So, you’re planning your first solo trip. First of all, welcome to the LIFE! Traveling is, in my eloquent opinion, the freakin’ bomb. Buuuut, traveling for the first time by yourself, while incredible, can be overwhelming and a little scary. What can you expect from your first trip all on your lonesome? Don’t worry about it, I got ya’ll’s backs.
First of all, when you’re finally on your own, you’re going to feel a little overwhelmed. You’re going to be by yourself in a brand new place with only a vague idea of where things are at. Even if you have an itinerary planned down to the second, you will still have to figure out how to get around everywhere once you arrive. I’m not going to lie to you guys, the minute that I realized I was literally alone in a big ol’ city, I choked up a little bit. It’s legitimately scary! But then I put on my big girl (still cute) independent panties and I marched on. No, literally. I had absolutely no plans so I just walked around until I found somewhere cool to stop.
What’s more overwhelming than realizing you’re on your own in a whole new world? Realizing you’re on your own to decide what to do! AKA you actually have to make decisions; something I am not well known for. This whole new place is your oyster and you get to decide how to explore it!
You’re going to learn some new things about yourself while you’re out on your own. You’ll learn more about your likes, how adventurous you really are, how annoying you can be, and obviously so much more. For example, when I was adventuring around Portland, I learned that African American art scares the f out of me. All the rooms they have to keep it in are so dark and just….no. It feels haunted and I’m not even about that, whether it’s a museum exhibit or not. I also learned that sitting by yourself in a restaurant is not only 110% acceptable, it’s not as scary as you think! The first time I went to dinner by myself, I was having an internal freak out. I decided to pick a chain restaurant that I was comfortable with so I wasn’t too outside my comfort zone for my first time eating out. After being there for about 10 minutes I realized that there were at least 6 other people there eating by themselves! Talk about relief city. I automatically felt so much more comfortable and decided that I could branch out and try some local dives and not be so nervous about it.
Cute pictures for insta? All I’m saying is, you’re going to have to suck up the embarrassment and just go for it! Use that selfie stick with pride. Honestly, you might have to do some funky things to get that shot. You’re going to feel silly and like people are staring at you. They
quite possibly are! But you’re getting that picture, so you own. it. You’re also going to get 10 awful shots before you get the one you want. You can trust me on that one… My advice? Try knowing what you want before you go to take your pic. That will help make your embarrassment time stay to a minimum.
One of the hardest things for me on my first solo venture was actually branching out. I am 100% a creature of habit. If I find a place I like, I want to keep going to that place! Especially after a long day of adventuring. You’re exhausted, your feet probably hurt, you want some good grub. You know you’ve been to an amazing place but you feel like you need to try a new one….it’s honestly still a toss up for me! Whatever feels right in the moment, go with that. After my first full day of exploring Portland on my own, I was pooped out so I stayed close to the hotel that night! I tried a new place (even if it was Italian…) that was right next to our hotel and then had a drink in the hotel bar. I felt good about trying something new and happy that I was close to my bed!
So you’re on your own, you make all of these plans for the day, andddd something happens and your plans fall through. It might feel discouraging, like this wasn’t how you envisioned your trip going. And that’s ok! Take a minute, recenter yourself, and go back to the drawing board. I even went back to my hotel, that way I could sit down and break out the maps. I spent some quality time with my guide books and maps and reconfigured my plan for the day. And I STILL had an absolutely incredible day exploring the city.
I’m not gonna lie to y’all, the second night on my own felt looonely. I was in this big city and it was dark outside and I just didn’t feel comfortable venturing out all on my lonesome. But then on the third night? I made that night my bish! I felt incredible and empowered. What I’m trying to say is that you’re emotions are going to change daily. One day you may feel like a confident girl boss and the next feel like you want to spend some quality time with room service and a romantic comedy. Go with what feels right to you and you’re going to have an ah-mazing trip no matter what.
Most importantly, don’t forget that this is only your first solo trip! There’s going to be so many bumps and scares along the way. BUT you are a rockstar and you have made such an amazing decision to do this by and for yourself.
Comment below with your trip stories and any advice for new solo traveler babes!
With Extra Sass,