I don’t even know how to start writing this article so I’m just gonna go with the flow of writing and see how it goes. I’m writing this article sitting at the airport in Dublin, reminiscing of the past two days. Dublin is a city I have never been to before, I have never even been to Ireland before. Oh yeah, and I went here by myself because I thought why not. I know some people who are going to Uni here but that’s about it. It is not my first time travelling somewhere on my ones but when I did I always knew my way around because I had been to those cities before. This time it was different. No matter if where you’re going you know people or not, travelling alone is always a challenge. It sounds pretty exciting but sometimes it’s actually quite scary – when you don’t know the area and have no idea in which direction you could run to in case something might happen.
Imagine you’re a phone addict just like me (unfortunately) and you find out that your data roaming doesn’t work when you step out the plane. How are you gonna order your Uber from the airport to your accommodation now? How are you going to find your way around now, without constantly having access to Google Maps? Now you have to plan every trip, every bus journey, every step ahead. But what are you going to do when you accidentally (or out of stupidity) get out at the wrong bus stop and you have no idea where you are because it is outside of the city? You might actually have to ask people for directions – human interaction, crazy isn’t it!
There are ups and downs when travelling alone. First of all, your patience will be proven and very often it can get extremely thin. Also, you have a high risk of getting lonely. If you don’t know anything or anyone in a new place, you think to yourself if this has really been the right decision or if it had been better to just stay at home in your familiar surroundings. Then, if you suffer from social anxiety you might get intimidated quickly. You might think “Will people notice I’m not from here?”, “Will I look like a loner when I’m chilling in a cafe on my ones?” “What if I don’t understand their dialect?”
Calm down! Yes, you will have to consider those things but why would you always want to stay in your comfort zone? Life happens outside your comfort zone, as terribly cliché as it sounds. If there’s one thing I keep learning over and over again, it’s that losing your shit doesn’t help the situation. At all. If anything, it makes it much worse.
Truth is, nobody cares if you have breakfast by yourself. Especially not when you seem to mind your own business anyway by appearing busy with a book or a laptop or whatever. Nobody will murder you when you speak to them, ask them for directions or else (unless the person really is a criminal but let’s pretend that’s not the case).
Traveling alone has more advantages than disadvantages. Being away from everyone and everything, even if only for a few days, helps to clear your mind a lot. You have a lot of time for yourself, and you can soak in a lot of new inspiration. Because that’s what travelling does to you – it inspires you. New people, new food, new cultures – it broadens your horizon. And if you are on your ones you see it from a whole new and different perspective because you don’t have anyone by your side who may influence your opinion and who rushes you around. When you are traveling alone you can decide your very own flow without having the constant feeling of bothering your companion by your short or quick pace. You can do whatever YOU like. Traveling alone motivates you in so many different ways and I can only encourage you to do it at least once in your life.