Travelling solo

Tall girl's fashion, travelling alone, opera, Verona, Italy
The opera in Verona, a breathtaking experience!

Quite regularly I go on holiday on my own. My last trip went to London, a city that I have visited about 20 times and in which I have relatives. Going to London is almost like coming home – I visit the places that are familiar to me and from which I have great memories, while also seeking out new and exciting sights. As I was having the time of my life in London, struggling to cross off everything on my to-do list, a friend of mine asked how I dared travel alone. Didn’t I get lonely after a couple of hours without anyone to talk to?

Admittedly, if I have travelled alone for several days without having had a good conversation, I am known to dive into a long dialogue about onions with the supermarket checkout person. But more commonly, I cherish time alone as much as I cherish time with others. I have lived on my own for many years of my adult life – not from a deliberate choice but because I haven’t yet found that someone special to share my life with – and I have got used to spending time by myself. This means that I have also started to love myself exactly the way I am. After all,  I am the most important person to hang out with me. If I can’t spend time with myself without getting bored, how can I expect others to want to be with me?

I strongly believe that it is up to you wether you talk to people or not – as long as you can talk, you always have an option to strike up a conversation. While in London, I had a great talk with one of my taxi drivers and the Australian woman who sat next to me at The book of mormon show, amongst others. Though these conversations lasted less than 30 minutes each, they still left an impression on me, as I met intriguing people who shared with me a few precious things about their lives. All it takes to strike up a conversation is to make a comment that will make the other person smile or ask a question that needs a long answer. Most people in the world swallow these baits!

I remember well the first time I planned to go on a major holiday on my own. I had recently broken up with my longterm boyfriend and I was antsy to get back on the road, as we had gone away together at least every two months. I sure wouldn’t let the lack of boyfriend keep me from my most passionate hobby!

Since I love Italy, Lake Garda, Verona and Sardinia were my destinations, in addition to Corsica. I planned the whole journey in detail – all the hotels and B&Bs, the ferries, the train rides, the sights to see, the beaches to visit. I talked to people when I wanted to and I was quiet on my own or amongst others when that felt right. It turned out to be one of the best and most active holidays of my life, and I wasn’t lonely for one minute! 

If you are new to travelling alone and afraid that you will feel lonely, I think planning is the key to keeping loniless at bay. Here are a few tips that I travel by:

  • Plan your trip well, including accomodation and local travel
  • Stay in a B&B or hostel, where it is easier to get in touch with people than at a fancy hotel
  • Write lists of what you want to see and do at each destination. A packed itinerary leaves no time to be bored
  • Bring guidebooks and other reading material to learn something during your breaks
  • Load some new music onto your phone to listen to while travelling and at quiet times
  • Bring a camera and take lots of pictures to share with loved ones once back home
  • Post photos on social media, so you get feedback on what a great time you are having
  • Bring your running gear and take a run each morning. You automatically feel like a local
  • Plan all the things that you love to do, but might not get to do on a holiday with others. I seek out all of the fashion stores, churches and grave yards (tombs are a favourite!) in every little town I visit
  • Check out which sightseeing (day) tours are available. This is a great way to see a lot at a good price, while also being able to talk to others. I have seen a lot of Tuscany by taking buss tours from Florence
  • Check out local classes and city tours, like cooking, wine, art or architecture
If it still seems to scary to travel on your own, book a singles group tour. You are sure to get to see a lot more than you can afford at the same budget on your own, while also being part of a group. Be warned about regular group tours, though. Here people travel in couples and couples rarely feel the need to talk to singles or other couples – they are content with each other.
If all else fails, travel with friends and relatives that share some of your interest and will agree on what to see and do.
The great thing about travelling alone is that you can do exactly what you fancy each and every day. Often I have planned a full day of sightseeing and museums, only to wake up and decide that the beach is where it is happening today. I love this kind of freedom – freedom to shape my own life! But I’d also like a boyfriend who loves to travel, as nothing beats sharing your adventures with someone you love…
  • I love living alone! I am so content to do my own thing. I often travel alone as well. I am in the process now of trying to figure out my plan for Christmas/New Year. I have to stay on a budget but I am aching to see some place new!

    • By Anett

      Ideally, I’d like to do something new and unique for Christmas, but mum would kill me if I didn’t come home. 😉 A friend of mine is going to Barcelona with her boyfriend for Christmas. I bet that will be amazing — great food, heart warming culture and lots and lots to see! I hope you decide on somewhere warm and exciting. Please let me know where you end up, so I can travel vicariously through you!