Travelling Solo / by Kim Froome

You learn how to read a map – instead of leaving it in your travel companion’s hands.

If you’re the type of person who couldn’t read a map to save a life, you may feel reluctant to venture solo. Yes, it of course is a given that you’re bound to get lost a couple of times, but that is a whole part of the experience.

Getting lost is not always going to be a bad thing, it could turn out to be a delight – it’s going to fuel your wanderlust. Never be afraid of getting lost (admiringly lost, I should say). Think of all the possibilities. Sometimes it will lead you to hidden treasure locations or underrated shops which you could happen to stumble upon something or someone you really like.

There are plenty of things to do on your own – it isn’t always about doing things with another.

There are no limits, no discussions or compromises and you don’t have anyone else to focus on; you can easily feel obliged to them and do the things they want to do and forget about your own self-importance. Traveling alone gives you the space and time to breathe and find yourself – it’s a chance to channel your inner spirit. You will be surprised what you learn about yourself. Sometimes it can be an emotional journey, but by the end of it, you will feel entirely cleansed, and you won’t regret a single thing. You will begin to appreciate your own company.

You have all the time to relax and do the things you want to do, wherever it may be. Go sightseeing to the places you want. Read your favourite book on the white beaches. Book yourself in for a rejuvenating massage. Snorkel in the coral, alongside sea creatures. Visit the historical temples and learn of the culture and virtues. Eat at the places of your choice, take the plunge and try something different. If you feel the desire to interact and meet new people, join an active or wellness group, be it glacier hiking or yoga. They will instantly have you connecting with others. This gives you an open opportunity to meet some of the friendliest and open-minded people, and you may even come across others who are traveling solo – go ahead and share your experiences. And learn to say yes to any given invitation. Always know that when traveling solo, you are never truly alone.

Traveling solo can be a really empowering feeling – you become more of a freethinker and self-reliant.

Your family and friends will look up to you in admiration and will be inspired by your act of bravery. You’re always going to have an amazing story to tell about your enchanting experience. Once you do it, you will want to do it twenty, or fifty more times. The terrifying belief of feeling lonely when you travel solo is only pretense.

One of the downfalls of traveling solo is the safety – you are more vulnerable when you are alone.

As you have no one else there to turn to for advice, this means you have to trust your instinct with everything you do. When using paid transport, e.g. a taxi, be sure to always ask for the price to the location before paying, otherwise you could easily be taken advantage of. Take out travel insurance just so you are covered if anything were to happen. Develop an understanding of the destination’s culture and society. Be sure to do your research – it is very important and essential to know the things you should be taking abroad with you, such as a remedy pill for travel bug. And lastly, always carry your identification with you