I arrived back from Prague on Saturday night. I am just now beginning to get out of the clutches of a nasty case of jet lag. I decided to jot down a few things I learned on my first solo adventure abroad. I found there to be a number of pros and cons to flying solo. If you are thinking of traveling on your own, here is a list of a few things you can expect.
*My favorite thing about traveling solo is the ability to go about my day at my own pace. I’m an early riser and it only takes me a few minutes to get ready. I immediately loved not having to wait on anyone.
*My daily itinerary was completely my own. Eat lunch at 4:00pm? Spend all day in art museums? If it was what I wanted to do then I did it.
*I loved seeing cities on foot. In the past I’ve had to book tour buses or day trips because travel companions did not feel like walking. On my most recent trip I was walking about 5-8 miles a day.
*A room of my own. I have a hard time sleeping with someone else in the room (unless it is a boyfriend) and I enjoy the comfort of my own space.
*I found it easier to stick to a budget. I was not swayed by anyone else talking me into expensive dinners or attractions I might not be 100% into seeing.
*Gain self-confidence. When you travel on your own you become more out going, you meet other travelers easier than you think you would and you become bolder.
*And this is a biggie…not having anyone to share experiences with. When I was walking around a compelling exhibit or overcome with emotion while touring Auschwitz, I had no one to share my feelings with.
*A companion can save you money by splitting hotel fees or in sharing meals. I also found that I did not take some tours because they charged an added single supplement charge.
*The physical act of traveling was much more tedious. The long plane ride over and the train trips in between definitely felt much longer with no conversation to be had.
Train car for one
*Safety in numbers. While I never felt unsafe once on my trip, I did cut some of my evenings short because I would be traveling solo on public transportation at night.
I fell in love with Berlin and with Krakow in part because I experienced them at my own pace and on my own dime. But by the time I was able to meet up with some travel buddies for dinner in Krakow I was starving for conversation. I was lucky enough to meet up with a friend in Prague and now the city has become a shared memory, which is just as special.
All in all, the pros out weigh the cons for me. I will definitely travel solo in the future but I think that I will dedicate a portion of my trip to meeting up with a friend.
I’d like to encourage everyone to take one trip solo in your life. I never once felt lonely, even when I was surrounded by not one English speaking person. And when I finally was able to have friendly conversation, I cherished it even more.