travels

The Beauty of Traveling Solo

This a subject I’ve become a really staunch supporter on. And something I’m proud to say my friends always reach out and ask me about!

I started traveling by myself for my work a few years back and got pretty good at traveling + being alone.  Two things I always enjoyed, yet had never combined beforehand. In some ways it’s still my favorite way to travel as it holds some of my most fond memories.  I’ve seen some really amazing places in my country (and some not so amazing places) and feel as though the experiences I had are those that keep on giving even when I’m in my home town.

I found out when I traveled with others I often found myself depending on them to be strong and capable, or quick witted and charming, giving myself a pass and ultimately a lazy back seat.  Not that I need to be center of attention, but it’s those terrifying center stage moments that have challenged me and forced me to grow into the person I am today.

Traveling by myself forced me to no longer depend on someone else for being capable with a map or no longer depend on someone else to extend a hand of friendship to strangers.  It made me stand in the spotlight and give it my best shot.

And guess what I figured out?

I am strong. I can be somewhat witty.  And I can navigate a map.

I also discovered a lot of passions I never knew I had.

While I’m perfectly capable at using a map, I’ve actually learned my favorite way of traveling is using what I call the “Eh, close enough” approach. As in I turned down the wrong street in downtown Charlottesville,VA… “Eh close enough.”  It’s this method that helped me find tucked away neighborhoods adorned with flowers I would have never discovered before.  And alleys lined with not only the best tasting pizza I’ve ever had, but also the cutest vine covered walls.

Does this method work in downtown Austin this past year with L? Not so much. But I find little ways to work it in in big cities.  Like when we walked to our favorite taco truck of the trip, I forced us to walk a different route back to the car just to see a different vantage point.  I like finding the unexpected even in the midst of all my ultra strict-borderline-neurotic planning.

I also got really really into Founding Father’s history from my year of travels to Virginia. Like really into it.

Two things I never knew about myself until I was forced to stand on my own two feet.

So how do  y o u  go about solo traveling??

Well the first step is like for many adventures and just  s t a r t.

No need to set your first step into uncharted Italian countryside (though if you do please give me a call 🙂 ), you quite literally can practice traveling by yourself with as small as a step as you are comfortable with.  A well known mountain town you’ve always coveted or even a trip you’ve made previously with friends that you think you could manage on your own.  The point is to just  s t a r t.

Also always, always, always think of your safety.

I may be a big supporter of traveling alone, but I’m also just as big of supporter of traveling safely.

There is unknown danger anywhere.  Even in my home state.  A quick google search of “Yellowstone tourist” will show you just how dangerous and fatal my beautiful state can be.  Unknown places and cultures are a beautiful thing to discover and experience, but please don’t stick your head in the sand worried about asking the wrong questions.  Be kind, but ask questions.

And from there start exploring.  You can choose the typically touristy things to do or try to strike out on your own.  A city I always suggest people start exploring solo is – Salt Lake City.  I’ve spent many a weeks and weekends in the big city by myself and feel completely safe in it.  It’s big enough to find a lot to do on weekends off, but small enough that I can try my “Eh close enough method.”

Have you ever traveled by yourself? And if you have where do you suggest people explore??

xo Kelsey

xo

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Kelsey

  • I am usually the strong and reliable one while travelling – being there for everyone in case of emergencies, making decisions, planning etc. – but I find travelling alone extremely scary. I instantly come up with every single thing that can happen to me, starting with theft and ending with murder, and I end up stuck in a hotel or on a VERY WELL LIT AND CROWDED BUT NOT TO CROWDED OMG I AM BACK TO THE HOTEL NOW street. I find myself funny, tbh, but I just cannot shake off this feeling of impeding doom 😉

    • It’s so different traveling by yourself huh?? I still get those impending doom feelings, but I’ve slowly gotten better and better at talking myself calm. xo

  • Diana Maria

    I do the exact same thing, I tend to rely on those I’m with but when I’m alone I’m forced to be independent and I love it! I love figuring things out on my own and proving to myself that I can do it. It’s great that you can travel on your own and love it too, thanks for sharing your love of solo travel! I hope more people will embrace it too 🙂

    My Lovelier Days

    • Exactly Diana! I think it helped me become far more independent than I even though I was before. Thanks for stopping by love! xo

  • Very inspiring post Kelsey, I agree with just starting if this is something you want to pursue. I love the idea of travelling solo and I know I would like being in my own company. The thing for me is safety! I flew out to Vietnam last year on my own and it was a bit nerve racking being alone (before I met up with family) but it teaches you to be calm, savvy and aware.

    Hanh | hanhabelle

    • It really does! I always get a bit nervous flying by myself, but overtime I’ve gotten a bit more confident. Our company really preaches safety and it helps me a lot keeping my cool and calm. 🙂 Or so far it does anyways! xo

  • I don’t think I could ever travel on my own, I’m such a wimp and home bird – I would feel so homesick and lonely haha! It’s great that you can do it so well and I always love seeing your pretty pictures of places you’ve travelled to 🙂 I like the idea of accidentally stumbling upon a place whilst trying to find somewhere else. I love exploring and I hope I can become more confident and do more of it in the coming years xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.blogspot.co.uk

    • I think you absolutely will 🙂 A few of my friends are really hesitant as well and I always just say start small. Even going to a place you already know that you typically go with others by yourself is a step in the right direction!

      I’m not sure I would even be comfortable doing big trips like international ones by myself yet. Traveling solo is so great, but definitely much more nerve wrecking. I hope you are able to give it a try Charlotte! xo

  • I think this is so amazing and you are so brave! I don’t think I am quite there for any solo travel yet, I just don’t think I could do it! I’m going on my first big travel adventure in a few days – leaving for 3 months around Southeast Asia, but with my boyfriend by my side. I think I like the idea of having some familiarity with me xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

    • eee!! That sounds so exciting. And I don’t blame you one bit. I don’t think I would be ready for solo international travel – though I’ve heard it’s an incredible experience. I hope you have so much fun on your trip sweet girl! xo

  • Rai

    I’ve gotten used to traveling by myself in my city but I’m taking the leap this year and will be doing a lot of solo travel around Europe and America! I’m totally nervous but excited to push myself and grow stronger to prove that I can do it. I like the sound of your “eh close enough’ method haha

    Rai | http://www.utterardour.com

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