Travelling solo is certainly an experience. A lot of blogs online promote solo travel in line with the way most things are portrayed online – only talking about the positives and never acknowledging the negatives. It’s easy to see why it’s done, but the lack of transparency does suck for many reasons – one main one being: what do you do when you’re not enjoying yourself, and all you can find to help you online are quotes about how #enlightened and #lifebeginsoutofyourcomfortzone you should feel right now? Well for me, when I was in this situation, I found myself feeling pretty inadequate.
I travelled solo for the first time in Europe 2016. And to be honest, my initial reaction to it was that it sucked. I didn’t feel comfortable putting myself out there, getting to know people who quickly moved onto another destination, the uncertainty, getting lost and having no one to laugh about it with, and – as a solo female traveller – the unwanted male attention I received.
I ended up finding a last minute tour and jumped on it – admittedly I spent a lot of days after on a diet of 2-minute noodles to pay for it – but it worked out wonderfully in the end as I made friends on the tour that I then continued to travel with afterwards. It built my confidence back up and made the rest of my travels more enjoyable. I then continued to travel by myself, and plan on doing so again this year. They do say ‘you win or you learn’ and Europe 2016 was a steep learning curve for me, but one that I have found has led to increased confidence in my own ability to look out for myself and find life generally more enjoyable.
From what I’ve experienced and learnt I worked out a few tips if you are not enjoying solo travel and want to pull yourself out of the slump. Although I was quite critical at first, there are some tried and tested methods that made a big difference to my own experience: