So I recently took my first solo trip outside of the UK. Here’s exactly what I learned. I chose Brussels, Belgium as it’s close to home and still in Europe so not too different from the UK. I am very familiar with traveling alone as I often taking trips down to London and surrounding cities which is around 4 hours away from my hometown. I’d say the main difference for me was that I caught a flight rather a train/coach. In this post I’m going to be sharing exactly what I learned from my first solo experience.
2. PACK LIGHTER
Packing lighter is something I’m desperately trying to master. I thought I did quite a good job packing light for Brussels, until my luggage got searched at the airport and I had to repack everything which consisted of me shoving everything back in and pretty much sitting on my suitcase to try zip it shut. It was at that point I thought to myself, did I reaaally need all this shit? HONESTLY. I am on a mission to mastering packing lighter.
2. FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE DOESN’T KILL.
It is completely okay to feel uncomfortable. I mean c’mon now, it’s your first solo trip! Everyone is different so it could take you longer to feel comfortable or it could take no time at all. For me, the only time I really felt a way was in the restaurant and also checking into my hostel room not knowing who I was going to be staying with. I quite enjoyed the thrill of leaving my Although I did settle in fairly quick, and if you’ve seen my Brussels IG Highlights it may seem With my solo trip I feel I really threw myself in the deep end. After missing my flight (read all about what happened here) I arrived at the hostel very late evening which pretty much But guess what? I survived to tell the tail
3. MAKING FRIENDS IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK.
This was probably my biggest worry traveling solo for the first time. I knew I would have made friends eventually but I honestly thought it would take more than it did and I would really have to push myself out there! Within 1 hour of landing in Brussels managed to make a friend. And this was not by me pushing myself in their face. You just really have to be yourself and be open to conversation. A smile will also take you a very long way.
You will only be alone if you chose to be
4. EATING ALONE IS NO BIG DEAL – but it can be lonely.
Now I’m used to eating alone when it’s a cheeky trip to KFC on my lunch break, but eating alone in a full blown restaurant? Ah no. . I didn’t feel too out of place being alone but I can’t say I enjoyed it. I just personally enjoy eating out with company and conversation, instead I felt as if I was rushing myself to eat so I could get out of there. I only ate alone for the first night – before I had met anybody so I put this as the reason I was feeling off about it. But aside from my feelings, eating alone isn’t bad at all and it happens a lot more frequently then you think. It’s abit like walking into the gym for the first time.. you soon realise nobody actually cares lol.
5. GOING WITH THE FLOW IS KEY.
Going with the flow was definitely my intentions right from the get go. If you read my previous post, you’d know I decided to scrap the itinerary I had and just go with the flow. This was the best decision I could have made and definitely was the reason my trip was so successful. Honestly for your first solo trip, you really need to drop any control freakish ways you have and just learn to go with the flow. Be open to knew things which may be the complete opposite to what you’re normally into and you never know, you actually might like it! And if you don’t like it, I guarantee you would still have learned something new.
6. I NEED TO UP MY PHOTOGRAPHY GAME.
One thing I’ve realised is I’m NOT a photographer, and also not really trying to be. But I do need to up my photography game big time lol. I was lucky enough to meet a photographer who I spent the majority of my time in Brussels with. He gave me sooo many tips on how to make my pictures look more effective. Before him it was just me and my Canon G7X, snapping away all willy-nilly, not paying any attention to angles etc but then wondering why all my pictures came out the same. Angles can really make or break your pictures so start experimenting with them!
Life begins out of your comfort zone
7. TRAVELLING 100% MAKES ME HAPPIER.
Before I went on my first solo trip, I really did fear I would end up hating it and be put off traveling forever (abit dramatic I know but I am queen of dramatic lol). But since coming back I’ve realised how much of a positive impact travelling has on me. Travelling – especially solo, raises your awareness of your surroundings, made me realise how independent I am, and also that I shouldn’t doubt my capabilities. These feelings are so incredibly rewarding.
If you’re still umm’ing and ahh’ing about taking your first solo trip – Just f*#cking do it!! The more you put it off, the more you’re going to regret it and think WHAT was all the fuss about?
Leave me a comment letting me know EXACTLY what your worries are with solo travel so I can share my own experience with you!