the Solo Traveller
 views of Mausoleo Visconti di Modrone in the distance. Cassago Brianza, Italy

views of Mausoleo Visconti di Modrone in the distance. Cassago Brianza, Italy

I don't think it was ever really my intention to travel solo. I think it was a combination of factors from previous experiences of travelling with another. The compromises you both have to make while abroad, and never really going at your own pace, no matter how chilled your companion might be. Or never really finding the right time to go  with your travel buddy or partner because of work commitments. Wanting to reach out to people abroad but falling into that comfort of communicating within your group, leaving no real room to make friends or go on adventures with. Not really having much down time. Ha! It sounds like I dislike people, but not at all. Even though I prefer travelling with someone else, these were some of the things I encountered and what almost often in my situation makes travelling solo so appealing. 

And what if it's the smaller things? Fear of not knowing the language? Fear of getting lost? It's the comfort thing right? I've been travelling solo for quite a few years now and I've concluded that it's another great way to travel. If I am completely honest, if I had a choice it wouldn't be the only way to travel, but I would say it's a bloody good way to meet people, step outside the box and also perfect for a period of self reflection and self care. I remember my first trip alone to Nice, Cannes and Monaco. I remember trying to plan every step of my journey, so that I wouldn't be bored and wouldn't appear too pathetic. I built it up in my mind that it was a really lonesome endeavour and that sad lonely people did things on their own. I even asked myself how many other people would actually go it alone? Who in their right mind does this?! I was really young and clearly naive then.  In the end, I sucked it up and got myself the latest compact camera of the time and decided that I would occupy myself with amateur photography. One distinct moment I recall was trying to figure out which train ticket to get to take the train up to Cannes and jumping on a random train. I scanned the carriage for any tourists and plucked up the courage to ask two Canadian girls if I was on the right train. They confirmed it was and where I was headed. They were headed the same direction too so I sat with with them and spent the rest of the journey chatting all the way there. We got along so well, we ended up spending the rest of the day exploring together.

 Swiss Alps in the distance

Swiss Alps in the distance

Stepping out of your comfort zone - Nowadays it's easier than ever to stick to what your comfortable with doing. It's a lot harder to try something new. It sounds so unbelievably cliche but what you want is on the other side of fear. It might not seem so at the time, you might feel that there are many obstacles holding you back, you might have self limiting beliefs such as 'I'm not good enough' or fear of exposure as a fraud, or rejection. Those feelings are legitimate and real because it's your body's way of trying to protect you. I strongly believe it's protecting you from all the wrong things. We do not need to 'run from danger' or 'avoid poisonous fruit' or being kicked out of the 'group' our lives are brutally predicable and unforgivably safe. We are in no real danger from anything that you dare to dream of doing. Even travelling alone. So dare yourself and take the plunge. You might thank yourself for it later.

Cassago Brianza, Italy

Actress and Photographer/Blogger