Solo Traveling: Lonely, but Free

Chloe Childs
Major: Advertising
Novancia Business School, Paris, France

My entire journey aboard has primarily consisted of traveling solo. From the moment that I got on the plane and left the United States, I was by myself. It was up to me to figure out where to go, when to go, and what to do. I have never been fully self-dependent, but I have always been an extremely independent person so this experience wasn’t particularly intimidating for me. I am pretty confident in my ability to deal with uncomfortable or new situations. I don’t necessarily like to ask for help from others, but I do LOVE being around other people. I knew that not having friends around would be the hardest part but I enjoy me
eting new people so I wasn’t too worried.

I have lived in Paris, France for about two months now and so far all of my trips around Europe have basically been by myself. A few times, I visited friends in other countries, but it was only me on the initial journey to the country. I was hoping to find some people to travel with, but it never seemed to work out. Everyone has different places that they want to go and everyone also seems to have different schedules. I have really enjoyed traveling solo, but it does have its bad sides as well. Throughout my travels, I have come up with a short list of the pros and cons that I have found.

mountains 2

Cons:

  • Loneliness: I am always by myself. Yes, I do encounter people daily and I speak to them, but there isn’t anyone that I am able to share the experiences with. I have to stick to telling people about my adventures.
  • More expensive: There aren’t other people to share the cost of accommodations or food. Using hostels and shopping at grocery stores helps immensely, but renting a house or being able to split the costs of food would be even better.
  • Safety precautions: Traveling alone has a reputation for being unsafe and as much as I don’t like to admit, being a female does not help. Thankfully, I have not experienced any unsafe situations because I am always aware and I try to avoid sketchy areas.

mountains

Pros:

  • Freedom: I am able to go to whatever country or city I want to go to and I can do whatever that I want to do. I don’t have to take into account what other people want to do or don’t want to do. This has involved a lot of walking because I avoid public transportation whenever possible.
  • Flexibility: This goes along with freedom as well, but when I am by myself, there doesn’t need to be a concrete plan because multiple people’s agendas are not being combined into one. I am able to just wander and find things to do or see. I have discovered a lot of cool shops and areas by doing this.
  • Growth: Traveling solo can be really uncomfortable when starting out, but it has allowed me grow so much as a person. It has forced me to get out of my shell and learn to roll with any situation. You learn to expect the unexpected because not everything will always go as planned.

With all of that being said, I would definitely recommend that everyone should travel by themselves at some point in their lives. Personally, I have learned so much about the world and myself. I would not trade any of my experiences for anything. I’m not saying that you should go backpack through Europe by yourself, although I wouldn’t not recommend it either, but you can start small and explore a new place in your town that you haven’t been to before. Get out there and see what the world has to offer!!

 

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