Deciding to Travel Alone

If we’re friends on Facebook you’ve seen that I’m planning a trip and looking for recommendations on an upcoming vacation to Reykjavik and Copenhagen. What is so exciting and nerve-wracking about this trip is that I’ve decided to do it solo.

This year, without my SFO > BOS back and forth trips across the country, and with only one wedding invite, I have more free weekends (and funds) during a summer than I’ve had in years. I knew I wanted to go on a trip — but I wasn’t sure where and I certainly wasn’t sure with whom.

In some ways, I’m really excited about the opportunity to travel alone. I want to be the kind of person who goes on solo trips and enjoys them, but I’m still really nervous about it. Am I the kind of person who can do this? I think we all suffer imposter syndrome in different facets of our lives, and for me, living a life of adventure is one of the things I’m not sure aligns with who I am. BUT the decision has been made – I booked the flight and hotel – soooo now I’m the kind of person who goes on solo trips!

In other ways, I feel sort of forced into traveling alone. Most of my close friends are married, I’m single, and I just don’t have the usual suspects to travel with me right now. Don’t get me wrong – my parents are awesome people to travel with – but it’s just not the same experience as traveling with your peers.

As I’ve been planning this trip I’ve gotten more comfortable with making progress to become a more adventurous person. When I was planning the Iceland portion of the trip, a lot of people recommended renting a car and driving to see the main sites. You lose the crowds a little, and you’re able to stop more often on your own schedule – so you can make every rest stop you want. And while that sounded all well and good, I was starting to get really nervous about trying to do all of that alone. What if I got lost? Or couldn’t even navigate to begin with? What if I ran out of gas or into a herd of sheep? That’s when I realized that I don’t have to be adventurous in EVERY aspect of the trip – going on the trip alone itself is adventurous enough for me right now.

So I’m planning to do a lot of the big day trips on the big bus tours, and then spend other days walking around the cities and enjoying the sites – an aspect of adventure I’m more comfortable with doing alone. I’m most excited about the food (hotdogs and open faced sandwiches, YES PLEASE) but also really nervous about eating dinner alone.

Overall, it’s going to be an experience I can say that I will have had – and if I love it, great, and if I don’t, I never have to do it again.

As I’ve said before though, the things that are both exciting and scary are usually the best things in life.

Have you ever traveled alone? How was your experience? What should I know?

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