have always loved to travel. Seriously, a year without at least
one trip in it would be a rare thing for me and the signal of an
impending apocalypse. Lol However, for the majority of my
adult life I have had either a boyfriend or a friend to go on a trip
with. It wasn’t until I broke up with my boyfriend and my friends
got busy with their own lives that I was faced with a problem. I
wanted, no, I needed to feed my wanderlust, but I had no one to
go on a trip with. At first I was devastated, but then I made a
decision that would change my life, and the way I travel, forever. I
decided I was going to go on that trip….alone. Was I scared?
Nope….I was terrified! This little introvert with confidence issues
and social anxiety was supposed to go out and experience new
places by herself? Are you kidding me?! But I shoved that fear aside
and two years later I still think it was one of the best decisions I have
ever made (You can read about my first solo trip here!). It was a truly powerful
experience and you better believe imma do it
again and again and again.
Why I Think Taking Trips Alone Is Important:
Always Waiting on Friends = Missed Opportunities
As an adult, trying to get together with your friends just
for dinner is a difficult task let alone trying to plan a vacation!
Everyone has work, families, other commitments, and it
always seems like the universe is working against you. If I waited
for a time that worked for my friends and I to go on a vacation
together, well, I would have missed out on visiting soooo many
amazing places. Now don’t get me wrong, I do still try and go on
trips with my girls (this year we are thinking maybe Florida!), but I
am not going to keep myself from other travelling opportunities
just because they can’t come along.
You Become Truly Independent
Traveling alone is a great way to experience true independence.
You are navigating this uncharted territory alone and there is
no one there for you to rely on for directions, to provide you with
entertainment, to hide behind while you talk to new people you
meet, to pay for half of your trip, or to protect you/save you
should, God forbid, something go wrong. You are all you got in
every aspect of your vacation, and while that can be a scary
thought, it is also extremely liberating. You will feel so empowered
because traveling alone shows you what you can do and it not
only provides you with fond memories, but also
something to look back on and be proud of.
It’s a Mental Health Booster
On my two previous solo journeys I found, between the long
drives and long hikes, that I had plenty of time to think and
reflect. This is another great perk of travelling alone; You are
forced to focus on yourself. By removing yourself from your
normal reality you can look at your life with an unobstructed
view that will allow you to see what things are truly important to
you and what changes need to be made in order to provide
yourself with the life you want and, most importantly, deserve.
One of my favorite things about travelling alone is that
there is no compromising on anything. You can listen to
whatever music you want to, you stop only when you need
to, you do the activities you want to do, and can eat wherever
and however often you want. Guys it is so
great and really makes for a fun time.
My Vacationing Tips:
Go Out and Explore
I know vacation is all about relaxation, but if you spend the
entire time laying in bed in your hotel room you won’t get near
as much out of this experience. You can lay in bed at home!
When you are vacationing alone (or even just vacationing in general)
you need to get out, see the world, and experience new things
and cultures. I promise that your trip will be so much
more fun and rewarding if you do.
Take a Social Media Break
Remember how I said travelling alone is a huge mental health
booster? Well, part of that includes putting down the phone.
Social media is insanely toxic. It causes me to compare
myself to others and usually leaves me feeling like I am lacking
in multiple aspects of my life. However, when I am on vacation I
really try to shut down the socials and focus on the world
around me. (And most of the time I’m forced to do so because
of a lack of service! lol) I mean, I took the time and the money
to get out and explore so I better stinkin’ be present and enjoy
it right? Anyone can take a fire selfie and post it to social media, but
not everyone has the opportunity to travel and see the world.
Take the Photo
Don’t worry about being judged for acting like a tourist because
guess what…you are a tourist! Instead, own it, take the picture
if you want to, and remember that you will most likely never see
any of these people again. You will regret it if
you don’t, I can promise you that!
I was completely terrified to take the photo at Hotel Valley Ho. I
arrived at the hotel (which I wasn’t a guest at) and asked the front
desk if I could take a picture with their mural. The lady at the front
desk was super nice and gave me a key to their pool so I could get
in and y’all the moment I walked through those gates I wanted so
badly to turn around and leave. It was the middle of a beautiful
sunny afternoon, the pool was packed, and guess where the
mural was? Right in front of everyone. But I tried to hold my head
high and keep my body from shaking as I set up my tripod and took
pictures with the mural and I am so happy I did. So
even if you are scared, take the picture.
Record Your Experiences
Any time I go on a trip I take a break at the end of each day to
write down everything I had experienced including the good, the
bad, helpful tips, and lessons learned. It’s a great way for me to
be able to look back on my vacations and remember things that I
may have forgotten as time goes on (and makes it easier
to write blog articles as well lol).
On my solo trip in 2020 I tried out recording little video
check-ins instead of journaling. Just me talking into the
camera updating the viewers (aka me) on what was going on
during the trip. Again this was a great way to hold on to
memories of my trip and truthfully maybe even a little better
than journaling because these videos were done in real time
and I didn’t have to sit and try to remember
everything that went down that day.
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
I am a huuuuge introvert, I hate being the center of attention, and
I never want to look like an idiot (hence why I plan so much of
my life). All of this is just basically me saying there are a lot of
experiences that scare me and/or give me anxiety. Lol However, when
I am on vacation if there is something I want to do, like take a
picture of myself or complete a certain activity, I try and push
that fear out the window and do it anyway. I know that the
potential embarrassment or uncomfortableness I feel in the
moment wouldn’t even compare to the regret I would feel if I
didn’t do it at all. Growth doesn’t come when you are comfortable
and stories aren’t made by taking the easy route.
Don’t Let Others Make You Doubt Your Trip
It’s 2021, but travelling alone is still not a common thing. I cannot
tell you how many times I have had people stare at me incredulously
after I told them I am travelling alone followed inevitably by “why?
Do you not have anyone to go with you?” I would be lying if I said
that that didn’t make me rethink my whole trip and feel like an
unloved, friendless loser. However, it only takes me a moment to
remember that this is simply not true. I have plenty of friends, I
am super loved, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, a
young female, setting out on her own to see the world. And there
is nothing wrong with you setting out to do the same.
Be Smart and Know Your Limits
When you are travelling alone you are all you got for
company, help, and protection so it’s important to know
your physical limits and to always be aware of your surroundings.
Before you start a hike make sure you can finish it and always
carry plenty of water. Like more than you think you would need.
Be smart and don’t go anywhere that looks sketchy or gives you
bad vibes (trust your gut!), and avoid hiking after dark (learn from
my mistakes….article on that coming soon 😅).
The Final Takeaway
If there is something you want to do or somewhere you want
to go, DO IT. Stop waiting for the approval of others or for others
to be able to go with you. You are an adult and you can do anything
you put your mind to. This is your life so grab it by the horns and live
it how you want! You will be so much happier in the end.