Admittedly, this was scary. Even for me.
First some context: early last year, I was given the opportunity to meet and interview for a writing gig in San Francisco. The short notice and insane cost of just about everything in California meant I was going to be going it alone.
I wasn’t only going on business however. I quickly decided to turn the short trip into a sort of mini vacation; three days to explore a new city and enjoy my first time traveling alone.
And I had, and absolute blast.
Exploring a new city solo was genuinely one of the most liberating experiences I’ve ever had. Being able to operate off your own schedule, and explore the strange world at your own pace is something we never really feel when travelling with friends or family. That’s not to say group vacations are bad either, going it alone just provided such a new narrative that I really was not expecting.
With that in mind, I definitely think there are some tips to keep in mind for anybody wanting to take a solo vacation:
- Choose the right destination. San Francisco is an amazing city to explore alone. It’s built to be foot-accessible, meaning no long, boring, expensive transit needs to get from point A to B. Choose a place that’s easy to get around
- Plan ahead everything that you can. The whole point of adventuring alone is to focus on yourself, and cut away stress. It’s incredibly easy to organize travel schedules when you only have your own needs to contend with. Book a shuttle from the airport to your hotel, make dinner reservations, etc.
- Research! There is so much to explore in this world, and so much of it works so well with or WITHOUT a group. I found a whole host of restaurants specifically catered to solo diners (stay tuned to the blog for more about that), and even tour guides specialized in assisting solo travellers.
I’ll end with some more photos from the trip. San Francisco was an incredible city to explore, and the trip really opened my eyes to how much we ourselves bring to our experiences with or without the company of others.
I really wish I read this post before I traveled to France and Spain as part of a course at Western. While I was not technically alone by being a part of my class; this was the first time I traveled without my family.
To be honest, I was terrified. Especially on my first day, I was so unsure of what to do before hand because I was so busy with school. I wish I planned ahead and did more research before hand.
However, one truly independent aspect of this was that I got to just go with the flow. Not being forced to a tight schedule but rather do what I felt like or joining my fellow classmates on an adventure. Even tried Whiskey for the first time, not gonna lie. It was the worst and expensive but truly a big leap to independence.
The photos of this experience and the memories truly made me remember while sad to leave my family, it was also rewarding and showed myself that I can handle obstacles that come my way.