Friday, 24 July 2015

Get that sunny feeling and you're on your way




I thought I'd post about traveling solo, something I do a lot which often surprises just about every single person who's ever met me. I'm a meek, anxiety ridden individual, and honestly it's those reasons why I love traveling alone. I don't have to constantly worry about who I'm with, if they're having fun, what they'd rather be doing, and exhausting myself from too much interaction. If you travel to somewhere they don't speak your language, you don't have to talk to anyone at all and can be even more anti social, bonus!

In all seriousness though: I've traveled to several places around the UK, including staying in the South West for a few days and spending long weekends in London (which always includes visiting the theatre alone). I've visited Tokyo and California solo. I prefer visiting Disneyland Paris by myself and have done so 4 times, usually for a week at a stretch. It's bliss.



It should be obvious that for this type of thing, you have to enjoy your own company. I love people, but I'm a natural introvert so I'm very happy to while away weeks by myself without feeling slightly bored. Honestly, I don't even know the meaning of bored as I always have little projects on the go, and failing that I'm very happy to just sit with my imagination.

Traveling by myself is the biggest adventure. For some reason, my anxieties mostly melt away when I travel and I stop caring about all of the silly little social cues that drive me mad. If I look weird, hey I'm foreign! It's like a free pass to be as eccentric as you want. Think of all the times you've seen a tourist and shook your head to yourself because they clearly haven't got a clue. Well you can be that tourist! And it's so exhilarating!

The only persons schedule you have to adhere to is your own, and mine was so fleeting I almost plain forgot to visit Tokyo Disney! I ended up spending 3 days wandering about Harajuku because I was free to do everything at my own pace and only decide what I wanted to do on a whim as I woke up that morning. When I go to Disneyland Paris I can ride my beloved Phantom Manor several times a day without giving a single worry about boring the pants off of anyone else. I'll often sit and sketch because I'm not in the same mad rush everyone else is, I'm free to just sit and take it all in.



Traveling as a lone woman, I've honestly never felt unsafe. And I accidentally wandered into some real sketchy areas of LA I can tell you! Just keep your wits about you the same as you do at home and you'll be fine, you're in no greater danger than anyone else anywhere else.

I'm not going to lie, there are some drawbacks to traveling alone. The only person you have to reminisce with is yourself, and you'll quickly sense those around you becoming bored as you try and involve them in a memory that isn't theirs. Also, eating can be awkward. I don't have a problem with sitting in a restaurant alone (take something to read!), but it's simply a case of being too scared to try and fumble my way through a menu in a language I don't understand, so I miss out on a lot of culinary treats. Food isn't an interest area of mine though so I'm often not bothered (plus I'm picky about food which adds its own difficulties), but if you have similar anxieties it might be something to bare in mind. Personally, I usually have a nice lunch at a cafe where I can point at what I want and then just snack throughout the evening which works for me just fine (and saves pennies!)

I really do recommend traveling alone to anyone, it isn't even half as scary as you think and your experiences will be so worth it. I wouldn't of had the opportunity to travel to the places I have if I hadn't taken that plunge, and they've turned into the best experiences of my life.



I adore Disney's Duffy bear. His back story is that Minnie made him to keep Mickey company on his travels around the world by himself, so I can relate on an emotional level!

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