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Four Myths About Solo Travel

Lets take the four biggest myths about traveling solo and bust them, shall we??

Greetings humans! If you’re reading this post, I’d bet you’re curious about solo travel and wondering if all the things you’ve heard about it are true. I’ve been a solo traveler for almost eight years. At the time of this post, I’ve been on 23 solo trips, with more already on the immediate horizon. And I’m here to bust the myths you’ve probably heard about solo travel. Strap in. Let’s go.

Myth #1 - It's Unsafe

Yes my friends, let’s tackle the big one first. The number one concern I hear about traveling alone is that it can’t possibly be safe. Especially for a young queer femme reasonably attractive smol human like myself. “Don’t you get harassed?” “Aren’t you scared?” “Haven’t you seen Taken!?!?!

So let’s blow this myth wide open shall we?

I’ve been on twenty-three solo trips and never had a major safety incident. You can be every bit as safe while traveling solo as you are in the rest of your life. Think about your day to day activities for a moment. I bet you navigate your hometown on your own constantly. Running your errands, stopping for coffee, navigating your commute, etc, etc, etc. Do you spend every solo minute of your day-to-day life worried that you’re about to get attacked? I doubt it. (And if you do, you should probably move!)

You feel safe on your own in your hometown. Why? Because you know your surroundings and you know what feels safe. But the truth is, you can apply everything you know about safety to literally any destination in the world. No matter where you come from, your gut is smarter than you give it credit for. Trust your gut to keep you safe on the road just like it does at home.

And the rest of your safety lies in simple preparation. Research your destination before you go. There are definitely places in the world that I won’t go as a solo femme traveler, and that’s ok. That’s just being smart.

Bring your brain with you on vacation. Keep your eyes open when you’re in new surroundings. Know your limits (I have a strict one-drink-per-sitting rule when I travel solo to make sure my head stays clear). Carry backups for important gear. Do your research and make good choices, and you’ll be perfectly safe. You have to be smart about it, but you’re capable of being smart, and you can absolutely travel safely on your own.

A solo traveler in front of the Broadway billboards in Time's Square, New York City

Myth #2 - It's Lonely

It’s very easy to look at traveling solo and immediately assume that it gets lonely. It takes a lot of courage to commit to keeping your own company for a set period of time, no matter how long a time that is. However, in all my solo travels, I have rarely felt lonely. And in the few times that I have, there were easy ways to remedy that! You can strike up conversations with the locals, or you can contact friends back home.

Some of the most interesting conversations of my life have been with total strangers at restaurants in unfamiliar cities. I once talked about Tolkien for a full half hour with a man who saw me reading The Return of the King at a winery in Ohio. I also often spend much of my travels messaging my friends or my siblings. I enjoy sharing my experiences with them, and they enjoy seeing the things I send! Being on a solo trip doesn’t mean you have to ignore the whole rest of your life. If you feel lonely, call a friend! It doesn’t make you any less of a solo traveler.

Myth #3 - It’s Only for the Single and Unattached

“That’s all well and good, Andi, but I have a partner.” “Andi, you clearly don’t have kids.” “Andi, there’s no way. I have too many responsibilities…” I hear you, friend. I really do. As of writing this, I am unattached and perfectly content to remain so. This independent approach to life does remove several of the hurdles to solo travel, but these hurdles don’t have to be concrete barriers. I have a dear friend who is happily married who travels solo at least once a year. Partners leave families at home to go on business trips constantly, and the other partner always manages. If solo travel is something you want for yourself, there are always ways to make arrangements.

Are there more steps to planning a solo trip if you have romantic or familial attachments? Absolutely. But if you gather the reasons you’d like to try a solo trip and explain them to your partner(s), good partner(s) will understand and support you in your desire. They should be happy to see you pursuing something that you want that would bring you joy. Allow yourself to do the extra work, make the extra arrangements, and do something remarkably special for yourself. The energy you invest in yourself will always always pay off.

A solo traveler on a hiking Angel's Landing in Zion National Park

Myth #4 - The Only People who Travel Solo are Middle-Aged Women Trying to Find Themselves After their Divorce

Books and films like Wild and Eat Pray Love have given pop culture the idea that taking off on your own is the sort of thing that women do when their lives collapse in an effort to regain a sense of identity and control. Can solo travel be that? Sure. But if you’re here reading this blog, I doubt you’re the kind of person who has the means to take off for months at a time to through-hike a trail or travel the world. I know I don’t! I've got bills to pay!

There’s no magical number of nights away that make a solo trip “valid.” An overnight stay by yourself in a neighboring town is a solo trip. Hopping a plane for a long weekend on the opposite coast is a solo trip. Taking two weeks and running away to London is a solo trip. What defines a solo trip is the fact that you’re on it on your own, not the time or money spent or what you hope to accomplish by it. You can travel within your means and your schedule and still have an amazing experience.

But the finding yourself part? That part’s true. No matter where you go or for however long, you’ll come back having learned things about yourself. Planning your days without filtering those plans through anyone else’s desires will teach you a lot about what you truly enjoy. Having no other option but to take the lead on any challenges that arise will instill you with newfound self-confidence. The you that left before the solo trip will not be the same you that returns, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Have I convinced you to try solo travel yet? If not, what are the other myths I need to bust before you do? Solo travel is absolutely accessible to you, no matter who you are. Give it a try. It may be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

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Love and Shenanigans,


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2 comentarios

30 jun 2023

Traveling by ourselves can be fun, if we make it fun...thank you for sharing!

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28 jun 2023

I can wholeheartedly agree with this post! I travelled to Switzerland in February by myself and joined up with a tour group there. It was so much fun and I met interesting people from all over the world!

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