The first time I traveled alone was in 2016. I was headed to present at a conference and it was the first time I’d be flying without my parents. What did I do as I was waiting for the boarding call? Anxiously cry my eyes out 😅😅. I understand how solo travel causes anxiety for folks. There are safety concerns, not knowing how to plan to have fun alone, overall feeling like you’ll look weird. I get it. What I learned during that experience is how amazing it felt to curate an experience based on what *I* wanted. Since then I’ve done plenty a “get up and go” without having to wait for someone to be able to accompany me. Here’s why I recommend having this experience, especially for introverts.
Solo Travel is all about Pace and Prioritizing
You get to indulge in all the fun things at a pace YOU set, avoiding those moments when a group activity will catapult your insides into an anxiety twister. Traveling in groups can easily become one “take one for the team” after another. When it’s just you, you can pace everything from the drinks to the obligatory conversations you engage in. No need to frantically search for the exit. You handle as much as you can handle when you feel like handling it.
Do What You Really Want
The inherent compromise of group outings sometimes stops you from being able to indulge the way you want. My trip to Miami allowed me to do all the corny things and gift myself some nap time without feeling like I was putting a damper on anyone else’s good time. I saw a symphony orchestra perform with R&B great PJ Morton and didn’t have to convince anyone to skip the beach to watch violins.
Uninterrupted People Watching
Speaking of pace, what introvert doesn’t love a good dose of covert observatory research? Some good old fashioned blending in. While people interaction (that requires you to put out energy) is exhausting, people are still fascinating. I’m quite entertained by being in a space full of people doing peopley things. My recent trip to Miami Beach is one example. Nothing like Happy Hour at Mangos with live entertainment while scrolling on Instagram and swaying at the tunes.
Rejuvenate vs. Deplete
Especially for the introvert crew, leaving a vacation drained brings on automatic feelings of needing another vacation ASAP. When you can pace yourself, you don’t run into the issue of feeling completely lifeless at the end of it all. Scheduling excursions that you experience independently will recharge your introvert batteries. You won’t even have to hide under your covers to do it.
Solo Travel = Meeting New People
Bet you didn’t expect this to be on the list. But, yes. Solo Travel is fun for me as an introvert because I get to meet fun people who are also having fun while doing the things that I find fun too. Get it? Finding the likeminded folks while minding your business is a great deal. Instead of finding the person to convince to do the thing, I chose the thing and then engaged with the folks who also liked the thing. AND (this is the best part) when the interaction is all said and done, I get to go back to my hotel room and be alone. Just, magical.
I’m still in goal-setting mode for 2020, trying to think where I should go next for a solo excursion. I’ve been prioritizing wellness trips and taking in culture. I want to go to Ghana but I don’t even know where to start.
Anything else that should be on this list? Have you ever traveled solo? What were your reasons? What would you recommend for planning a solo trip?