I’ve been thinking about taking a solo trip for a while now, and after much deliberation, I finally booked myself onto a flight.
At the end of September, I’ll be jetting off to Geneva Switzerland for a weekend of fondues and sightseeing around its lakes and mountains. I’m a bit anxious as it’ll be my first time going on a solo trip, but I’m also really excited to see Switzerland and the nearby French alps, which I’ve been swooning over for some time now.
When you think of a solo traveller, your first thought might be of a young, carefree singleton who’s on an around-the-world adventure carrying everything in their backpack. But actually, I’m the complete opposite. I’m hurtling towards my 30s now, and as much as I used to think (or wanted to believe) that I was a spontaneous thrill seeker, as an adult I’m a realistic, sensible, and highly organised individual who’s been in a relationship with one man for the past eight and a half years.
As a member of the travel blogging community, the practice of travelling alone no matter what your age or situation is a pretty normal one, but in everyday life, I don’t think this is the case. In a time where we can’t be alone in public without aimlessly thumbing through our phones for comfort, let alone face the shame of having to eat out by ourselves (god forbid), I can see why the idea of intentionally going on holiday without your partner might seem strange.
So for anyone who might wonder why I, and many others, choose to do so, here are six reasons why I’m taking a solo trip now without my other half.
1. To get out of my comfort zone
I’m definitely not denying that doing some things alone can feel daunting, but when you’ve been sharing every aspect of your life with someone else for years, the prospect of being on your own again can feel even more so. I want to get out of my comfort zone, and push myself to navigate through a new place on my own.
2. To be independent
The thing that I value the most in my life is my independence, and while most people say they’d happily go back to their school years again, I personally couldn’t think of anything worse. My best life started in my mid-20s, and I LOVE being an adult. I love being able to make my own decisions, and run my own life on my own time. As part of that, it means being able to pack up my bags and go wherever I want – and for me, you can’t get much more independent than that.
3. For the experience
I love hearing about other people’s travel stories and adventures, but I also want to create my own. I really admire people who’ve travelled solo before, and I want to know what it’s like to do the same.
I’ve also never stayed in a hostel before, and I’m thinking about booking myself one for my trip too, which I would claim was for the experience, but actually Geneva’s just really expensive and I’m being priced out of the hotels!
4. Not to miss out on life
Just because my boyfriend doesn’t have enough annual leave, doesn’t mean it should stop me from travelling. Since I quit my job earlier this year, I’ve got much more time than others to explore, meaning it’s either go by myself or not at all.
Even though I’ve chosen the former, I’m still keeping him in mind when choosing my solo destinations – there are some places he’s not as keen on visiting as me, so this way I’ll still get to go where I want to when he’s not able to travel anyway – win win.
5. To be my own person
When you’ve been in a relationship for several years, you’ll start to be seen as a couple in everyone’s eyes. When you’re invited to a celebration, you’re invited as a couple, and when you turn up to a gathering without your partner, people will ask why the other person’s not there.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being one half of our relationship, but it’s also important to take the time to remember that you are your own person.
6. For the challenge
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit anxious about it, but I know solo travel won’t be as daunting as it might sound. I’m looking forward to the experience of having to navigate through a new country by myself, and all of the small challenges that’ll come with it.
Some say life starts at the end of your comfort zone, and I’m looking forward to going outside of mine.
Have you taken a solo trip, or would you? Do you have other reasons for travelling alone?
Tell me what you think! Oh, and if you’ve been to Geneva before, please send me your tips!
More personal posts:
I quit my job – but not just to travel
Why I’m tired of being asked ‘where are you from?’