Earlier this year I went on my first ever solo citytrip. I had been playing with the idea of going somewhere on my own for quite a long time, but I was always afraid that I would get too lonely or that it just wouldn’t be my cup of tea.
But one can never know until one actually does it, so starting off small, I booked my first solo citytrip. A three day getaway to get a taste of travelling on my own.
And so far, I really like this way of travelling. It certainly was a positive experience and I’m very happy that I was finally brave enough to do it.
Of course there are a few downsides as well, such as having no one to talk to most of the time and having to ask strangers to take pictures (although the selfie-stick does help out here) but that didn’t bother me all too much. Instead I chose to focus on advantages.
1) You are more aware of your environment
While I’m never saying no to a trip with friends, going on your own will make you pay more attention to what’s going on around you. You take in the sights to the fullest as you can give it your full attention. You can also spend as much time at each place as you like. There will be no one pushing you forward or pulling you back. It’s just you and the views.
For me that was great in the musea and castles. I’m mostly one to take it the complete scenery and not so much every detail of what’s on display. This way I was able to see more in less time as other people often linger longer.
2) You can walk your own pace
This goes along with the previously mentioned advantage, but just being able to walk your own pace is heaven. I’m quite a fast walker by nature – thanks to having to walk quickly to the bus stop to catch the bus every evening after school – so not being held back by slower people was great. This way I could also cover more distance which allowed me to see more each day.
3) You can choose your own restaurant
How great is it not having to discuss what you’re going to have to breakfast, lunch or dinner, but just going for what you’re feeling like having. Want pasta? Have pasta! Want a burger? Have a burger! No craving has to be denied!
The restaurant part actually scared me most. I was afraid it would be weird to sit on my own at a table and having dinner or lunch on my own. But armed with my e-reader and travel guide I was never bored, nor did it ever feel weird.
4) You don’t have to visit something you’re not interested in
Not feeling like going to a certain museum? Then you just skip it. The beauty of travelling solo is that all you do and see is stuff that you actually want to do. No compromising. On anything.
5) You get a lot of time to think
Inevitably you’ll get times that there isn’t much to see, or you’re just enjoying a drink on a lovely location with nothing left to do. Now that’s the perfect time for some self-reflection and just some time to consider your life. It doesn’t have to be all deep, but sometimes it’s just nice to have some time to yourself to just think.
6) It’s simply a boost of confidence
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident about myself than after this trip. For three days long I had no one to fall back to so all that I achieved those past days was all because of what I did. And realising that felt pretty damn great. Only for that feeling I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
This is of course my experience of a three-day trip and while I enjoyed this very much, I’m not sure that a faraway trip on my own would be my thing. Although I’m also convinced that on the longer trips I’d be more looking out to make contact with other travellers. Now I was happy just being on my own.
So a solo citytrip is definitely going to happen again in the future, and a longer solo trip is definitely a possibility. But if I can find someone to accompany me on my travels, I’m still going to let them tag along because the more the merrier.