Solo VS Non Solo Travelling

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!

Denmark
Spring 2015 – Trip to Copenhagen with two friends of mine

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.

SOLO TRAVELLING

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.”

Belgium.jpg
Autumn 2015 – Trip to Brussels with my sister

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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This post was written by Lisa, an Italian girl globetrotting around Europe, blues&soul music lover and singer, addicted to crafting & healthy food. Oh yes, and in the meanwhile she’s a Marketing student.

Mmmm what else? She’s definitely a morning person, really lazy when it comes to make up and could spend more time in a stationary store than in a clothes one –

She loves sharing thoughts, feelings and reactions so do not hesitate to comment or contact her!

34 Comment

  1. Lisa says: Reply

    Really interesting post! Well I went with a tour group to California a few years back and I had no clue who I’ll meet…does that count as travelling solo? I’m doing the same with Vietnam over Xmas. Going on tours is a great way to meet new people and share the experience together. I wish I had the confidence to completely travel alone!

    1. Oh yes travelling with groups where you don’t really know anyone is definitely a first start to “travel solo!” 🙂 So cool you’ll be going to Vietnam!
      Thank you for reading and sharing your experience Lisa 🙂

  2. Emily says: Reply

    This post is perfect timing because I leave for my big European trip in less than a week. The whole trip is a mix of solo and non solo travelling as I’m meeting friends in certain countries whilt exploring others alone. I’ve been solo travelling before (in Italy, actually!) and I really enjoyed it, but I was very careful not to be out alone too late at night. There are definitely pros and cons to both – I’m looking forward to reading all the blog posts you referenced!

    1. I’m so glad it has been useful Emily! Your trip to Europe sounds so cool and exciting! Good luck with that and I’m looking forward to reading about it! 🙂
      Oh so courageous of you to travel alone in Italy! hahaha okay just kidding it’s not that bad but good you have been careful! 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

  3. Debbie says: Reply

    Bless you Lisa!!! <3 Your blog posts are so full of joy. Thank you for your caring & your ideas!

    I've travelled with people and alone, and I love both. My favorite though is traveling with my spiritual group and being peacemakers!! A lot of fun bringing Light and love to the land. (I am also learning to do this on my own)

    Blessings Lisa – have a wonderful weekend

    1. Thank you Debbie!! Oh that’s good you’ve tried both! SO nice that you’ve found a great and inspiring group who to go with it’s always so motivating and inspiring to be surrounded by lovely people 🙂
      Thank you, you too! 🙂

  4. I definitely agree with you! Great post (and links)!
    I´ve never travelled all alone. I´ve always had someone with me, close friends or family. I am playing with the idea of traveling someplace alone, but your last points are definitely arguments against female solo traveling. It is a real problem in sadly a lot of countries. Although I´ve always wanted to go to Thailand and if you say she felt safe I might reconsider it…
    Thanks for this really amazing post!!

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy to hear you liked it!
      Thailand is on my bucket list too and I also considered it as a solo place where to go so reading that post also encouraged me! But yes maybe not that soon 😀 Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Serena says: Reply

    Io ho viaggiato praticamente sempre in coppia o con la famiglia, qualche volta con gli amici. Non so se può contare come esperienza di viaggio da sola una gita in pullman a Ginevra 🙂 L’esperienza è stata comunque positiva (ho trovato una signora simpaticissima con la quale ho chiacchierato piacevolmente), ma mi piace soprattutto viaggiare con qualcuno che condivida i miei interessi e con il quale poter parlare subito di ciò che vedo! Ora che ci penso…Vale una gita alle Isole Porquerolles da sola? Ci trovavamo in Costa Azzurra, ma il mio ragazzo le aveva viste più volte, così sono partita da sola e mi sono fatta venire a prendere all’imbarco. E’ stato divertente anche così (anche se ad un certo punto mi sono praticamente persa nel bel mezzo dell’isola 🙂 )! Un saluto e buon weekend!

