As a young woman and slow traveler that cherishes her independence and likes exploring towns on her own, I’ve had my fair share of trips I took solely on my own. Traveling solo is something you’ll either really like because of the thrill or detest because it’s too lonely.
Whilst I value the lessons solo traveling can teach in the sense of self-discovery and awareness with the surroundings, I do understand the shudder at the thought of anxiety – which I have felt on my very own body as well.
But frankly, it’s not that bad. And definitely manageable.
A lot of anxiety lies in the unknown. Do thorough research up front and make sure you calculate time and place so you get from A to B with the least problems and amount of stress. Consider the possibility that trains and flights could be delayed and you find the smartest way of transport that will save you trouble with your baggage, if there is any. Download apps or jot down what you’ll need to know, what you want to do and explore, and how you get to those places. Save tube maps or save connections on the Citymapper app for offline access.
Blend with locals
Even though it’s great and dandy to be organised to keep at ease, do make sure you leave freedom for spontaneity whilst traveling. You most probably won’t be able to do everything you planned and will end up discovering other things instead that will astound you. If your stay isn’t in a packed location and there aren’t many attractions, get exploring nevertheless. Take on streets less packed and get lost for a bit and find your way around by foot. I personally avoid to mesh with the crowds, it makes me feel stressed for no reason.
Bring home with you
Make it a point to see the place as your home away from home. Get groceries nearby, spend some time in the next Starbucks or Costa or whatever you’re familiar with at home, go to a market or read in a park to make you feel less like someone from the outside. This can definitely be quite comforting.
What are your thoughts on traveling solo? What’s something you learned whilst doing so?