Travelling Alone isn’t Lonely

6th October 2015 by Admin

Travelling Alone isn’t Lonely

Telling your friends and family that you’re moving abroad to travel and work for the next two years is a challenging experience alone, and with a family who isn’t shy of a guilt trip, it was prone to be difficult ‘will we ever see you again?’ ‘Why are you leaving us?’ My sister was the hardest, explaining all the things I was going to miss, being so far away from her. And she was right. But the good outweighs the bad in this situation.

The day comes when it is all booked, and your family realises that this is the first time in your life where you can have complete independence. Being able to travel is the only time in my life when I can be completely and unashamedly selfish. After all, nobody ever chased true adventure by agreeing on a daily schedule beforehand and then fighting over whose turn it is to carry the water bottle.

Its tricky trying to figure out the hot tips when travelling alone, so I’ve gone ahead and dotted some down:
- Always ask for directions – then make sure you have good music on your phone when said directions are incorrect and you walk around a city aimlessly for hours
- Delete travel apps: trust the locals
- Invest in a selfie stick (I know, but trust me)
- Learn how to say ‘No’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘Sorry’ in the local language to avoid awkward altercations when trying to move through crowds or away from gypsies

If you feel like staying up all night to watch the sunrise, you can. If you want to try every native dish and market street food , go ahead. And if you want to spend all day getting lost in a city with a name you can’t even pronounce, you can.  There’s no better thrill than picking up a language through sheer immersion, because you spent your time listening rather than commenting on the décor in that great little bar you found round the corner; there’s nothing as exciting as enjoying the company of people who speak a complete different language and have a million life stories you can’t even comprehend; there’s no comparison to the rush of knowing you can handle absolutely any situation that life throws at you, because you’ve done it before with hand gestures, foreign currency and no phone signal, all by yourself – and you can do it again.

Don’t get me wrong, travelling alone isn’t all sunshine and self-actualisation. It can be dangerous, so you have to be smart – don’t drink in regional areas with strangers, keep a close eye on your belongings, always set an alarm before you need to catch a flight, however this can all be said with people travelling in groups as well.  People seem to think that travlling in groups automatically means safety.

At the end of the day, you have to remember the clear distinction between being alone and being lonely.


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