Honestly, I have never travelled by myself.
Well, wait, let me be clear: the first time I moved abroad ( if you want to know why click here 😉 ) I was totally by myself, I lived by myself, I didn’t know anyone at uni and I didn’t know anyone from the country I was moving to (Denmark). So yes, I was totally by myself (and it was quite an issue as you can read here 😀 ). Even now, all the times I go back to Italy to visit my friends and family I travel by myself. So in the sense of “taking plans and moving from a country to another” and “living in a country different from where your born”, yes, I did travelled by myself. But when considering organising a trip and visiting a new place by myself, no I never did that.
NOT SOLO TRAVELLING
I actually never found myself in a solo travelling circumstance because I have always found travel mates to share the experience with. Indeed, when studying in an international environment it is very likely to find people who are also not from that country and are looking forward to discover as much as they can while being there. This doesn’t mean though, that they will match with your travelling style. Indeed, a person could be not interested on doing the same things as you like with travelling so this could create controversies and this definitely wouldn’t make your trip enjoyable. About this, I found really great this list that Lara from LaraGarvie wrote down about “12 Important qualities in a travel partner”, I agree with each of her points and I really consider myself lucky because until now all the travel mates I had matched perfectly with my way of travelling. Of course in some cases we came to compromises, but that’s an important part that you should be able to manage when travelling with someone else. Plus, honestly, sometimes the ideas of your travel mate/s could be things you didn’t even consider doing and you could actually enjoy!
And what if your travel mate is your sibling? I actually never really thought about this but there are few differences indeed. With your sibling you might have a different relationship than a person who you’ve met from a few months and decided to go somewhere together. Rachel from RachelinIrelad wrote this interesting post about the topic and I definitely can relate! My sister came to visit me last year while I was living in Belgium and we went to Brussels together. It was the first time for both of us and it was fun planning the whole thing together. Also, wandering around without talking every time didn’t seemed a problem, because we know each of us needs her “alone time”, which instead might be an issue if you don’t know really well the person.
Because of the reasons stated before, I do not really consider myself a solo traveller so, in order to contemplate the option, I found interesting reading the experiences of other fellow travellers, for example this post written by Soraya from HelloRaya where she listed 3 of the main big mistakes she did while travelling alone and what she learned from them. One of the last sentences she wrote which particularly inspired me and tempted me at the same time is:” Travelling solo gave me the opportunity to learn to trust my instincts, to be responsible for my own happiness and to enjoy being alone.”
On the other hand, it is also good to be aware of the eventual problems or negative aspects about travelling solo and Emily from Thewildwayfarer listed them here. Honestly the point I’m more worried about, referring to her list, it’s #3 “There’s No Buddy System”. Especially if you’re going out for a night, in case someone is annoying you or something happens, there’s not really someone holding your back. This thing though, can be avoided if you find nice people during your stay to hang out this, of course you don’t know them that well to trust them 100% but at least you’re not completely alone.
BEING A FEMALE SOLO TRAVELLER
Let’s be honest, when travelling in general you always have to pay attention, even more if you’re by yourself and even more more if you’re a female travelling by yourself. I know there are countries where there’s no problem, for example Eva from Leavinglovingliving travelled by herself around Thailand and felt super safe! I can also say that when I lived in Denmark, I had no fear at all walking home by myself or living in an apartment where the entrance door was thinner than my bathroom door. But this wouldn’t be the case of…well Italy for example, I’m way more scared to walk alone around my hometown during the night or passing by the train station area rather than getting an overnight bus from Notthingham to London by myself!
So, as Emily stated on her great blog Emilyconwayx7x, indeed there are many pros and cons of being a female solo traveller but I strongly believe it all depends on the destination you choose and on the attitude you have. And in case you feel like needing some more advice, Erica from Atravelingbond wrote down 5 awesome tips for a solo female traveler 🙂
Since it has been quite a while now that I globe-trot around Europe plus, living by myself definitely helped me gaining more confidence an self-reliance, I sense I am ready to try this experience maybe just a few days, to see how it feels.
For now though, I’m concentrated on other types of travels but I will definitely keep you updated about this! 🙂
What about you? Have you ever travelled solo? Did you like it or do you prefer being with someone else? I’d love to hear your experience!
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