I travel alone quite often, and have done my whole life.
In this particular instance I am thrilled to have been born an American – if only for the freedom it has provided me to go anywhere I want without worrying too much about visas.
I think it would be slightly easier if I were male, as I wouldn’t have to worry (even slightly) about being out alone at night, but I’ve worked out systems for that too over the years.
I will immediately befriend locals, especially hotel staff and if traveling to a conference I’ll seek out the cushion of conference people as well.
I always check my hotel rooms for people hiding in them (that goes back to my flight attendant days, where that training was drilled into me.) I keep my hand covering my drinks, never set them down or let them out of my sight, and won’t drink any alcohol at all if I am truly out alone, without anyone I know (and even then, I’ll cap it at 1 drink.)
I have had some amazing experiences while traveling solo. I often find myself merging trips together though, and remembering something with my husband and he’ll be like “No, I wasn’t there, that’s just yours.”
It happens too often, lately.
Watching big fluffy snowflakes fall on the horses in Columbus Circle in Manhattan.
Haggling at a street market in Cambridge.
Riding an owl-shaped 10 person bicycle in Austin.
Mushing sled dogs in Alaska.
Failing miserably while learning how to surf.
You can have experiences just for you, and they will be amazing. The flip side is that those experiences will not ever really be able to be shared in a meaningful way. They will always be just yours.
You can tell people about them, show them pictures, videos, write stories – but you had it, no one else, and you need to be comfortable with that.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/How-does-it-feel-to-travel-alone
Originally Posted On: 2015-12-14