I’ve travelled solo a few times now, mainly Liverpool but also to Brighton. As much as there is a sense of apprehension surrounding a solo trip, there is a great feeling of independence and confidence when you venture out of your home town.
The anxiety can dangerously spoil a lone trip away. In my case, I worry about my travel plans getting ruined by a late train or a hotel not coming up to scratch. Maybe the plans I had arranged get tossed out of the window unexpectedly. Mind you, if I named every single worst case scenario, I wouldn’t go anywhere. I’d be stuck in a house like a hermit if I didn’t go to new and different places.
Then when you go somewhere and there are no booboo’s or mishaps during travel, the feeling of achievement and a kind of relief you feel when you arrive at your hotel room and flop down on your neatly made bed is unreal.
One thing I have noticed since I have taken some little adventures unaccompanied, is people’s reactions and remarks to when I tell them I’m venturing somewhere on my tod. One that makes my ears stand to attention is when they say this after I tell them I’m travelling somewhere solo –
“That’s so brave”
Eh? I just can’t quite comprehend how freely choosing to take a break away on my own is seen as such a courageous act? You are brave when you do something which you are afraid of. You’re afraid of spiders, clasp one in your hand, you’re afraid of heights, walk to the top of the tallest building (or get in the lift), if you’re afraid of snails, umm, get a pet snail. My point is is that me travelling to different places on my own isn’t brave, it’s something I have chosen to do and (sometimes) I enjoy it.
That doesn’t mean that there are some things that cause me to have huge anxiety or fear when travelling. Cancelled trains or rearranged plans don’t help my anxiety at all. However, it’s how you overcome or solve the problem is the key to happy travelling. I always like to think that there will always be a solution if an obstacle gets thrown my way. It’s a good way for me personally to think as it can calm me down and there is always someone there to help.
Travelling on my own brings me some little incentives though. For example, people who know me know that I love being underestimated. I love reading and seeing people’s reactions when I say or do something that they think is completely uncharacteristic of me. So when I tell a friend, a nurse down the hospital or the people in the chemist that I’m venturing off to Liverpool or wherever, they’re completely surprised that it is me that is actually saying that to them, like I said, they’ve underestimated what I am capable of doing.
Would I recommend someone to take a break away by themselves? Definitely – but only if you feel you can. Only you can know whether you can travel somewhere unchaperoned. If it isn’t something you feel you can do, then don’t. I would never enforce anybody to attempt something which they are not confident enough in doing. That’s just cruel. Everybody moves along at their own pace , I travelled by myself for the first time when I was 22. I didn’t think I could do it even back then, but I bit the bullet and went for it and it completely changed my mindset for the better.
I hope that I have inspired some of you out there to book that hotel room and train/plane ticket somewhere special today!
Have you travelled on your own? Let me know!