Friday, 19 October 2018

Why You Should Seriously Consider Solo Travel


reasons to travel solo

Even though it's been less than a week since I returned home from my trip to Florida (expect lots of Sephora hauls and photo diaries very soon), I'm already dreaming up where to visit next and as much as I loved travelling with my family and creating some incredible memories, it's definitely got me itching to plan my next spot of solo travel. Let me know if you'd like to see a blog post on the top ten places that I'd like to visit next as a solo traveller (who else has Trek America on their list?) or where I'd love to visit with friends and family (I've definitely got my eye on going somewhere either completely tropical, like the Mediterranean or the Maldives (how dreamy does this place look) or somewhere really snowy (check out these ski holidays from Mark Warner).

Back to today's post, if you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for a while now, you'll know that I embarked on my first piece of solo travel last Summer when I visited New York. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I was so proud of what I achieved by doing it. So I thought that I would share with you why you should seriously consider solo travel at some point in your life as well, here on the blog today.

You are completely in control

As selfish as it sounds, only having to worry about what you want to do and when is such a freeing experience. I could decide when I wanted to leave in the morning, without having to wait on others getting organised and ready, could eat when I was hungry, not when everyone else is/at places that didn't really take my fancy and could choose exactly what I wanted to do without having to compromise. You also don't have to explain your choices to anyone. Want to have ice cream for dinner? You can! Want to spend an entire day shopping? There will be no-one there to moan about it!

You'll gain confidence

When you mention to friends, family and colleagues that you're travelling somewhere on your own, many of them will say how brave you must be to do such a thing. I really didn't think about it in that way but when I returned I realised just how much I had accomplished on my trip.

Growing up I was always incredibly shy and had what I now realise was horrible anxiety. I've grown a lot as a person since then but it still doesn't stop me from saying 'you too' when the person serving me at Duty Free or WH Smith tells me to have a good flight. Saying that, I did get myself all the way from Newark Airport taking an Airtrain, a New Jersey Transit train and then finally a taxi up to Times Square without breaking a sweat. I knew exactly what tickets I needed to buy, got off at the right station and checked in at my hotel without a hitch or a worry. I sat in restaurants by myself without needing a book or my phone to keep me company. I took the Subway everywhere and didn't get lost once (I may have went down the wrong entrance one time but it was still the correct station), so much so that fellow tourists would ask me for directions thinking that I was a native New Yorker (see my top tips for navigating the NYC Subway system here)! As someone who used to get nervous going anywhere new, even if it was only a 5 minute journey from my house, on my own, I could see just how far I'd come confidence-wise on my first solo trip.

solo female travel usa

You'll also gain independence

I've always been pretty independent and prefer doing certain things such as clothes shopping and exploring on my own but nothing will make you feel more independent than being completely responsible for yourself with no one else to rely on. I was the responsible adult, which as someone who's only ever travelled with their family was something completely new to me. If I didn't do something nobody else would be there to do it for me. I had to lug my luggage around with me (if your bags are ridiculously heavy like my cabin case was going out, just ask someone who might be a little bit/a lot stronger than you to get it into the overhead bin or off of the luggage carousel, there will always be people to help you in these situations). I had to have all of my travel documents ready for immigration. I had to pay for absolutely everything (there's no going halves on dinner or cab rides).

You don't have to go it completely alone (if you don't want to)

If you want a few days or weeks completely to yourself, you can definitely keep it that way but embarking on solo travel is actually a great way to meet new people, connect with and make international acquaintances and experience new cultures. When I finalised my plans I actually found out that some fellow Scots would be in the area around the same time as me. And even though I hadn't met Hayley before back home in Scotland, we spent a Saturday together walking The High Line, going for lunch at Chelsea Market and exploring Manhattan together. It was great to finally meet her and so nice to hear someone with the same accent as me. Definitely reach out to friends and acquaintances to see if they or anyone that they know could connect with you when you're over there. Chances are there will be.

If you're staying somewhere like a hostel, the opportunities to meet new people and explore your chosen destination with other like minded people and solo travellers are even greater.

solo female travel blog

You can practice some serious self care

It might sound crazy to say that when you're on the other side of the world or in a different country/continent is actually one of the best times to practice some serious self care but it is. Self care and what you deem as self care can be different for everyone but you'll finally have time to sit and read a book cover to cover, to treat yourself to something indulgent (hello all things Glossier on my trip) or simply to stick on a movie and order room service.

Taking time out to yourself where you're not chained to your phone or going at a hundred miles an hour is so important and it'll also serve as a nice memory of your time away when you weren't rushing all over the place or trying to cram in one more attraction, museum or cultural experience.

Whether it's an overnight stay somewhere close to where you live, a weekend away in nearby Europe or a week plus (I did 11 nights myself) on another continent, I could not recommend giving solo travel a try enough to you. You'll know right away whether it's the kind of thing for you and if you're anything like me, you'll be thinking of where to go next.

Have you ever travelled on your own? Or even just done part of a journey on your own? Does solo travel sound appealing to you? And where would you love to visit next, either on your own or with friends/family?

Post sponsored by Mark Warner
Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I really appreciate, read and reply to every single one of them. If you would rather contact me via twitter (@ellistuesday) or by email (ellistuesday@hotmail.co.uk) then I will get back to you as soon as I can.

© Ellis Tuesday | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig
Privacy Policy