Travel Solo: Take it from an Introvert!

Authored by:
Sydney H.

Sydney H.
Some people were born to travel alone, backpacking from city to city and country to country. I can tell you that I am not one of those people- in fact this semester was the first time I ever took a trip on my own.
And guess what... It turned out to be one of the most rewarding adventures of my time abroad!

Okay, so you may have a few concerns by now. Well, hopefully my insight and advice will help to alleviate some of those concerns, because trust me, I thought the same things.

Why you should I travel solo?

1. You’re on no one’s agenda but your own.

Let’s be honest, travelling with the same group all semester can get tiring, especially if you all have different travel goals. This way you can fill your time with things that you want to do.

2. It’s a good time for reflection.

Study abroad is a busy time full of classes, cultural activities, planning trips, and learning a language, all while keeping up with people at home. Travelling alone can be a great way to reflect on all that’s happened so far in your time abroad and allows time to regroup yourself.

3. You gain a sense of independence that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Yes, you probably had to be pretty independent to pursue study abroad, but travelling away from this new norm on your own? It’s absolutely liberating and can be so reassuring in your capabilities.

From my trip to Menorca-- My favorite bike ride!
From my trip to Menorca-- My favorite bike ride!
Hopefully some of these reasons resonate with you, and now that you’re thinking about it,

Here are some of the things I found extremely helpful in my experience:

-Small hostels:

They’re cute. They’re cheap. They attract travelers just like you. Honestly if I had to pick the most helpful tip, it would be this one. If you’re worried about being lonely on your trip, small hostels provide a sense of community and an awesome opportunity to meet other solo travelers who want to meet cool people just like you. In some cases they are even a safer option because you are never on your own and have security measures.

-Free tours:

They’re an awesome way to get a sense of the city, and again, meet travelers like you. While they are free, it’s nice to give a small tip for the guide’s time but still for a fraction of what a normal tour would be. Most large cities have at least one free tour company operation.

-"Facetime dinners":

This was a big help for me in more than one way- it was time for me to catch up with friends and family at home while making me from feeling lonely during meals. 

From a free street art tour in Valencia
From an amazing free street art tour in Valencia

Note about safety:

Be wise in choosing your destination! Don’t choose somewhere too far out of your comfort zone and be sure it is safe to travel alone!

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