How and Why I Decided to Solo Travel

May 28, 2015,

I decided to solo travel. I decided to take a trip to Barcelona. I didn’t know why or how but I knew I had to do it – I had to go somewhere, I had to see something new and I had to do it on my own.

For as long as I can remember I had always wanted to be “one of those people” who could just take off and explore, be independent, strong, confident and brave. I would listen to peoples stories and experiences and think, “why not me?”

My boyfriend and I were planning to spend one week in New York City in August of 2014. So, with the time already off from work, we begun planning our trip. Things quickly fell through and he had to back out (for personal reasons). I was quite frustrated and begun feeling a little stir crazy – then, I had an idea: “why not do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, you know, travel and see things? On your own? Why not solo travel?”

Instead of booking a bus to and a hotel in New York City, I booked a flight to and a hostel in Barcelona. All of my friends and family were a little confused at first but were all very supportive. I spent weeks in anticipation, preparing and talking about my upcoming adventure. Finally, the weeks turned into days and soon enough, I was being dropped off at the airport.

As I was getting out of my boyfriend’s car my heart started pounding. I felt sick, stupid and so vulnerable. Walking away from his car with a lump in my throat and feelings of regret and confusion, I quickly told myself “it’s paid for, you’re all packed and you’re here – you can do this”. The fascinating thing is that as soon as I walked into the airport, on my own, it felt right. My anxieties and insecurities melted away. It’s like my body knew I was in charge (because I literally had to be).

I quickly found my airline cue (it usually takes so long to find it when travelling with others – why is that??) and got in line. A few minutes later, I was ready and waiting at my gate for my flight to take-off.

Of course the feelings of nervousness and insecurity drifted in and out from the time I boarded to a week later when I landed in Montreal. But in Barcelona I think I became all of those things I wanted to be: independent, strong, confident and brave. Not because I did anything remarkable or noteworthy – but because I listened to my heart and without question, not knowing why, I just booked that flight.

Solo Travel

Now it’s your turn… have you decided to travel solo? Are you planning a solo adventure or are you a regular solo-traveler? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

You Might Also Want To Read

How Long is Two Months of Travel?

February 10, 2016

What to Expect When You’re in Costa Rica: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

April 22, 2016

Happiest When Exploring’s One Year Anniversary! + Announcement

May 31, 2016


  • Reply Melissa May 30, 2015 at 1:03 am

    LOVE this post! Very inspiring!! 😀 I’m so proud of you Erica!

    • Reply happiestwhenexploring June 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you Melissa!! This means a lot to me <3 you inspire me!

  • Reply Ilena Ciricillo May 30, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Congratulations on the launch of your blog. I too was surprised by your decision to embark on this your adventure of solo travelling. But from the start I felt your spirit of discovery and curiosity but more, your mission to prove to yourself that this was a great thing.

    I enjoyed and experienced Barcelona and then Florence through you. Thank you!

    • Reply happiestwhenexploring June 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you for the acknowledgment! Thank you thank you thank you! I can’t wait to explore Turkey with you & Laura.

  • Reply Claudia June 7, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I feel as though I could relate to this piece so much! I’m taking my first solo trip, tomorrow! I’m going to morocco and Spain. I’m excited but so nervous and anxious. But I know I’m gonna feel the same way as you did. Lovely blog. xx

    • Reply happiestwhenexploring June 7, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Thank you Claudia!
      I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Morocco, I look forward to hearing about your travels!
      Enjoy your travels – and remember to be kind, patient and loving with yourself!
      XOXO, HWE

  • Reply 10 Songs That'll Make You Want to Travel: Travel Songs April 18, 2016 at 6:01 am

    […] “I’ll be lying right by your side in Barcelonaaaaa” This song brings me back to Barcelona (my first solo trip). I might be biased by including it but hey, at least the title is the name of a […]

  • Leave a Reply