    1. Ciao Serena! Direi che le tue esperienze si possono assolutamente considerare come viaggii da sola! Anzi, complimenti per la determinazione e per non aver perso le staffe quando ti eri persa! 😀 Grazie per aver letto il post e per aver condiviso la tua esperienza! 🙂 Buon weekend anche a te! 🙂

  6. Emily says: Reply

    Great post! I definitely agree, while solo travel isn’t something for me personally I think that is all depends on where you go and the type of person that you are. I hope it all works out for you when you eventually try it out! 🙂

    1. Yes exaclty, you totally got my point!Thank you for reading Emily! 🙂

  7. Angie says: Reply

    Lovely post as always, Lisa!
    I’ve only traveled solo once and it was a scary experience, though I was traveling back in an unsafe area (which I didn’t know) and did get harassed by a couple of guys but was then saved by the train arriving. Ever since then, my husband won’t let me travel alone anymore. 🙂 I don’t mind, because I love traveling with him. We share everything together, especially our travel experience, so without him would be tough for me. I also think females traveling by themselves are definitely more vulnerable. Sometimes you can get lucky, sometimes may be not. I think it’s up to the individual’s choice, but common sense about safety should not be ignored.

    1. Thank you very much Angie for reading and leaving this comment!
      I’m so sorry to hear about your unlucky experience, I can only imagine how much scared you were!! But good you’ve found a good travel (and not only 😉 ) partner! I agree with you; sharing experience with people you love is always so great and charming! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  8. Great post, Lisa! I agree the two experiences are quite different. I’m currently travelling solo through Ecuador but have had the pleasure of making some friends and hanging out with them at times. I’ve also been staying with host families and taking intensive Spanish classes, so I haven’t really had that much alone time. And it’s been great! If I were just doing purely touristy stuff by myself, though, I think I’d be lonely after a few days. But the good thing about travelling solo is that it’s easy to make friends with other solo travellers!

    1. Thank you Michelle! Wow Ecuador!! That sounds like a super nice place and even more if you’re sharing the experience with other people you’ve met there! From what I understood you’re quite busy and often surrounded by many people but still, you left your home country alone so well done for deciding to start this adventure! I’m really glad you’re making new friends, meeting fellow travellers it’s always so inspiring! Enjoy your stay there! 🙂

  9. Viola says: Reply

    This post was very interesting to read! I’ve just come back from a seven-month trip around Australia, Bali & China and I did this all with one travel partner, however there were times when we split off (one of them being for three entire weeks!) During this time, I really learned how to cope with travelling alone and it just so happens that the worst things on the whole trip happened during this time (being made HOMELESS & also having my phone stolen!!) but it taught me a lot and I really grew from it. I have more posts on my blog about it if you’re interested! Followed & I look forward to more posts 🙂
    Viola xo | http://www.apieceofviola.wordpress.com

    1. WOW your trip sounds soo cool! But I can imagine that the moments you were by yourself weren’t easy! I’ve been to China with some friends last year and honestly I was so glad I had them because I don’t know if I could have handled being there by myself, but you had definitely learned a lot and for sure this will remain as a great lesson for you! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!! I’ll check you blog posts indeed!! 🙂

  10. I have traveled alone several times with my previous job, and the first few times weren’t super funny. Nothing bad happened to me, but it was a bit weird having meals by myself at the beginning. You sit in a restaurant with your book, and feel so conspicuous, you know? You have the impression that everyone stares at you. Anyway, once I got used to that I started to enjoy being by myself, because it meant that I could do exactly what I wanted. If I have a choice I’d prefer traveling with someone, but it has to be someone I am comfortable with, because being with friends/colleagues you don’t get along with could be a nightmare too 😉

    1. Ohh I totally feel you about eating by yourself! I had the same feeling when I moved abroad the first time, not nice at all! But yes, how you said, when you get used to it you actually learn to enjoy your alone time and take advantage of it! And yes I also agree with the fact that not having a good travel partner could make things even worse than being just by yourself!! Thank you very much Silvia for reading and sharing your experience! 🙂

  11. Nicole says: Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this post! Oddly it really resonates with me because I’ve been thinking about it more and more lately. I would love to travel with other people (or another person) however, no-one I know is really interested or have partners they travel with instead.

    It’s been in the back of my mind but I’ve been hesitant to give it a go 1) because it’s nice to share the experience – I’ve travelled with family and friends and it’s always been so much fun, and 2) if you do get stuck there’s someone else there.

    All in all I really enjoyed reading this and thank you for the other links on solo travelling, I like that you put down the good and the not so good to get a more rounded picture.

    Great post, very enjoyable read!

    1. Thank you for reading Nicole! I’m glad you could relate and that you liked the structure of the post! That’s a petty you didn’t find anyone who to travel with but never say never, the right person could always arrive and I’m sure it would be worth waiting rather than going with people who do not match you travelling style! Thank you again for commenting! 🙂

  12. Hi, I nominated you for an award. If you’re interested you’ll find more about it here:
    https://curlygirlabroad.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/my-third-liebster-award/ No pressure though! 🙂

    1. Ohhh Thank you so much!! I’m going to check it out immediately! 🙂

  13. sileas says: Reply

    I’m impressed about what you’ve accomplished at your young age! It’s pretty brave to move to another country by yourself, so solo travel should be easy for you 🙂

    1. Oh thank you very much Julia for your words! I definitely learned a lot about how to manage my alone time and to deal with some difficulties by myself. Hopefully this will be useful to start a travel all by myself! 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!

  14. Hanna says: Reply

    Great post Lisa! I’ve travelled solo a couple of times and I guess I should write about it on my own blog. I absolutely recommend it, it gives you so much self-confidence and the sense of freedom is amazing! But I’ve also travelled with my friends, my sister and even my mum and enjoyed every minute.

    1. Oh I’d love to hear about your experience of solo travelling!! Thank you for this nice comment Hanna, really appreciated 🙂

  15. Lara says: Reply

    This was a fantastic read, Lisa! I love how you touched on a few different styles of travelling and even incorporated the difference between family and friends which I find to be a very underrated topic of discussion. Thanks for the lovely mention 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Lara for the nice comment! Your welcome, I really enjoyed your post too! 🙂

  16. Lulu says: Reply

    Hi, Lisa! Thanks for this great perspective and for putting all of these tips and resources from other bloggers in one place. I’m struggling with planning my next overseas trip right now, and one of the things that makes me especially anxious is not having anyone to go with. I’ve traveled through Europe quite a bit (definitely not as much as you) and every time, I’ve gone over by myself but met up with friends when I arrived. The most traveling I did solo were a couple one- and two-day trips to Nürnberg and München. People have tried to encourage me by telling me how wonderful it will be to be able to do whatever I want and to have so much time to myself to relax, but I think that I will just be lonely and anxious. I am an extrovert, so I like having someone to talk to and share the experience with, but I am also extremely shy and uncomfortable around strangers when I am alone, and I grew up in big cities (Boston, New York, and DC), so I am always suspicious of people I meet randomly, like when striking up a conversation with someone on a train, in a hotel, or at a restaurant. It is a hard decision! I am still considering going by myself, but I will have to do a lot of planning and preparing ahead of time. Thanks for all of the great resources and tips!

    1. Hey Lulu! Thank you fro stopping by! Oh I totally get your point, I’m the same! I suggest to just start planning it by yourself, I’m sure you’ll do a great job, and maybe in the meanwhile someone will join! And if not, you still have all the time to “mentally prepare” and you won’t miss a wonderful opportunity to travel! 😉

  17. Anju says: Reply

    Wow that’s so brave to move to a completely different country to attend University. Someone I know was in Denmark because of a scholarship and she only had to be there for 6 months but she still found it quite scary and she knew some people there already! And you have a really great voice, I followed you on Youtube 🙂 Is it okay if I nominate you for an award?

    1. Thank you! Yes it’s a really different country 🙂
      And thank you for following me on Youtube, I appreciate it! 🙂 Oh so kind of you to want to nominate me for an award, I’d be honoured! 🙂

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