How to Travel Solo with Confidence
Traveling solo can be such an enlightening and invigorating experience! It causes you to rely on yourself to experience a location, communicate and engage with others and navigate your way through the city/town/country. As an introverted individual traveling solo comes fairly easy to me, but it does take a bit of forethought to ensure you have a wonderful time even without a travel companion. I tend to think about these things prior to the trip. If I can answer these questions comfortably then I move forward with the planning stages!
Would I feel safe traveling here?
Can I speak the primary language?
Where can I hang out?
Do I have the option to meet up with anyone while here?
You’re an Exploress so go out and explore. Dedicate a day or two or three to roam the area without distraction. Eat a meal alone ("table for 1 please"), get lost and find your way back again, tour the city and make note of the areas you’d like to visit again before you leave. Have fun, be safe and enjoy yourself, but don’t cop out by staring at your phone all day to ease the awkward feeling of traveling solo. I promise you, by exploring you'll begin to develop a new sense of confidence and self awareness that will completely silence those doubtful thoughts in your head that you may have at first.
This should be done only after you’ve explored by yourself! You need the time alone in order to develop that confidence and self awareness I was talking about. Once you've mustered the courage to explore by yourself you can do ANYTHING! So why not attempt to make some new friends in your new location?! Find a meetup.com group, take a group tour, etc. Just be active. No one said traveling solo meant you needed to be lonely or alone the entirety of your trip. In fact, traveling solo opens up more opportunity for you to meet new people! More people than you were bound to meet had you been in your comfort zone and surrounded by people you already know.
Whether you decide to take a tour or just go shopping by yourself, try to engage with others. One of the coolest memories I have is watching the World Cup Finals in London. I stumbled across a group of people earlier in the day as I came across a park that happened to have a few food stands, music, and a lot of people lounging around. I asked a friendly looking group of folks hanging around if this miniature festival was a norm, they didn’t hesitate to break it down to me and couldn't have been more excited to tell me all about it! We ended up having a pretty cool conversation and decided to all meet up later that evening at BoxPark in Shoreditch to watch the game. It was so much fun! I certainly wouldn't have had preset plans to watch the game had it not been for the encounter earlier in the day.
Traveling solo is great and I'm a huge advocate, but it's always important to use caution and common sense when traveling in general and especially when traveling solo. In the same breath it's also important to have fun! Enjoy your experience wherever you decide to go. In my opinion the best part about traveling solo is the opportunity to make new friends any and everywhere in the world! So don't let fear hold you back, you can do it!