I have to confess something: solo travel changed my life. But, to be honest, there are good and bad things about it. I wouldn’t trade my solo travel experiences for anything–anything! But I can see how some people would be intimidated or scared to travel solo. However, I don’t know anyone who’s ever traveled solo and didn’t love and feel empowered by the experience! Whether you’re a single lady, a mom who wants a getaway, or a grandmother who’s always wanted to travel but never thought you could, you are never too young, too busy, or too old to take that first solo trip!
Here are my confessions of a seasoned solo female traveler: unfiltered, honest, and perhaps surprising.
I cry. Every time.
Not like “ugly cry,” but I definitely cry. Travel is exhausting, especially that first day, and when you’re going solo, you have to be on high alert all the time. You also have to do everything yourself. I mean, who wants to take their luggage to the bathroom with them at the airport? But you have to, because you’re traveling solo!
Bathroom luggage aside, sometimes I just feel overwhelmed, sorry for myself, and sad that I’m wasting precious time on being sad—so I cry! But you know what solo travel taught me? It’s not the end of the world if I cry. It’s not even the end of my trip! I can feel how I feel and move on when I’m done feeling that way. I get distracted by the amazing things I have planned, and before I know it, I’m excited all over again to be doing my own thing!
I get lonely. And sometimes I like being alone.
Yep. I sure do. But sometimes I like to be alone. Solo travel has shown me that loneliness is a choice, and sometimes it’s my first choice. I have met some really fun and incredible people while traveling solo. I met my husband on a solo trip! But by choosing to travel solo, I can choose to be alone or not be alone. And it’s ok if you feel lonely while traveling solo. You might just find that you like the company—yourself!
I mess up. And I’m glad no one’s there to see!
I have taken the wrong train, gotten lost on my bike, and been totally unprepared in a plethora of ways while traveling solo. And I survived it all! It’s nice to mess up and realize no one is around to see, or remember, or bring it up over and over again as a joke for the rest of my life. I can just forget all about it and move on to my next adventure!
I go to bed early.
As in, sometimes I’m in bed by 5:00pm! To a lot of people, that makes me a dud, a loser, an old lady! But you know whose opinion matters when I travel solo? Only mine! I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and simply live my life how I want, including going to bed at 5:00pm!
I wish there was someone to take my picture.
This is a more recent development in my solo travel career. I never used to think about getting pictures of myself—I was always more interested in where I was traveling! Now that I’m competing with other bloggers on Instagram, I wish I was better at taking photos of myself with my tripod (and had the patience that requires), or better yet, I wish there was someone to take the photos for me!
I always miss my husband.
Always. Every time. Without exception. He’s the best travel buddy, my best friend, my second set of eyes and ears so I never miss anything! But solo travel means no husband for a little while. Usually my solo travels purposely coincide with his business trips, so I’d be without him anyway, but that doesn’t make me miss him less! There is one redeeming factor about missing my husband, though: I appreciate him more when we’re back together!
I’m always glad I went!
Despite everything that seems bad about solo travel, it’s worth it. Every. Single. Time. I’m always glad I went solo, always thankful for the experience, and always looking forward to the next trip! I have never regretted a solo trip for any reason, and I don’t think I ever will. Solo travel reminds me that I can do whatever I set my mind to doing, I can make it on my own, and I can learn new things.
We often get stuck in our routines, and sometimes we are afraid to be uncomfortable. But solo travel has shown me that getting out of my routine is not something to be afraid of, it’s reason to celebrate!
Want more? Check out my Solo Travel Page for destination inspiration, tips, and all things solo travel!
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