I am a big fan of solo travel. From day trips to week long spring break adventures, I’ve traveled solo around Europe several times. My most recent trip was to Malaga, Spain, to soak up some sun at the beach before classes started.
There are many benefits to traveling solo. For one thing, it allows you to get out of your comfort zone. Being in a new place where they might not have a language or culture similar to yours forces you to be uncomfortable; it forces you to gain independence. While it sounds scary, traveling solo can be so empowering and offer several opportunities for self discovery. I remember when I was traveling in Vienna and had a small victory when I was able to figure out the metro system by myself!
Solo travel can be one of the most empowering and educational experiences you can have, but recently, I just don’t get excited about the thought of traveling. When I think about traveling, I’m not lost in a sense of wonder and excitement. Instead, I’m focused on making plans to arrive in the daylight so it’s safe, planning my days (which are usually packed with all the things Trip Advisor, well, advises you to do) from sunrise to sunset, and wondering what I’ll do for dinner. Because I mostly travel alone, I’m stuck in a rut where I don’t find traveling enjoyable because I don’t have anyone to share my experiences with.
Clearly, the best way to get out of this solo travel rut is to travel with someone! When traveling with someone, start planning earlier rather than later. This not only solidifies the fact that you’ll have a buddy, but it also allows you and that person to bounce ideas off each other for activities and get excited about the trip.
Something that can be difficult for me when I switch from traveling solo to traveling with someone is realizing that they might not want to do everything I do, so there either has to be a brief splitting up time or a compromise. Keep this in mind as you explore with your friend. And of course, take lots of pictures and share lots of laughs!
If you don’t really want to travel with someone but really need to get out of this rut, try switching up your routine. Do you always stay in hostels? Why not splurge and stay in a hotel for a new experience. Do you always visit the well known monuments? Try looking for some lesser known hangouts to see the less touristy side of your destination. By changing your travel patterns, you won’t feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over; you’ll feel excited to see a new side of your destination and try new things.
There are several Facebook pages and blogs for solo female travelers (this is one of my favorites) that you can join in hopes of being inspired to get back out there or to meet some potential travel buddies. Are you nervous about traveling solo? Check out this post for some tips on how to prepare for your adventure.
Also published on Medium.