Travel Tip Tuesday: Goin’ It Alone: Traveling Solo

I just recently came across and answered a question on Quora that asked “What are your experiences traveling alone?

Since I first traveled alone last November in Thailand, I have done some solo mini trips to cities when I can – including Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and even a night alone in Charleston, S.C. (to name a few).   Throughout my travels I have met Philosophical Philanthropists, Scientists, Studiers of Bees, Voodoo Shop Owners, and even a Wandering Scuba Instructor.  I drank tea with botanists, cooked food with locals, savored farm-to-table southern cuisine and danced with beautiful strangers.

What can I say? I am totally sold. Solo travel has become quite the addiction for me – a time when I feel life’s magic in a way I have always been searching for.  Thus, here are a few important tips, mental preparations and stream of consciousness rants for the lone traveler.

No Pressure: One of the things that scared me the most when I first started traveling alone was feeling lonely.  My initial reaction was to pile up as many activities per day as possible in the planning stages to ensure I could avoid as many possibilities of that happening as possible. The thing is though, by planning out of fear, you create a huge amount of pressure to 1) not feel lonely and 2) stick to a regimented schedule.  Both these things create a HUGE amount of pressure on your arrival.

If there is one thing you gain by this article, then let it be this: One of the coolest things about traveling alone is that you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. Don’t ruin that experience. You want to wander aimlessly for hours? Do it. You want to take a nap in the middle of the day? Do it. Own the experience to be free. And if you get lonely? Then own that too.

Be Social for the Experience – Not for Social’s Sake: You are traveling to experience something different and with that comes meeting different people you may not otherwise have met when traveling with another.  Be social, reach out to others, start conversations and do so out of genuine interest in the person rather than out of fear of being lonely. I say this because if you do it out of fear you may find yourself with the first people you meet, or people you may not like very much.  Remember – this is your trip so bow out gracefully if they are not your vibe and actively seek out those that interest you!

Enjoy being with yourself.  I made up this game a long time ago that I found to be very effective on my solo trip: Siggy’s Travel Game. Play truth or dare with yourself.  Challenge yourself to do things you don’t normally do.  You will be amazed at how cool and adventurous you really are.

Accept That it Won’t Always be Easy. It may be tough at times. You may very well feel lonely, you may get lost, you may find yourself with no money, or in a bind.  It’s all part of the larger adventure, being resourceful and doing it all on your own.  There is no better way to know yourself.

Like this? You may also like Sigalle’s Top 5 Travel Tips: Thailand

Author: Sigalle Barness

Sigalle champions and grows people's brand awareness through impactful stories that are authentic, meaningful, and thought provoking. She designs communications strategies that underscore the why and how behind a person's work. Sigalle also strategically delivers episodic content focused on conversations and interviews with key figures that truly reflect the business, professional, and educational needs of legal industry. Sigalle's favorite things in the whole world are her husband and two children. Sigalle also loves good food and travel. She is an avid lover of music, video games, blogging, and cooking.

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