I have a question. Why does no one talk about the shitty things that happen when you travel on your own?
Yes, it is one of the most amazing things you can do with your life and I would recommend it to anyone. Seeing the world is important because it can give you a new appreciation for life and be able to do it without having to worry about anyone else is empowering. But it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It can be hard, so here are just a few things that no one will prepare you for when you decide to go and travel the world by yourself.
1. It can get really lonely
There were days that I didn’t speak to another person apart from the barman to ask for another beer. Sure, some alone time can be fun, but being stuck with your nothing but your own thoughts can drive you insane when you haven’t had any conversation for days.
Exploring the city by yourself can be awesome but sometimes you just want to sit in a bar and have a good chat with some new people. Just know, you’re not alone in feeling lonely. It’s just part of the adventure.
2. Feeling clean is really underrated
After 17 hours on a train, I had my first proper shower in almost a week because the shower in Rome wasn’t great. When I came out of that shower I felt like a new woman and so refreshed.
It’s not always easy to stay clean when you’re travelling, but do everything in your power to try because it makes a massive difference in how you feel.
3. You need to drink more water
I went a few days without drinking much water and my health suffered as a result. I kept forgetting to keep a water bottle on me and didn’t want to pay for one because I was being cheap.
It’s so important to keep your water intake up because otherwise you get ill and no one wants to miss out on amazing experiences because of a runny nose.
4. Sometimes you’ll spend the whole day in bed
If you’re going travelling for longer than a week, then you will need to just accept that some days you won’t see anything and spend most of it curled up in bed. There is nothing wrong with this. You can’t be a tourist 24/7, sometimes you just need to have a day where you just do you.
Personally, I like to spend a few hours watching YouTube videos. It makes me feel normal and refreshed again which means I can go and explore some more without feeling drained.
5. You won’t love every single second and that’s okay
Every person will tell to ‘enjoy every minute’. That is an exhausting way to live and simply not possible. You won’t always love the city you’re in and you won’t always have the best time, but that’s life and we learn from the good AND the bad, so embrace it.
6. Not everyone that you meet will be great
Just like in real life, some people are arseholes. It’s the same when you pack up your bag and go to a new country. You won’t get on with everyone that you meet unless you’re a super social person and in that case, share with me your talents.
Just don’t waste your time trying to force a friendship. Spend that time meeting better people!
7. Trying to get any pictures of yourself is pretty difficult
Your friends best be prepared for a lot of pictures of scenery and not a lot of pictures of you in front of that scenery. Unless you’re rocking the selfie stick, you won’t have a lot of pictures from times when you’re on your own.
Try and get some strangers to take them because there are only so many pictures of buildings you can reminisce about.
8. Restaurants don’t love solo travellers
It was interesting to see the difference in how I was treated in a restaurant when I was alone vs. when I wasn’t. I have no qualms about eating by myself, honestly, feeding yourself is not really a team sport but the staff don’t treat you the same way.
They sometimes see you as a bit of a burden because you’re taking up room that could occupy bigger parties who will tip more. Don’t let them rush you, enjoy yourself and enjoy your food. You’re just as entitled to be there as anyone else.
Have you ever travelled on your own? If so, what did you learn?