Change the way you travel and you will change your life!
I often get asked ‘how can you go on holiday on your own, don’t you get…(put in here what you want…..lonely, frightened, lost…..etc etc), always in the negative, and always from people who have never travelled on their own before, surprise surprise. So I thought I’d give you some insights into why I started travelling alone and all the positives that I’ve gained from it, apart from the obvious of not having anyone to accompany me!
Part 1 – Going it Alone – Making the First Step
I may have felt a bit anxious when I started out on my first solo trip many years ago now, but I looked at it as a huge adventure and I distinctly remember being really excited rather than fearful.
My reason for going solo then was simply because I didn’t have anyone else to go with, yes I was Billy-no-mates, I didn’t have a partner and all my friends were either holidaying elsewhere or had partners and families of their own. So it was either go on my own, or not go on holiday at all, so it was no contest really, I had to do it.
Do Your Research!
To ease myself in gently for my first trip, I did some research and decided I needed a place that was fairly compact, with good transport links, safe to walk around, lots to see and do and easy to get to from London, so I plumped for a weekend away in Bruges. I think if you prepare well, it makes travelling a whole lot easier. I’m a map freak and study random maps for hours, but when I decide on a destination, I even walk the streets on Google Maps with the little yellow man so I know exactly where I’m going, especially from the station to my hotel. When I arrive in a place it’s like I’ve had deja vu, I’ve seen the streets online before I’ve even arrived!
Bruges was a good choice to start off with, it was easy to get to on the Eurostar from London and only couple of hours away. The hardest part at the time was changing from the Eurostar in Brussels and getting on the local train to take me into Bruges, but that was so easy too, and you can always find someone who speaks English in a foreign train station to put you on the right train! And that was really the hardest part so it was all plain sailing from then on. My hotel was walking distance from the train station, so I dumped my bags, grabbed my map and set off round the beautiful little town of Bruges.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you’ve done something on your own, you’ve arrived at your destination, in one piece and now everything else is up to you, you can do what you want, when you want.