It is not for everyone, but many do it. You may call it however you like: time out, solo travel, going on your own. After traveling alone for 15 years, I highly recommend to do it at least once in our life. This is why:
You feel like waking up early and walking around, and you can do just that. Feel like just sitting out in a park or people-watching at a cafe instead of being waiting in a long line to enter a museum? you can do it. When you are on your own you take care of your needs and wants, instead of taking care or having to negotiate with your partner or your friends or your family about what to do next. Selfish? Indeed. On the other hand, “Me,” time helps you be a better part of “We.” – Photo: brassiere in Le Marais. Paris, France.
2. There is time for reflexion, and time is all yours.
Because you are by yourself, you can think, meditate, reflect, and get in touch with your feelings while walking around, staring at things, visiting landmarks and taking tours around the city or town you are visiting. You have to converse with yourself; that is precious! – Photo: Stinson Beach, California.
True, but you’ll need a little strategy and introspection: Where do you want to go and why? What do you want to see? What else can you see at that town you’ll be visiting? What do you like? Parks, museums, bars, historic sites, landmarks, antique stores, shopping, stadiums, churches, events, festivals, music stores, unusual neighborhoods? Photo: Outside the National Gallery, London, England.
It is a matter of smiling at others or starting casual, light conversations. Next, you’ve made new friends. To the contrary, when you travel with friends or family, your attention is in the group, inside your circle, and you often miss the opportunity to expand your circle by connecting with strangers, with people outside friends and family. You’ll be surprised how many other Solo travelers are open to chat with yo because you have that Solo-traveling thing in common. And that may be the starting of a wonderful, long-lasting friendship. – Photo: Making new friends near the Haya Sofia. Istanbul, Turkey.
It is as safe to travel alone as to travel in company, as far as you do not do stupid things. In a strange city, do not drink too much, do not stay out late, specially in unknown neighborhoods, do not carry lots of money with you. It is a matter of good judgement, and being practical. – Photo: Walking alone in Cuetzalan. Puebla, Mexico.
When we travel alone, we never are; we are touched by the people, places, and experiences we encounter along the way. When are you going?
Content by Lupita Peimbert. Main photo: One Henri Matisse at the Tate Modern, London.