This post was originally published on 4th February 2019 and updated on 11th August 2019.
The first time I travelled abroad on my own, I received a mixed reaction from friends and family. Some said good on you. Others thought I was crazy.
Won’t you be lonely they asked? Aren’t you scared going alone? Why don’t you find someone else to go with?
Truth was, I didn’t know if I would be lonely. I was pretty scared. But I also knew it was something I really wanted to do.
Most of my friends back home were married and/or had children, and I was yet to make friends outside of work in London. And I was the only singleton.
That was 4 years ago.
This year, when I booked a solo holiday to The Algarve in Portugal, fewer people asked questions. In fact, my friends and family were generally much more positive. They thought I was brave going on my own, but were a lot more encouraging. I felt that my friends in long term relationships were even a little bit envious of the freedom I had to just jet off on my own.
Perhaps people’s mindsets are changing.
More people seem to be going off and doing their own thing, whether that’s because they are single again, or simply because they want to experience new adventures, with or without their partners.
When I arrived in Portugal earlier this year, I asked myself the questions my friends had asked me 4 years ago. My answers this time were very different.
Whether I am on my own or not, I have learnt to enjoy my own company, thus rarely being lonely. Plus the beauty of the modern world, means I can stay in touch with friends and family back home while I’m away.
I’m always a little apprehensive about travelling solo in the lead up to a trip, but I try to avoid putting myself in the face of unnecessary risk.
I truly look forward to escaping city life and enjoying some quiet time away from the madness of work and London. It gives me the opportunity to stop and reflect, and to refocus on me and where I want to be.
Don’t get me wrong, solo travel isn’t the easiest thing to do. It pushes me way out of my comfort zone. But I like to challenge myself and to see how far I can push myself.
I’m set to push myself even further outside of my comfort zone later this year, as I travel to India for the trip of a lifetime. Whilst I’ll be with a group of travellers for most of the trip, I’ll be travelling there and back alone. My biggest solo journey yet!