SOLO TRAVELLING: YOU ARE NOT LONELY!
Let me start by saying I am new to solo travelling. I can count the number of solo travels I have done in one hand. To say I did not learn a thing or two is an understatement.
I will be frank; the first time I flew solo, I almost pissed in my pants. You know when you want to be invisible, so you do your own thing without interfering with the rest of the world? That is how I felt as I sat by the window, already contemplating the decision to fly alone.
As soon as I landed in the country I was visiting; all the negative thoughts flew out of the window. I became so responsible for my self, and my goods, not that I carried anything important. My head was sticking out, wanting to know everything happening around me. I was reading maps, interacting with other travellers by the airport, to the point I downloaded a language interpreter right at the airport.
For me not to brag too much about my feelings and experience, these are the few things I believe I have learnt and has potentially added value to my life.
1. Became social: if you think you are an introvert, say no more. Well, I thought I was, but I was surprised at how easy getting along with others is, I was able to maintain a robust conversation over a few drinks or lunch with a total stranger.
2. New friendship: You guessed it, strangers become friends. Being social invites new people in your life when abroad and alone. People you never thought you would encounter in your life. Some of these friends are probably for that short period of travels but some last a lifetime. I became close friends with two people, one from Germany and another from Italy. To this date, we still talk. I now have an open invitation should I choose to visit any of these countries.
3. Responsibility: Yes you meet friends and all but you are still in a foreign place, and that is always on your mind, so responsibility comes naturally, well for some. The fact that I was alone, personally made me aware of my spending, the places I go to, and the time I am meant to be back to my hotel. It’s almost like having your mum’s voice inside you telling you what is right for you haha.
4. Open-minded: When you travel in a group, with your friends from back home or your family, you might see yourself doing the norms. Not everyone would be willing to try the new cuisine they had never seen before or jump a five-story building. Okay, not that extreme, but what I am getting at is that chances are since you are alone you are prone to want to try new things without worrying about what your friends will think because you are all alone, dah!!. Locals and other tourists often share specific experiences and alone, with your flexibility you are likely to consider trying them out.
I hope you see why being self-aware and knowing you are alone is essential when travelling solo. You enjoy your travel knowing exactly where you stand, However, feeling lonely which is different from being alone, will almost result in you withdrawn even when people surround you.
Have you done something alone? Was it awkward, did you learn something? I would love to hear about your experience. Comment below!