HOW TO TRAVEL ALONE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Do you want to travel alone but have never dared to try the experience? It’s the first time you’re going alone but you don’t know how you will feel, or whether you’ll be able to handle the solo trip? I assure you, many people who are traveling alone have also asked themselves these questions before leaving. Traveling alone is not something innate. Personally, it took me a long time before I decided to travel alone, but several signals showed me that I could try the experience. In this article, I will give you some tips to get you ready to travel alone. These tips will also let you know if you can do solo trips and will enjoy it.
Before giving you my advice for traveling alone, let me tell you a sentence that you have surely heard everywhere and which, to my great astonishment, is real: “when you are traveling alone, you never stay alone for a long time ”. And yes, it’s true! I had heard this sentence a lot but without having experienced it. As I was traveling in a group or always with a person, we met other travelers but without really creating any particular links or having long conversations. On my first solo trip, I met a lot of people, and quite naturally. When I moved into the common room of the youth hostel, people came to talk to me or eat with me. It wasn’t necessarily people with whom I continued my travels but it was great meetings and we had a good time. And I’m still in touch with some people. It’s so nice to be part of this community and helping others.
But enough said, let’s move on to practice. If you are there it is because you do not know where to start to travel alone, or you want to be sure that it will go well. For that, I advise you to do it step by step before going on a big trip to the other end of the planet alone. Of course, you don’t have to follow these tips to the letter and if you already feel comfortable going on an adventure alone then don’t hesitate too long! If before reading this article you have already taken some steps, go to the next step, for example if you have already done the first step and it went well, go to the second step. Ah, and one last thing to remember, try to choose destinations that are safe for travelers, don’t be too adventurous from the start without experiences. You might have unpleasant surprises and that’s not the goal.
FIRST STEP: Take a hike or a walk alone for half a day
You are at home and the weather is nice. Instead of watching a movie or going to see friends or family, enjoy it! Put your phone in airplane mode and go for a walk, or do an activity alone. Leave for a few hours and see how you feel. When returning or during the ride / activity, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to look at my phone every hour or even every 10 minutes?
- Do I feel good being alone?
- Am I enjoying this moment alone?
I think you don’t need me to give you the answers that will help you understand whether you want to travel alone or not. You will quickly understand if being alone is right for you. Which is the first step before leaving. Indeed, knowing how to be alone is not suitable for everyone, and it does not matter! Everyone has their own personality and desires. If you were comfortable during this experience, go to the second step. But if you were uncomfortable but would still like to travel alone, take the second step to be a little more secure. You never know, maybe you will enjoy it.
SECOND STEP: Go on a weekend in your country, alone, and try to disconnect with friends and family
Honestly this is a good test. Go to a destination that you do not know in your country. 3 days is better but a weekend is already good. I recommend that you put your phone in airplane mode during the day (still warn your friends and family so that they do not worry) because in foreign countries, if you do not have an international package, local SIM card or wifi, you will not be able to use it. Prepare yourself as if you were traveling alone abroad. During the day do activities, preferably alone because it is a test, and enjoy. In the evening if there is wifi, take the opportunity to reconnect. If you really want to take the 100% test, feel free not to log in at all. Ask yourself these questions during / after this weekend:
- Do I really need to travel with someone?
- Am I bored or am I taking full advantage?
- Will I stay a little longer if I can?
The answers to these questions will help you to orient your needs and desires while traveling. If it’s pretty positive, go the the third step. If not, think again before moving on to the third step, or retry the experience again to be sure whether your next trip will be solo or not. You may not have the answer to the question “do I really like being alone?”. And then as I said above, you will see that when you leave, you will never be really alone for a long time.
THIRD STEP: Travel for a week in a foreign country
And the last step to find out if you like / support traveling alone, is to go to a foreign country for a week. You will test if traveling alone suits you but rather on the practical side of the trip. Because supporting the fact that we share the experience with nobody is one thing, but being able to manage any type of situation alone is another. Let me explain ! As many people know, unexpected things happen during the trip. No matter how carefully you prepare everything, no one can predict a gas outage or a bus that never comes. And that’s the point of this step. When traveling for a week, you should not encounter too many unexpected events, but some small unforeseen ones. Can you manage them in a country where the locals do not speak your language and without the possibility of calling an acquaintance? Say like that, it is true that it can be scary but it is part of the journey. And sometimes these are the best memories of your trip. You can only count on yourself to get out of the situation by asking for help from others, trying to find a solution, having a plan B.
By leaving for a week alone, you will be able to determine if you really like it or if you are only anxious to travel with someone else. During and / or after the trip, try to answer these questions:
- Can I manage on my own abroad?
- Do I see the advantages or disadvantages of solo travel?
- Do I want to leave alone? (simply)
The answers to these questions will give you the trend on your preferences for solo or accompanied travel. It’s not for everyone to travel alone, I have a lot of friends who don’t want to, and others who don’t try. If you still don’t know if you like to travel alone, try this step again, sometimes a wrong destination doesn’t help.
And for all those who have no doubts and who only have one desire, it is to set off again on an adventure in solo, my last advice is therefore GO! Take full advantage, you are free to go whenever you want and wherever you want. No more waiting after others to visit your favorite destinations.
Of course, enjoying traveling alone does not mean that you will no longer be able to travel with someone. It’s just that you’re going to dare to express your desires and the type of vacation you want to take. And if the other person doesn’t have the same goals than you, you’ll have no problem saying it’s not right for you and going alone as you wish. Or just go with someone but do different activities and then meet up in the evening.
And you, have you ever traveled alone? Do you have any other advice for people who don’t dare or don’t know how to do it?