What to Expect Your First Day Traveling Solo
You get a lift to the airport from a friend or a family member (maybe even a group of your loved ones). You pass customs smoothly and wait patiently to board. You update your Facebook status; post a photo on Instagram, text back and forth with a couple of your friends/family. Eat, sit, maybe read or listen to some music. You feel calm. You aren’t scared at all – maybe you’ve even done this before (and if you have, you’ll initially feel like you’re immune to the loneliness and fears of solo travel).
You board and you take your seat. You smile at the person sitting in your row. You doze off, waking up every couple of hours, take a look at the time and calculate how many hours have passed and how many hours you have to go until you arrive. You’re so excited but are also keeping a really cool exterior. X number of hours later and you’re landing. But still not nervous. Still not lonely.
Then, you step off the plane. And you’re suddenly alone. Of course, the people that you just spent the last x amount of hours with, quite intimately (breathing in each other’s air and all) are still around you. But they call over to their partner, their children, their mother, their brother – and just like that, in an instant, it hits you – you are alone. You are solo. However you want to put it, you’re on your own. Day one of x.
Now, you’ve arrived at your hotel/hostel/airbnb. You get your keys and the grand tour. Your energy shifts from happy, cool and collected to anxious and unsure (back and forth, back and forth). You’re settling in your room and you’re tempted to take your time, stay in and maybe even take a nap. You’re a little tired but actually very hungry. Hungry beats tired, so you’ll have to go out (I think hunger exists because it forces us to go outside ourselves, work with people, interact and literally, go outside).
You go out and it’s beautiful. You toggle from being in a state of awe and wonderment to being back in that “unsure”, anxious feeling. The key is to just keep walking, just keep exploring. The first day (and the second) is usually the toughest – but I promise, once day three comes creeping along, you’ll be grateful you stuck it out.
How do you feel when you travel solo? Are you excited upon arrival or does it take you a few days to settle in?
How do you experience traveling on your own?