Flashback to eight years ago when I was sitting in a high school dreaming about a solo trip or with my best friend.
Since then I’ve always dreamed of travelling. I changed my mind so many times about where I would go and who I would go with. This year I finally took the leap. I met a friend overseas for a few weeks, travelled solo on the 11 day Winter Express, and it was the best decision I ever made.
Read on for 10 things I learn when travelling solo, and why you should just do it!
1. To be content with my own company.
You meet so many new people while your travelling, but naturally travelling solo (even with a group) also means time just to yourself. The best moments are those in a café, with a coffee in one hand and to just watch the world go by. Also, the perfect opportunity to people watch and learn something new about the place your in.
2. That I don’t need to do something just because everyone else is doing it.
Travelling solo meant that I could do the things that I wanted to do, but it also gave me the opportunity to discover what things I did like.
I was happy to find a group of people wanting to do the same things but if not I was happy to go on my own.
3. To be organised.
I am not an organised person by nature. I am constantly late for things and lose everything. This doesn’t mix well with travel!
I quickly learnt that being organised is a necessity and will also save money. Being on-time for a train will mean not having to spend another £50 for a ticket just because you missed it.
4. To try new things-it could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
It’s a cliché but you seriously only live once! If you find yourself debating whether or not you want to do something, just give it a go! What’s the worst that could happen?
5. Understand that mistakes happen and they’re just part of the experience.
Travelling is not always a picture perfect adventure; things don’t always work out how you expect them to – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You may find yourself in a secret place you never expected to find or find something out about yourself you didn’t know.
6. Realising you are capable of managing on your own.
When you’re on the other side of the world you don’t have the same support system that you do at home. There won’t be anyone making sure you get up in time to make that train or plane. But it’s not hard as you think and you’ll gain so much confidence in yourself once you’re travelling like a pro.
It’s so easy when you’re at home to get caught up with the all the little worries you may have. But when travelling, these things don’t seem as important anymore. All of these things get pushed to the back of your mind when you’re staring down at the world from the top of Europe or you’re attempting to hold a conversation with someone in a foreign language.
8. You can make lifelong friendships in a matter of days.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make friends. It can be as easy as asking ‘Hi, where are you from?’ when someone new walks into your hostel. Travelling with a group is also be a great way to meet people, but still gives allows for flexibility to do the things you’d like to do.
9. There are so many different ways of living. There’s no right path to follow. Live your life the way you want to.
Sometimes it seems like there’s a particular path you’re meant to follow once you finish school. But there’s never just one way. Meeting fellow travellers and locals around the world, you’ll realise that everyone’s story is different. Make yours an adventure.
10. There is a whole world out there – see as much of it as you can, while you can.
Travel is exciting. You don’t know what you’re missing out on until you try it. And once you start you’re going to want to keep going back.
Having doubts about travelling solo? Just Do It.
To kick start your next adventure, find out more about Topdeck trips here.