First Solo Travel? Holy F Balls.

First Solo Travel? Holy F Balls.

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.

I SO had an Eat Pray Love moment at this little Italian restaurant downtown. It was as amazing as you’re imagining it was.

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.

Yep, I took this picture myself and probably looked real silly holding my phone out like I was! LOL.

I won’t lie, someone walked by me while I took this selfie and I definitely got weird looks. But I think they were jealous they hadn’t thought of the pose themselves…..

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!

Amaretto Sour with EGGWHITES. Actually so freaking delish!

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.

Back to the drawing board….or map board??

My plans did a complete 180, but I ended up having a great day exploring the city in all its fall glory.

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.

My cozy night in watching Sweet Home Alabama and The Notebook and editing photos.

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,




  1. January 15, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    A, this was the most inspiring and real (and, hilarious) post on solo-travel I’ve ever read! I have done lots of travel, but no solo travel…yet! I am dying to go. I feel like I will definitely experience all of these crazy emotions too!

    • sassywildandfree
      January 15, 2018 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks so, so much, Rachel! You should DEF plan a solo trip sometime! It was worth all of the crazy emotions – I learned so much just from my one trip! Keep me up to date on your travels, I’d love to hear all of your stories!

  2. January 15, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This post really inspired me. I absolutely love traveling, though I don’t do it often unfortunately, but I’d never even think about traveling alone. I’m waaaaay too shy and nervous to travel alone, but this post makes me feel like I might possibly be able to do it and not have a major panic attack (that may be pushing it though, haha). Maybe this year I’ll build up the courage to at least do a small trip alone. By the way, I love your writing voice! It’s so fun and makes your posts very interesting to read 🙂

    • sassywildandfree
      January 17, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      I am so happy that I could inspire you, even if only a little! I won’t lie, I was terrified those first couple of days I was on my own, but I promise it’s worth it! I definitely had to step wayyy outside of my comfort zone. And thank you! 🙂

  3. January 15, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    Just did my first solo travel and it was everything I hoped for and more 😊cheers!

    • sassywildandfree
      January 17, 2018 / 6:58 pm

      YAY!! So glad you had a great time too! 🙂

  4. Alex
    January 16, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    Those are some really good pieces of advice about solo travel. And you have a great way to put it out there.

    • sassywildandfree
      January 17, 2018 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Alex!! I appreciate that 🙂

  5. January 22, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Loved your post, Athen! I haven’t traveled by myself yet, however, that’s something I plan to change very soon. I found your post inspiring, and hilarious, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • sassywildandfree
      January 28, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      I’m so glad you checked it out! You definitely won’t regret traveling solo. Happy travels! 🙂

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