You Have No Friends (& Other Misconceptions About Solo Travel)

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door. You step on to the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept of to."- J.R.R. Tolkien

Misconception 1: You Have No Friends (indeed, I just gathered these random's for a photo- what? There needs to be a sarcasm font)


Travel is addictive, and once you've been bitten by the bug you want to see and do more. Undoubtedly if you read my blog, you read other's and rarely do you hear about the days us travel blogger's sat at home and wanted to be there (for a long period of time at least). Some of us go with partner's, or friends and some of us go alone. It's those of us, The Solo Traveller's (particularly the female ones, but that's for an entirely different argument), who get singled out. So here are some common misconceptions about Solo Travel.


You Have No Friends

WHY? Why do you want to travel alone? Don't you have any friends who want to go with you? Surely it's better to share these experiences with someone instead of going alone. Some of us aren't willing to wait for "someone". Some of us want to go now. I almost never ask friends if they'd want to come on a trip with me because personally, I enjoy travelling alone. That confuses people, and is always met with a blank stare and the above question, "Why?". I can make friends along the way, in my hostel, on tours, wherever, once I work out to just smile and go with the flow.


Travelling Alone is Lonely

There is a difference between being alone, and being lonely. For me, there is nothing better in the world than setting foot in a new place, smelling it's air and discovering new things alone. Maybe it's because I spend waaayy too much socialising for work (I'm a waitress, I have to appear sociable at all times) and need time alone. Plus, when you're travelling you meet new people all the time. In some places I've managed only to be alone when I sleep, it all depends on where you are. Chances are there's always someone in the hostel common room or bar waiting for someone to strike up a conversation.

It's Dangerous for Women to Travel Alone

This just... no. I have no words for this kind of sexism in a Western country. It's like wearing a fake wedding ring so men leave you alone- who does that? Everywhere is dangerous to some extent, New York, Budapest, Paris, your home town. No doubt the news has something bad to report about them all! It doesn't mean you're going to get mugged as soon as you step off the plane!  In some countries, the culture is different, of course, and you need to respect that. If you're travelling somewhere you're worried about, read up about their customs, and keep in line with their dress codes. Learn to say "No." in a firm way that you won't be asked twice, or cause offence.

Bled, one of the most beautiful place's I've been!

It's Expensive

Travel is as expensive as you want it to be. I mean, I even came back from Iceland having spent less than I was expecting, and it's a place known for being expensive. These days travel isn't for the rich and the elite. You can, of course, travel 1st class and stay in 5* hotels, or you can backpack, stay in hostels and use budget airlines. If you really need a private room, then look for hostels that offer them! Most hostels offer breakfast in their price, or you can find a bakery to get a pastry & a coffee. You don't need to buy what a friend of mine calls "dust- collectors", take photo's and let them be your souvenirs.

Eating Alone is Scary

If this is your main worry, then I promise you're gonna be fine! I have no problem eating alone, I do it all the time! At home I eat breakfast and lunch alone- everyone else is at work, and I work split shifts so I'm home alone for these things and it's not a problem, so why should it be a problem when you're out? I've got a favourite brunch spot at home, a friend of mine and I used to go every second Monday when we worked similar jobs & had the same day off. Now she works somewhere else, and I no longer get Monday off. If, however, I find myself at a loose end, I'll head there for brunch alone & snuggle up on their comfy chairs with a book whilst I'm eating- it's GREAT! I promise, just try it, you'll love it!

The Truth?

The truth is that travelling is a pretty enlightening experience, not only do you learn, you grow. You might learn about a new place, or a new language, or simply how to read a map. You might meet someone who's from that place at the top of your bucket list, or somewhere equally interesting. You'll see incredible things, like the Northern Lights, or Gaudi's architecture, or hike a WWI front line, or ride in a soviet tank. Life is out there, and you only get one shot, so go and grab it! Sure you'll be nervous- even I get nervous at the beginning of a new trip, that's normal- but you won't regret it. In fact, I'll bet you enjoy it!

Life is Out There!


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Comments

  1. Great Post Sammi! I get a lot of funny looks, more like pity I'm sure, when I tell people I travel alone. But I've had way to many trips ruined by people who get crabby while traveling with me and then it makes it not fun for anyone. And as for safety for a woman traveling alone - the only time I have ever felt unsafe was while I was traveling with others. I tend to be more on guard while traveling by myself. Of course it helps that most of the time I am traveling alone I have a 60 pound German Shepard dog with me :-)

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    1. You travel with your dog? Does it get difficult making sure that the places you stay at allow them?

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    2. Hey Bianca, Brittany's blog is Paws for Beer (dot com) and she writes all about her adventures there with her dog Boomer :)

      Brittany, you gotta follow your own trail, and in your case Boomer's ;) I think most of us are pretty savvy when we're alone more than in a group. It's like second nature.

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  2. Great post! I am actually thinking of a solo trip early next year but still narrowing down a few Euro weekends of quality "me time"

    - Colours of Autumn-

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  3. I couldn't have expressed it better!! So true!!!

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  4. Such great points! Although I usually travel with my husband, traveling solo definitely has many benefits!

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    1. Thanks, it's awesome! As long as people travel the way they want, that's the important thing. Just travel!

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  5. Great post! Especially as a fellow solo traveller :) People are so annoying with their assumptions...drive me up the wall. Have no friends..ha after travel I have waaay more friends that anyone at home! ;)

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    1. Right? I'd say I even have some friends I've made thru travel who I speak to more regularly than my friends back home! Or, if not more regularly exactly, but we always make the time to Skype and what not whereas my friends at home you just kind of assume will be around no matter what.

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  6. This so inspiring! Travel allows you to connect with the world on such a personal level that solo travel only elevates. Cheers to you for forging ahead on your own path!

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    1. Thanks- it's so true :) we all need to forge ahead!

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