Going it alone

So I’m one of those people that isn’t in a relationship and that doesn’t really enjoy going out drinking and dancing every weekend, I would much rather be home, watching Saturday night tele or a film and writing.

About two years ago I went on my first mini solo break, just in England but it was perfect, I loved it. I was away for just three nights and four days but it was so much fun. I wandered to the beach and lay on the rocks writing, went to the cinema, for lunch, even to a very nice restaurant for dinner. And I did it all on my own which I’d never done before, it was great, not having to arrange or plan things around others. I even met some people to play beach volleyball with each afternoon.

I spent three hours in the seal sanctuary watching the seals play just because I could; it was so calm and relaxing. I also love taking photos of animals so lots of time was spent on that.

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It can be pretty daunting the first time you do something like that. I mean, sitting on your own at a restaurant while surrounded by couples or families or even in the cinema queue when everyone probably isn’t looking at you but you feel like they are is kind of unnerving. I knew if I didn’t try it I’d never know if I enjoyed it. Now I even sometimes find it annoying to go to the cinema with other people and always pick the people I go with wisely.

I do alot of things alone, travel and stay in London for my volunteering activities, travel to Scotland for them too, so I’m used to planes and trains alone, actually kind of enjoy the experience.

Recently I’ve been looking into taking the next step and holidaying abroad solo. There are so many websites dedicated to advice on doing it, everything from what to pack to where is safe to go is covered.  I have so much respect for one of my aunts who just went out there and did it when she was younger and even now still goes away solo. It’s something a cousin of mine has done in the past too.

My biggest issue is how indecisive I am, so I know I want to do it but I have no idea where, after browsing through lots of different sites that suggest good places for solo travel I’ve at least narrowed down my list. Some of the people I’ve mentioned holidaying solo to have come back with the obvious, “but why?” and my answer is simply, because I want to. I don’t want to wait around for someone who wants to go to the same place or who isn’t ready to book something yet, I just want to do it, after all, the longer I put it off the less likely it’ll happen.

There are obviously risks of going it alone and I’d never do it without researching where I was going but there are so many benefits too.

What I’ve discovered and enjoy about doing things alone is you have to just do it, there’s no one to rely on for back up or to help you make a decision, it gives you a confidence and a self belief as well as makes you more outgoing. I love being in London alone, I often stay there after I’ve done some volunteering and have so much fun, browsing the Natural History Museum, visiting the Platform 9 and ¾ store, shopping. I get to chat to really interesting people that I probably wouldn’t if I was with a friend or a group. It’s that kind of experience I want to have in new cities and countries.

I’m undecided as to whether I’ll book through a specific company for solo travelers or book it myself yet but I think I’ll probably book myself. The list of destinations I want to visit is so long but I’ve narrowed down my first time list to Sweden, Iceland, Canada or Croatia. Still a few decisions to make but I’m determined to get out there and do it in the next year, there’s so much to discover and I can’t wait.

Have you got experience of solo travel? Let me know your favourite destination in the comments below.

Fay xx

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