Travel is a huge part of who I am. I need to travel often or else I get stale and lack inspiration. I love going to new places, new countries, and meeting people from different places and experiencing what is out there beyond my back yard. I didn’t start my travel adventures outside of my home country or Europe till I was twenty-two. Then there was no stopping me!
I have been fortunate to have friends and a partner who also share my passion for travel. However sometimes no one is available due to annual leave, money & not actually wanting to go where I do. Instead of giving up on my dream I go by myself.
It is scary and some people find it too terrifying to travel solo, especially if you’re female. It doesn’t have to be. With a bit of planning and research it can take the fear out of travelling alone. There are numerous global tour agencies that now specialise in solo travel for all ages. You’re never really ‘alone,’ unless you want to be!
The Internet has made planning so simple. Google map’s can zoom in with a satellite image so you can get a good look at a place without actually being there. There are reviews, tips, pictures, itineraries and tour groups all waiting for you to discover them.
I’ve done plenty of solo travel over the years. The first time I jumped on a plane by myself was exhilarating and liberating. I was only going 50 minutes from London to Edinburgh. All the way I was thinking “look at me on a plane by MYSELF!” Four years later I was on a 24-hour flight to Australia alone, turning up in Sydney with my backpack thinking “now what?!”
My last solo trip was a few weeks ago. There was a yoga seminar in Melbourne being hosted by Bikram’s wife Rajashree. I really wanted to go and instead of hunting around for a travel buddy I booked myself a flight, a room in the hotel where the seminar was being held and went alone. Too easy. I then decided to combine it with a trip to Adelaide on the way back for a personal session with my Soul Mentor. Four days dedicated to doing something just for me, without worrying about accommodating anyone else. How good does that sound?
We spend too much time looking after other people and working around them to make things easy. This leads to your own needs being over looked or we miss out on doing things we truly want to do. It is NOT selfish at all to nourish yourself with some alone time. It is good for us. We serve others better when we have served ourselves first. If no one else wants to join you on your adventure, go by yourself.
I did my research before leaving. I had to negotiate transport from the airport to the city via bus, tram and a walk. It was all there on the Internet and I could book my bus ticket online. It had been eight years since I’d been to Melbourne and last time I drove there. I’ had a rough idea of the city but couldn’t really remember it. I booked my flights so I’d arrive well before dark as I didn’t want to be alone in a strange city at night. I knew if there were no nearby restaurants I could always eat in the hotel. If you don’t feel comfortable sitting alone in a restaurant, order to go or there’s always room service. Often when eating alone you attract other people who ask you to join them. If that’s creepy to you, simply decline & read a book.
On arriving in Adelaide I’d booked myself into a ‘treat’ hotel. The Stamford Grand in Glenelg is right on the beachfront in a cosmopolitan small suburb. A taxi from the airport was safe and easy. They have a concierge service that puts you in properly licensed cars. I Googled ahead and had a rough estimate of how much it would cost so they’d be no surprises.
I had a fab time! Walking on the beach before sunset, eating fresh organic pizza and soaking in a long, hot bubble bath. Finally curling up for an early night with Dirty Dancing on TV and my favourite sparkling water (yes water!). I was so relaxed I woke up hours before my alarm for a really long morning walk along the sea front, followed by another bubble bath. I got the hotel to sort me out a taxi and called into Bakers Delight for a fresh Cheesimite scroll for breakfast. (Solo travel does not need to be expensive) All this topped off with an amazing energy healing before jumping on my third and final flight home.
I only took hand luggage with me. Simple, light and no waiting at carousels. All my check in’s were done on my smart phone. No faffing around with paper boarding passes or check in lines. I just had to make sure I had enough battery by the time I got to the gate. Watch out that free Wi-Fi sucks the battery life.
At no time did I feel scared or unsafe. Everything was planned transport wise. I’d researched a few places to eat but this can always change, which it did. Once you get somewhere & have a look around you discover so much more. That’s part of the excitement. It was a treat to just curl up and watch movies that are always available on free view in most hotels. I really embraced having time for me without any distractions. I got so much writing & reading done. I came home so chilled and ready to get things started with this blog it was just what I needed.
Don’t be scared, if there’s somewhere you want to go, something only you want to do go do it!!! Why wait.
Happy travels & safe,