My First Solo Trip
“I hate to travel alone…But if I am alone I see more clearly.”
~ Paul Thereoux
When I first read the quote above in one of Paul Theroux’s great travel books it piqued my interest in solo travel and in all honesty it helped lead me to my first solo trip. I was intrigued, could I really see more clearly if I were alone? It made me excited to think if I saw things more clearly I would see more, feel more, experience more and in turn perhaps write better for it.
But then there was the other side of me that thought, why would I want to travel alone, there would be no one to share in the experience. But to be honest I was nervous to travel alone, like they always say ‘two heads are better than one,’ I thought of safety in numbers. But what was I really nervous about, I asked myself. What? Being alone? But I cherish my alone time, my me time, I love my own company. I’m definitely not someone who gets bored easily – not with all of my interests – and I don’t feel the need to always be around my friends and family. So when I really though about it, solo travel was totally something I could do. Right? Then the fear crept in.
I was reminded of my first big trip – backpacking across Europe for a month with a friend of mine – and how I was so afraid to fly. I always thought I’d never fly – I was too afraid to. But then my desire to go places, to travel won and my fear of flying was outweighed by my wanderlust. And so the same thing happened with my interest in solo travel. Since I’ve started travelling the list of places I want to visit seems to be ever expanding. I started thinking life gets in the way for friends or family to travel with you. Some can’t make the time, some don’t have the money or some just don’t have the desire. And so I realized I can’t wait for them – if I want to travel I must go!
My First Solo Trip
For my first solo trip I decided on something short and low key. In a months time I will be heading to Charlotte, North Carolina in the US, for a week. I chose this week because I thought what better time to take my first solo trip than the week of my birthday!
Another thing that I do for all of my travels is I do a lot of research, and I’ve realized it has helped quell my nerves. I read about the cities, I read reviews, I book ahead, I ask locals and people who have visited the city before and look at all of my options. To me, information is always a plus. Information leads to endless ideas.
Now as the time for my Charlotte Solo Adventure draws near my nerves and fear have mostly subsided and I’m left with a buzz of excitement. So much so that I even started planning my second solo trip, to the West Coast of the US for three weeks!
It’s funny how many people have asked me, ‘why don’t you ask so-and-so?’ or ‘why don’t you wait for someone to go with you?’ To these questions I say ‘life isn’t waiting for me and I can’t wait for life to happen, I have to live it now!’
So for all you travellers out there who still have yet to take the plunge into solo travel – what are you waiting for?