Until now, I had never really travelled on my own. Not for long periods of time anyway. So three weeks on my own in a country where I didn’t know the language was going to be a challenge. I thought I’d document the good and the bad aspects (although it’s never really that bad!) of it in case you were ever planning on going at it alone. They don’t all apply to me, it’s just what I’ve noticed.
Let’s start with the positives.
- You can do what you want when you want. You don’t have to see that church because your friend wants to. You don’t have to get up early or at all if you can’t be bothered. You can have lazy days or busy days and you don’t have to answer to anyone.
- Sort of linked to the first point, but you don’t have to wait for anyone. You don’t have to wait whilst they take one hundred photos or go to the toilet.
- I personally have been less hassled by street sellers, I think (slightly worryingly) because they think I’m a local.
- You get that much needed ‘me’ time that you never have time for.
- You can take as many pictures of your food as you like.
- You’re on your own. I love being on my own, in my head so an extended period of this is great.
- You are free to meet new people. I know you can do this whilst travelling with friends but there is a stronger sense of need so that you don’t go completely crazy.
- It’s a real confidence builder – if you can get by without needing anyone to help you, how great are you?
- Little things turn out to be big achievements because you did it all by yourself!
- You aren’t responsible for anyone else’s happiness, or enjoyment or well-being!
- It can be lonely. You spend a lot of time on your own and that’s hard to get used to.
- There is no one to take that artsy shot of you against a brick wall or a funny photo of you holding up the leaning tower of Piza. Basically, unless you want to to take endless selfies, there are no photos of you.
- There’s no one to share things with, that joke or that time your tripped over.
- You will spend a lot of time in your head and that can be difficult to come to deal with.
- You really have to get used to eating in restaurants on your own. It can feel like everyone is staring at you all night and that plays with your mind.
- It can be quite scary especially at night or if you’re not in the safest area.
- There is no one to help you with your bag.
- There is no one to share a problem with. There is no one there to help you work out the trains or find that gallery.
- Some days you might not end up talking to anyone and you go a bit stir-crazy.
- You are surrounded by couples all of the time, which really helps you to feel more alone.
- You have to make all the decisions, all the time and sometimes you just want someone to tell you what to do!
I’m sure there are loads more points that I haven’t thought of, and I may add to them as I will hopefully do more travelling with and without friends.