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Doing solo travel takes guts, I’m not going to beat around the bush about that. My first traveling alone experience was when I was 13 years old. I went on a plane from New York to California by myself. It was a bit nerve-racking, especially since the flight attendant was supposed to check on me and never did. That’s neglect lady! Anywho, now that I’m older I have done a lot more solo travel, more than just a plane ride that is. Let me tell you, traveling on your own is an experience unto itself. Whether you’re off on an Ireland solo travel adventure or a cross country road trip, being a lone traveller is the best!

A Traveling Alone Experience

This past summer I solo traveled to Europe, for the first part of the trip anyway. I went to Ireland completely alone. I’m not going to lie, there were times before the trip that I thought it was a terrible mistake. I could have made a lot of excuses not to travel. But what really pushed me thru it was that it was going to be an experience. I could do whatever I wanted when I wanted. I wouldn’t have to consult with anyone! Ah, the freedom! I’m also pretty terrible about being with someone 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, I love people, I just don’t want you in my face 24 hours a day! What wound up happening in Ireland was one of my favorite traveling alone experiences of my life!

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Ireland Solo Travel

Ireland Solo Travel

When I went to Ireland, I stayed in a hostel while I was in Dublin. Generator Hostel in Dublin was awesome, super safe, clean, and centrally located! I highly recommend it for those doing an Ireland solo travel adventure thru Dublin. However, that wasn’t the best part! I met some of the nicest people in the world. Now before I get carried away, there were a couple of girls in my room that I didn’t click with. There were 6 beds in total, but 3 of us really hit it off! We hit it off so well that we actually wound up going on excursions together.

Now you may be saying, “I thought this was about solo travel?” Well yes, it is, being a lone traveller you open yourself up to meeting new people more than you would if you already had travel companions. I can still remember waking these girls up at about 7 am to go to Kilmainham Gaol. Some days we’d go out on an adventure together, some we’d just met up for dinner. It was really enjoyable to share an Ireland solo travel experience like that with no pressure since we were all going our separate ways after. What was especially wonderful is that it was really relaxed, making it an excellent solo traveler holiday. With no one to consult with, a lot of the stress of traveling evaporates.

Journal Time While Solo Traveling

Time alone allows not only for freedom but for the opportunity to think. It would take me posts and posts to write about all I thought on my trip. The short version is, it put me more in tune with what’s important to me. Before I left, a friend gave me a journal complete with pen and glue stick! This was the best gift I could have ever gotten before I left. I used up the entire thing! Whenever I got the chance, I wrote down what I had done and my thoughts in general. I also pasted in ticket stubs, brochures, and other bits. Looking back I can really see a difference in myself over those three weeks. The journal is something I can keep forever, and see who I was then, and who I am now.

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lone traveller

Cross Country Road Trip

Another trip I took while a lone traveller was a road trip across the United States. Many people told me that I was ludicrous for doing a road trip which took me through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Canada (Toronto), Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Just to break that down, that’s approximately 3,286 miles. I forgot to set my odometer before I left so I’m sure there at least 50 or so miles unaccounted for, but 3,286 is a good guess. It took me 4.5 days to do this.

Note to all drivers, take a break while driving. You will get burnt out. I stopped for two days in Chicago and a day in Canada. And yes, the last few hours of my trip I went into “am I there yet” syndrome! It’s not just for kids! However, I am incredibly proud I did this cross country road trip all by myself and I’d recommend it as a trip for solo female travelers.

traveling alone experience

A Lone Traveller

Driving by yourself isn’t all that bad. It actually gives you a lot of time to think. Anything and everything pops into your head on that stretch of road. You find out how quickly it takes you to get bored as well. For me, that wasn’t long. Looking for what to bring on a road trip? Audiobooks, I found myself listening to them just to pass the time. Let me just say Peter Pan is boring to listen to, but the Game of Thrones audiobook is amazing! I didn’t stop and get to see too much while on the trip since I was driving for work, but it was amazing to see the changing landscape while on the road.

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Lone Traveller

All in all, I’d say solo travel is a rewarding experience that everyone should do at least once in their life. Whether you’re looking for a solo holiday in Europe, the United States, or elsewhere. Young or old, try it if you haven’t. It takes nerve, but you’ll thank me later once you’ve done it! You won’t ever regret having a traveling alone experience!

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Author

Michelle Jensen is a twenty-something traveler, occasionally solo, you’ll find road tripping across the U.S. or hostel-hopping in Europe. Currently residing in Los Angeles, CA with a day job in Television.

3 Comments

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  2. Thanks for writing about solo travel! I feel the exact same way, I love my friends and family but I hate having to wait for them, it’s always a circus somehow and one person is always grumpy about something and that ruins the whole trip. I’ve gone places by myself but only locally, I’ve yet to take the plunge and travel out. I’m still weary about safety, I need to get over it though, lol. Please keep up the awesome travel tips!

    • Course! Happy to help! Exactly, I totally understand what you’re talking about. You should definitely try it. I recommend doing it at least once in your life! Honestly, my whole time in Europe, I never once felt unsafe. You just have to be smart about it. Stay in popular places. If you feel uncomfortable somewhere leave, your instincts are your best assets! My friend it going to guest post about where she went in Europe soon so I’ll hopefully have that up asap! Thanks so much for your comment!

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