Sunday, 28 October 2018

TRAVELLING ALONE | ADVICE + Q&A

Since deciding to take the plunge and travel all alone and take myself on a little holiday, I have had so many questions about how the hell I did it. When I booked the trip, it was such a spontaneous moment and I didn't give it too much thought. I've gotta be honest, I never questioned if I wanted to go alone, I kinda already knew that.. I was more questioning where I wanted to go and what I wanted to actually get out of it. Before I continue, I just want to say that it was the best experience of my life as of yet - I learned so much about myself on that holiday that I never knew. I've always been the kind of person that likes to be comfortable with their surrounds (just like most people!) so travelling to a different country where I knew nobody was a terrifying thought but the actual reality of it wasn't scary and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I've always been a huge believer of having alone time, making time for yourself because that is just as important as seeing your friend and spending time with your family. It's a weird thought but you're your own biggest responsibility so looking after your mental health is extremely important. The months running up to me booking the holiday were a bit crappy, I was dealing with my parents divorcing which I've never gone into detail about but it was my own personal struggle but I knew dealing with it alone would make me such a strong person by the end of it. So anyway, my initial thought was 'I just want to get away' so I did.

I've never found it hard being alone, or spending time on my own. I filled up my days and there was so many things I wanted to do and so many places where I wanted to go, so on my first day I booked everything I wanted to do and when I wasn't doing anything, I sat by the pool and went for a swim (If you didn't know, I absolutely LOVE swimming but I never go around my area in case someone who knows me saw me)

What would you say to someone that wants to go on holiday on their own but is too scared?
Honestly, I'd say just do it. Being alone is just as important as being surrounded by your friends and family. It's such an experience to go away on your own and experience things you want to experience.

Why didn't you want to go with your friends?
It's just a whole different experience to go away on your own and also, there are things you want to experience on your own and sometimes when you go with friends, it'll just turn into a 'drinking' holiday and I didn't really want that to be honest, I wanted to chill and relax and that's exactly what I got away from the holiday. I've always loved my own company as well and I never actually questioned whether I wanted to go alone, that was just something I was certain on from first thought process about travelling! I don't think I would have experienced half of what I did if I had gone with people, everyone has their different thoughts towards 'the perfect holiday' and my aim was to go and relax!

What's your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to travel alone for the first time?
I'd definitely say just make sure you've got everything you need (that's a good start LOL) if you're staying in a hotel then they will obviously know you're alone and from my experience, they were so good with making sure I was okay and that I had everything I needed and I'd also say filling up your days can make sure you don't get bored but this obviously depends on the type of the person you are really, I don't really get bored when I'm on my own but there are loads of things to do pretty much anywhere you go and there's lots of places to visit, I know a lot of people research places they want to go and have bit of a 'to-do list' before arriving (that was two but there we go!)

I almost forgot to say this but if you are nervous about travelling to a different country on your own, then you could always visit places that are still in the same country but a few hours away - I did this! I took myself to Brighton for a few days and then I went to London for a few days as well, this is kinda like testing the waters and seeing how you'd cope with being on your own and stuff!

Was it awkward eating by yourself and being surrounded by purely your own thoughts?
Again, this depends totally on the kind of person you are but I don't even think about people looking at me and thinking that it's weird I'm on my own? I don't know why but I just don't care, I'm more than happy to sit on my own and eat and I'm absolutely fine with that. I don't know if it comes with maturity because when I was younger I wouldn't of ever eaten alone but now I'm more than happy to sit on my own in a restaurant and eat. Being surrounded by your own thoughts can be a scary situation but I was always doing something and obviously, I spoke to different people around the resort and there was actually quite a few people on there own too! To be honest, by the time I'd got back into my room I was knackered and fell asleep pretty much straight away.

Were you not scared of getting lost?
Weirdly no, the way I think of it is that you don't know where you are anyway so you're basically lost the whole time you're there (LOL) and I got a transfer straight from the airport when I landed to take me to the resort I was staying in, (which really helped, even if you're not going alone this is something I will always do when I'm travelling because it makes everything so much easier and less stressful) so I was never left on my own until I was at the resort and I kinda enjoyed finding my way around and exploring. They had little shuttle buses to different places (they do this at most places!) so you can explore and then they'll let you know when the bus is due to come to take you back.

Overall, it was the best experience I've ever had and if you're thinking about going away then my advice is to just do it! I have the mind set of wanting to experience as much as I can whilst I can and that's something that I would urge you all to do. If you've got a goal of somewhere you would love to visit then take every opportunity you can get - save up and make it happen!

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