Traveling alone, you are free to experience what happens around you without distraction. When you travel with a crew, there is a sense of familiarity and connection that creates an “us and them” mentality. We are often on our best behavior with our companions, which means we fail to truly be ourselves. If your companion is judging the food, the art or even the manners of the space you are in, it is easy to get drawn in and become a downer yourself; it’s much harder to allow the experience to unfold. We humans tend toward “easy”, and women are notorious people pleasers. Having a grand adventure while on the verge of making sure everyone else is happy can wreak havoc on your vacation.
Here are 5 ways to enjoy traveling alone:
1. Stay in a place that suits your needs.
Even on a budget, stay at the best hotel you can afford. A bar on site or closeby, and restaurants you are comfortable visiting will make it easier to enjoy some nightlife without feeling disconnected.
2. Ask for a room that suits your needs.
For me that means a room that is away from the elevator, high up and with a view or natural light. If I can get a room with a bath, so much the better. Sometimes I pay extra to have breakfast included. Traveling alone does bring out your voice, so speak up if you’re unhappy with your digs.
3. Plan to splurge on at least one adventure.
A little luxury never hurt anyone. Sometimes I got to a fabulous restaurant and enjoy a luscious meal. A cream tea and a glass of bubbly. A live show that stirs my interest. I let the day and the city inspire me.
4. Be spontaneous.
Allow for contrasts and contradictions! Sometimes when I am dining alone I see men looking at me, speculating, and women giving me that half-pitying, half-envious look, wistful to be free as me. But lots of people are helpful when you alone, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
5. Plan and map out your days so you don’t spend too much time wondering where you should go.
However, do be open to “going with the flow”. If you visit a museum and feel like sitting at a café all afternoon, indulge yourself. There is no hard and fast rule that demands you cover every inch of a city’s tourist traps. Flexibility and a willingness to embrace who you are in a new space can do wonders for your confidence. Joy happens when you truly find your feet in going it alone.
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