“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step” – Naeem Callaway
Starting a Solo Adventure
It doesn’t matter which destination you choose, or whether you spend your time trekking, sunbathing or sight-seeing. If the idea of solo travel has tempted you but you always end up talking yourself out of it, let’s look at the process of travelling all by yourself and give you the confidence to go ahead and embrace your first trip alone.
Far from the dangerous or lonely experience, you might expect, it’s actually one of the most liberating and awakening things you’ll ever do.
Firstly, it’s super important to not be intimidated or put off by thinking you have to take a gigantic, round-the-world trip, with everything you own in a backpack, to be a solo traveller. If you feel drawn to that, go for it! But for many of us, that might not be the right choice.
Instead, think outside the box and try something that suits you. Perhaps you might be tempted by a solo holiday to somewhere you already know that you like. Or, maybe you will visit an area where you already know someone, but make time to be alone as well as visiting.
Solo adventures don’t all look the same and the whole point of solo travel is to do what feels right for you, not other people.
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The First Time And What To Expect
Planning a trip alone can be a daunting experience. The organisation comes solely down to you to get yourself from home to your destination, to keep yourself fed, watered and sheltered and get yourself home again. Not only that but you have to decide what you actually want to do all by yourself which for many of us is overwhelming.
The best place to start is to focus on what you enjoy or what makes you feel comfortable. Do you love nature and the outdoors, or would you feel happier in a city with great artwork? Do you want to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin or do you prefer a cooler climate where you can wrap up with hot drinks in a cosy jumper? Are you outgoing or perhaps a little shy? Pick a style of trip that suits your interests so that you feel at ease, and then go from there.
I save money on safe drinking water by travelling with a Water-to-Go bottle.
Self-doubt is bound to occur when you enter into your first solo trip, whether that be before you leave, or shortly after you get going. Questions like ‘What am I doing?’ or ‘Do I even want to go?’ are very common.
The truth is, even experienced solo travellers sometimes ask themselves these questions. Actually, the very point of a solo trip is to not have all the answers. Remember, if you’ve questioned whether travelling alone would be right for you, the likelihood is the idea will forever exist until you try it. So just go once and see what happens.
3. Keeping in touch
It’s natural to want to keep in touch with loved ones at home on your first solo trip. However, too much contact with home can have a negative effect on your experience. You might miss something if you are distracted with your phone or you might inadvertently enhance feelings of being homesick or lonely.
Always let someone know where you are, but other than that put the phone down and get stuck into your destination.
If Things Go Wrong
Don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world. So you missed your flight, or you booked a hotel in the wrong city, or maybe you are not getting on with the food. It’s OK. We’ve all been there. It’s impossible to travel and try new things whilst getting everything right all the time. Certainly, there are things you can do to avoid some common mistakes:
- Always get to airports plenty early and relax with a meal or coffee (remembering to keep an eye on the departure board)!
- Double check your travel and hotel dates coincide correctly and are both for the same destination.
- Check your distances of travel and the time it will take, including your accommodation address and their contact details.
- Write all this important information down or keep it handy on your phone, without the need for internet connection.
- Don’t forget your passport; everything else can be replaced.
- Take out travel insurance, have a game plan and get the logistics out the way as early as possible. This leaves you time to get excited about the ‘best bits’, not the ‘what ifs’.
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The Side Effects
Now, this is super important and a very real thing. Ask any solo traveller if you don’t believe me. You will experience many side effects after your first trip alone, the most acute are likely to be:
- An overwhelming sadness when your trip comes to an end.
- A new found sense of awesomeness that will likely irritate everyone at home.
- A burning desire to do it all again … and again …. and again … in new places.
You have been warned.
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Most importantly, no matter how many solo adventures you end up taking, there is nothing quite like that feeling the very first time you ‘go it alone’. The sense of accomplishment, the feeling of empowerment and the real freedom, in every sense of the word. So cherish it and make the most of every second.
Remember, you don’t need to be young or uncommitted to travel alone, or rich, or brave, or have over 1k followers on Instagram, or any of the other misconceptions that may have crossed your mind. Many people make time for solo travel their whole lives, despite their personal situations. My advice is to not let anything stand in the way of the opportunity if it calls to you. One thing’s for sure, you’ll learn more by being out in the world alone than you ever will by sitting in the same place surrounded by the same people.
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In conclusion, the real benefits of solo adventure are the changes that take place inside you. The colour of your thoughts alter and the smallest things in your life can become more visible. For many of us, the first solo trip is a pivotal moment in our careers, mental health and general direction.
