THE BEAUTY OF SOLO TRAVEL

By Alicia Price

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If you would have asked me 5 years ago, if I’d ever travel alone, the answer would‘ve been a strong NO. However, over the years, I grew tired of planning group trips that never happened and being underwhelmed on vacations because my interests differs. No, that does not mean that I spontaneously hopped on the next departing flight. It was a gradual process to become comfortable with solo travel. I had anxiety about being in an airport by myself. So believe me when I say, I get it. Solo travel can be very intimidating; with safety being the most prominent concern.

As a Black woman traveling in the world’s current climate, I am much more diligent about researching my destinations than ever before. Google-ing and keeping up with current events help me decide if a particular location is what I deem to be safe. The harsh reality is that things can happen right outside my doorstep. So I stopped allowing those “what-ifs” be a hindrance. Now to be clear, you won’t find me in the backwoods of the South or in a country where women’s rights are lacking, with or without a travel companion. I have to be a realist about certain situations.

I became comfortable with solo travel by happenstance. It began with venturing away from coworkers on corporate trips. Full transparency: after a long day, the last thing I wanted to do was interact with my colleagues any longer than I was obligated. So, I opted to go to dinner and sightsee alone. This quickly escalated to visiting loved ones in different states, but I made sure to not have them clear their schedules to accommodate me. This gave me the opportunity to roam around, even if for a few hours, while having the comfort of someone near that I could connect with later. Now, solo travel isn’t a matter of hesitation, domestic or internationally.

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No Last-Minute Cancelled Plans
I am sure we have all experienced this at some point; the headache of accommodating schedules and budgets just for someone to cancel reservations weeks before because *insert excuse here*. Solo travel grants complete control on scheduling and expenses without the unreliability of travel companions.

Whatever Your Heart Desires
There isn’t much worse than being stuck on a group trip with people who only want to partake in activities that they could have stayed home to do. You know those folks. They never want to try anything new and only want to eat what’s familiar. This is not an issue when traveling alone. The itinerary is yours to create.

Be Free
It is the perfect opportunity to be your true unapologetic self. You have a clean slate and the ability to tell your story, your way. It truly does not get any better than that.

Start with the basics; get comfortable with being alone in your own city. There is a stigma surrounding going out by yourself, but here’s a reality check; everything does not have to be a shared experience. You’ll realize that no one actually cares that you are by yourself. However, if you are not comfortable with doing activities alone in a place where you are daily, then traveling solo may be a bit premature. Solo travel will challenge you. It forces you to get to know…you; your likes, your dislikes, passions and limits. Fall in love with your solitude. Once you become comfortable being alone anywhere, you will be comfortable everywhere.