Travelling solo can be extremely fun, but there are also pitfalls. Not every destination is solo friendly.
My very first solo trip was in 1998. That’s right. Nineteen nighty-eight. I was 17 and my uncle in the United States insisted with my mother to send me to him. It was time for me to grow up. So no, it was’t really a solo trip, yet it did help me come of age.
My actual first solo trip was Australia in 2011. I dedicated a blog to that tour. Yet again, I knew who I was going to meet. I had met a few guys through Twitter and I was going to see them. Twitter used to be a great place. And I guess I wasn’t alone all the time. After only a few hours on Australian soil Luke and I started something romantic. A vacation sweetheart, if you’ll pardon my Flenglish.
So no, even Australia 2011 wasn’t a real solo trip. Seoul in 2014 was though. It wasn’t planned that way. I was going to go with D., which I had met online. I thought going a trip together would be a good way to find out if a potential relationship was uhm possible.
But D. couldn’t or wouldn’t in the end. So I went solo. I was tired of waiting. I wanted to experience South Korea so badly. So I went.
I must admit. Although I saw many interesting sights and did many interesting activities such as visiting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Seoul wasn’t a great destination to do alone.
Quite a few times I didn’t feel welcome in restaurants and a visit to a jjimjilbang or bathhouse is tailored on couples. The bath part is gender segregated, but the communal part is a haven for young couples being unable to live their romance at home.
So, you’d think it’s a bit of downer to go solo. Wrong. It’s a question of choosing your destination.
So why should you travel solo once in a while?
- It gets you out of your comfort zone and will expand that zone.
- You don’t need to compromise. Do what you feel like.
- You must do the research yourself, so you will experience and remember the adventure more intensively.
- You’ll meet more new people.
- You can do what you want. Theres no harm in repeating that.
- You’ll get a feel what is is to be on your own for a while. The nice and the lesser aspects of being solo.
- Go one day too short. Thus avoid gaps and boredom.
- Bring your laptop or your tablet to stay in touch with home, to entertain yourself.
- Choose a nice place to stay. Choose a room you feel comfortable staying in.
- Go on dating apps. Even if you just try to score a drink buddy or someone to have dinner with.
- You’re alone. So you have to carry everything yourself and bring your bags with you in bathroom cubicles at the airport or railway station. Hence: pack lightly.
- Keep your friends and family updated. It’ll feel like you share the experience.
- Take a selfie. You are there.
- Look for local dinner habits. Evening meal is probable the least fun aspect of travelling solo. So adapt. In Seoul for instance, I went out for dinner just before the locals so not to be turned away.
When are you travelling solo?