If you are still not sure how you will tackle it alone, remember there are also many companies that specialise in solo travel. If you really want to do it but cannot find the courage to take the first step, or perhaps you are terrible at organising, reach out to a specialist company and do it with a little help first.
There is nothing quite like freeing yourself of your typical day and normal expectations and doing something truly for you. Book your first solo adventure, no matter the destination and see what happens. Get Up, Get Out There & Get Lost. I’ve never once heard ANYONE say ‘I wish I’d never gone’.
Read first-hand insights from another traveller in Why I Solo Travel.
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28 thoughts on “Embrace Your First Trip Alone”
Lovely post! I recently started solo hiking and am about to go away for two weeks by myself. To me it’s even more intense than my solo trips before that, but also so much more rewarding!! I hope everybody gets to experience this once in their life!
Me too 😊 there’s nothing like it, is there? Wow! That sounds incredible. I loved reading your post and feel super passionate about outdoor adventures for women too. I can feel a collab coming on!
Love this post! So interesting and useful! I wish I had read this before my very first solo trip!
Awww that’s amazing to know! Where did you go and how did you feel?
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In Hungary and it was amazing! There is a special hiking trail near Budapest 🙂
Awww awesome! We’ve not visited Hungary .. but it’s on the list ❤️ Let us know anything you would recommend 😊
Great post! So much helpful info. My one regret is that I didn’t travel enough in my twenties because I was always looking for someone to go with me. 😦 I love your photos and they have given me some great ideas for pics of myself when I’m out and about exploring.
Hi Jackie 👋🏻 we also fell into the trap of waiting for someone else to go with us early in life and it’s a super common mistake. We are so happy the photos have inspired you! Do you enjoy travelling solo and do you have anywhere you’d recommend we try next? 😊
Hi Karen. I actually do not travel far solo, but I am typically exploring where I live solo. Since my blog is focused primarily on local tourism, I find myself attending a lot of events by myself. When I do travel far, my hubby is always happy to accompany me 😀
We love local travel. Where are you based? We are looking to see lots more of our local area in England over the coming years ❤️
We are located in the United States in New York State. We are about 2 hrs North of NYC and we love living here. My site is: http://www.hudsonvalleyexposed.com
It’s a great place to visit, especially in Autumn. Check it out and maybe you can make a trip over. I would love to be your guide 😉
We can’t wait to explore this area! We will check out your site right now. Thank you so much that’s wonderful ❤️
I always wanted to go for adventures by myself, but I feel so scared and keep thinking about ‘what if’. But I do hope one day I manage to overcome those fear and step outside by myself. It sounds amazing to discover the world alone 😀
Hi Lala! We are so happy to hear you are thinking about taking this step. Have you considered trying something super small and local first? This helps to ease you in gently and give you the confidence to try something new. Where are you from and what do you love to do?
Hi Karen! I’m from Malaysia! I’ve traveled to two countries which is Vietnam and Thailand but never do it alone. I’m thinking of maybe going to Seoul by myself next year but I need to save up first 😀 I launched my blog last month and now I do it for most of my spare time. I love reading others post and learning from everyone. I’m also planning to travel every year. And this August I’m going to Bangkok with my sister.
Wow, that’s amazing! Enjoy Bangkok with your sister .. we highly recommend the floating markets! We hope you feel brave enough to embrace a solo trip to Seoul. Please let us know what you think of it, how it makes you feel and which bits we should add to our Travel Bucket List. Happy Travels Lala!
I’m sure to visit it and seeing all the great reviews too! Thanks for suggesting. Yes, I’m excited and scare at the same time though. I hope nothing comes in a way and I’m able to go by next year! Sure I will! 😀
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you Lala 🤞🏻 Have a wonderful weekend!
Especially with the hustle and bustle of a family, I have such an urge to go travel by myself. I used to do it and it really helped me keep in tune with myself and I seem to have lost that tranquility and assuredness that I used to have. I think I need to make it a yearly tradition to go travel off on my own somewhere. What you said about changes taking place inside during solo trips is so true. I discovered more things about myself in a weekend than I did in a year with other people.
Hi Amanda 👋🏻 thank you so much for your comment. We feel this is so important, especially once our lives involve more responsibility. Personally, I always take a solo trip once a year, even if it’s not very far from home, so that I can spend time in solitude and hit the restart button. We hope you get to take another solo adventure soon and please let us know if you do! 😊