No, I don’t mean doing reckless things – walking around alone down dark alleys, eating at restaurants with cockroaches scurrying around etc. etc. This is about those things which so many of us are afraid to do, the basis for which is completely ludicrous when you really think about it. I got to thinking about this when Joy the Baker linked to this post – about doing things alone. This post is SO relevant to me and I wish there was less of a stigma surrounding the practice of travelling alone. So here’s a little list of those things which we shouldn’t be afraid of – start living! And stop worrying.
- Booking a trip without a companion: Of course, you might sometimes wish somebody was there to share a great experience. But if you really want to do that hike you’ve always dreamed about, that sailing holiday with amazing reviews, the yoga course in India – DO IT. Sometimes you just can’t wait on other people to make the decision for you. And, you will never regret your decision, I promise you.
- Going to a restaurant alone , and here: Come on, SERIOUSLY, what’s the worst that could happen? Other tables will stare at you and pity you? Sounds to me like they don’t have much better going on themselves. And one things we all need to remember – we are not the center of the universe. People don’t actually care that much about what you’re doing. And the biggest loss is on YOU – you will miss out on some great food, local culture, and always wonderful people-watching if you hide in your hotel room.
- On the topic of food. . . . Try something new!! You didn’t travel to wherever you are to eat the same things you do at home. So maybe it’s a goat tagine, or donair with un-identified meat, or a gorgeous exotic fruit. Whatever. . . it doesn’t matter. So long as it’s not McDonald’s.
- Speaking a few words of the local language: Once again, the worst that could happen. . . they have no clue what you said, you both smile and laugh about it, and then it’s over.
- Get off the top 10 list: There are 1001 travel websites and books out there which tell you the “must-sees” in any city. I’m not advocating NOT seeing these, but think about your own interests. Really into Russian historical artifacts? You never know where you might find a site, museum, monument, park, which is right up your alley. And, when you’re alone, there’s no way you are dragging along an uninterested friend/spouse. A few examples for me. . .
- The Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance museum) in Amsterdam. I’m a sucker for World War II and this lesser-known museum is all about the Dutch uprising against the Nazi invasion.
- The “Earlier Mona Lisa” exhibition in Singapore, a short but fascinating outline of an almost-exact reproduction of the famous Mona Lisa in Paris – believed to also be painted by Da Vinci. I would not have thought to find this in Singapore.
- The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne – gorgeous Indigenous Aboriginal Art, like the piece below.
Above all, enjoy yourself. No matter whether you are alone or with friends, do what you want and enjoy what you do. It’s a big world out there and it’s meant to be seen.