Crazy, ignorant, dangerous… they’re but a few of the adjectives I heard when I decided to go off and travel on my own. Is travelling alone not a form of audacity, openess and willingness to learn? Have you been dreaming of travelling on your own? It’s a wonderful idea, and by no means let it go…
When I first decided to travel on my own a few years ago, I was excited, happier than ever… but also apprehensive. All these mixed emotions could have been confusing, but instead they comforted me in the idea that I needed to do this, and I needed to do it then and there. Now, going off to travel alone is no small task, and it comes with its ups and downs. Read on if you’ve been thinking of jumping in: here is what awaits you on your solitary journey.
Travelling on your own: the downs
Of course, like with most things in life, there are some downsides to travelling alone. When travelling alone, you’re, well, alone. For those who can’t usually stand solitude, this can be quite rough mentally! But the good news is, when you’re travelling, contact with strangers usually comes easy, so it’s up to you to beat that solitude! Honestly, I never really felt lonely when travelling alone. Those moments when I was on my own were rather chosen, or at least well-lived.
Travelling alone, especially as a woman, can be a bit dangerous. You’ll always be more vulnerable on your own, but that only means you need to take precautions before each trip, to be able to face any situation you could encounter. Yes, you could get injured, mugged, or get lost and not find help. As a lone traveller you have to know and accept these risks. That’s also what travel is! It’s unpredicted events, new experiences, unknown situations that you just have to face. Travelling alone is pushing yourself, learning, and learning about yourself!
Travelling on your own: the ups
Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain, sample Giolitti’s gelato, get up at sunrise and discover the Sistine chapel without the crowds, rent a Vespa and circle the Coliseum, chill in the gardens around the Villa Borghese. When to go? From April to June, get a real taste of the dolce vita in the Italian spring.
As I said, being alone is not always easy. And yet, it is the best opportunity to find yourself, to not be under the influence of what another could want or expect. It’s you, and the rest of the world. You are free! Free to do anything with your day. You have no constraints, no accountability, you don’t owe anyone anything. On your own in the middle of nowhere, you’re open to everything! Let it in! Let it out! Just be yourself, be alive, to the fullest. Don’t worry though, travelling alone also means meeting loads of new people. You could make life-changing encounters. Discover others, share a bit of yourself, receive so much in return. Discover new faces, take the time to observe them, to really meet them, to listen to them. In your daily life at home you may not even notice the wonderful people passing you by. When you’re travelling, you suddenly pay so much more attention.
Finally, travelling alone is unveiling your true face to the world. It’s abandoning yourself to others, not fearing judgment or glares. It’s being yourself, fully, with your strengths but also your weaknesses. Travelling alone is being able to cry or laugh whenever, and with whoever. It’s not always easy. There’ll be defeats, but only they can lead to victories.
So, ladies and gentlemen, pack your bags. This is your adventure, it’s unique, it is only what you make it, and it is so, so worth it.