Things You Should Do While Traveling Solo

Have you ever been on a solo trip and thought to yourself, “Oh, I can’t do that because I am by myself” or “no one is here to do this thing with me”. Well, I’m here to tell you to tell that voice to take a hike and go do the things you should do while traveling solo. It’s easy to get inside your head (trust me, I know), but if you mostly travel alone, you will never do the things you want to do if you wait for someone to go on a trip with you. Here are some ideas to try on your next solo adventure! 

It’s so common to grab your significant other or a group of friends to go eat at a restaurant you all have been wanting to try or go to a weekend brunch with way too many mimosas. You realize when traveling solo that if you want to do these things, you are going to have to do them all alone, while most others are there with someone else. I used to find this so intimidating, but now, I hold my head up high as I tell the hostess, “Just me”. This is where I usually get asked a one-worded question, “One?” I try not to laugh as I nod my head and get ushered to my table by a person who probably feels sorry for me. I will either get on my phone or write in my travel journal during my meal. I try not to pay attention to the people who may be looking and whispering amongst themselves about the lonely girl, eating by herself. I hope the next time you are by yourself and want to eat at a sit-down restaurant, don’t go the easy route and order it as take-out, but go and sit down and relax. Why should it matter if you are there alone or if you have a group of people? Fun fact: it shouldn’t. 

I remember it like it was yesterday: the first time I saw a movie by myself. It was Finding Dory and I was 21 years old. I wasn’t traveling during this time, but I think it was the first event that set off a chain reaction of doing things alone. Another thing I feel that is frowned upon to do alone is watching a movie or show or concert by yourself. After my first lone cinema experience, I kept one-upping myself. Next, it was The Weeknd in concert in 2017. It was honestly so much fun, being there surrounded by people singing and dancing, not knowing a single soul. 2018 I traveled by myself internationally for the first time. I do remember I looked into going to a West End show in London during that time but ended up not going. In 2019 during my solo travel trip, I considered going to the movies in Brussels, but I ended up napping. Every year, I kept pushing my limits and seeing the progress I had made. It wasn’t until 2021 that I saw my first show by myself, which was Anastasia. When I say show, I don’t mean Game of Thrones or Stranger Things, I mean a play or a musical. Since COVID, I hadn’t been doing the things I loved to do, like traveling, so it made it hard for me to get back in the saddle and start exploring again on my own. And when I did, I could not come back down from that high. Although I have not done any of these activities while traveling, I think it would be something a solo traveler could incorporate into their itinerary. 

I saved the best for last. I’ll start with a story. When I was in Amsterdam, I was at war with myself about going to the Red Light District. If you are unfamiliar, the Red Light District is a small neighborhood that has buildings with large windows and red neon lights where prostitutes work. I had heard stories of this place and now that I was in the city where it was, I was doubting myself. I was nervous to be a solo traveler if I were to go there. Would I be safe? Would I look like a total creep? I knew I had to do it so I ended up booking a guided tour. I’ll say that I am glad I did. Our tour guide was very friendly and talked about things that are usually talked about carelessly and with judgment in such a matter-of-fact manner that it made me feel at ease. We got to see the windows, some with the curtains opened, and some had them closed. With the guided tour ticket, we also got free admission to the Museum of Prostitution, When the tour ended, we were left to go our own way. There was so much to see in the Red Light District that looked interesting, such as clubs and coffee shops, but instead of exploring more of it, I walked away. Looking back, I kick myself for not doing the things that I wanted to do. As a woman and as an American, I felt that if I did something provocative, I would be slut-shamed or labeled a creep. With that being said, I hope in the future that female solo travelers can enjoy these types of experiences and not care what other people might think or say. If a man were to go to a peep show and tell his buddies about it, he would get high fives and a “noice bro”. I barely considered the idea and could see the future looks of judgment I would get. I know it might be hard to take the advice of a person who chickened out, but learn from my mistakes and do the things that intrigue you.

Once you start traveling solo, it’s hard to travel in a group. The only problem you face from time to time is the activities you want to do usually involve two or more people. You contemplate whether you should or shouldn’t do it. On one hand, you have dreamt of doing it; just because it is only you here doesn’t make it any less. On the other, you feel insecure and think people might look at you or judge you for doing something by yourself. I have grown accustomed to ignoring the latter side of that argument. Yes, sometimes it still trips me up, but for the most part, I go out and do the things that I want to do and don’t give a damn about what people may or may not say. The things you should do while traveling solo should not be limited.

2 thoughts on “Things You Should Do While Traveling Solo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: