Keri

Keri

Co-Editor at Ladies What Travel
A freelance copywriter and journalist by trade, Keri is also a complete travel fanatic. She adores warm climates, luxury experiences, animals and cake – hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!
Keri

I regularly come across stories about the greatness of solo travel; how it opens your mind, liberates you, makes you stronger, grow as a person yada yada yada. I’m sure it does, and I don’t disagree that for those who embrace it, solo travel can be a great thing.

However, for a while now I’ve begun to feel that it’s become more of a status badge. That solo travellers are a ‘special breed’ who’ve undertaken some rite of passage that I’m not brave enough to do. That they’re somehow better, stronger, more adventurous than people like me; people that just don’t like the idea of travelling alone; whether that’s on an overnight trip, a two-week break or six months of backpacking.

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that

Own it!

For a long time I’ve felt bad, guilty even, for not wanting to travel solo but the truth is it has never appealed. But that is my reality and so I’ve decided to own it!

So just to make it absolutely clear: solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that! Everyone gets enjoyment from different things and for me that is travelling with a companion; be that my partner, my family, my friends or even a group of fellow bloggers. I’ve had amazing experiences with all of the above, and one of the things I’ve loved the most is sharing them.

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that
Image credit Chris – Backpacker Banter.

Shared experiences

My best memories are always around shared experiences; Justin and I attempting to work out how to eat crab with only a hammer in a tin shack outside of Kuala Lumpur; mum and me trying not to fall ass over tit as we walked through the streets of Jasper one icy, November evening, or that time when me and my bestie, Nichola, couldn’t work out how to make the escalators work on the way up to Park Güell and so ended up, unnecessarily, walking up five steep flights of stairs.

I’ve also rediscovered the wonder of travel all over again through my stepkids. As a seasoned traveller you can get quite blasé about everything around you, but when the kids point out how the cars, signs – even the fire hydrants are “wow, so different!” you’re again filled with the wonder and magic travel brings.

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that

A confidence issue?

I’ll admit I’m quite a shy person, and not the most confident, which is another reason why I don’t like the idea of travelling alone. (To be fair after working alone in my office 9-5 for the last 15+ years, what do you expect?! #freelancelife). I like comfortable companionship with someone I know, and I also feel safer when I have a travel ‘partner in crime’. But it’s always made me feel a bit pathetic, a failure if you will, when I see all these confident women jetting off and having untold adventures alone.

But, on the verge of turning 40, I’m getting much better at accepting myself for who I am, quirks, flaws and all. This is me and this is what I enjoy, so what’s wrong with that?

I want to end by making clear that I’m no ‘solo traveller’ hater. Seriously, kudos to you who choose to travel this way, I admire you and will admit you must gain a lot from those experiences. But I just know, that right now at least, it’s not how I choose to roll. And that’s fine. Rather than tick boxes or make yourself fit into some ‘Insta ideal’, I say let’s just travel in the way that brings us the most joy and for me that involves travelling with a companion…

 

So, what’s your take on solo travel? Do you agree with some of my points or do you think I’m just a big ol’ scaredy cat? I’d love to hear your take on this discussion, so please leave me a comment below!

Why solo travel will never be my thing – and I’m fine with that

 

 

 

Two Traveling Texans

48 thoughts on “Why Solo Travel Will Never Be My Thing – And I’m Fine With That!

  1. Absolutely nothing wrong with that – I agree that experiences are best shared with loved ones! Not sure I’d want to do a full-on trip without any family or friends there, but it’s admirable that some people do.

    I’m comfortable doing the flying part by myself, knowing friends are waiting at the other end for adventures. Last year I flew to the Netherlands to meet a friend and we did a road trip down to France to explore the impressionists’ old stomping ground, which I would never have thought of or done alone.

    It’s always useful when travelling companions know their way around, or at least are better than me at navigating 😉

    1. I agree having a partner in crime makes you more willing to do somethings and explore a bit more, right?!

  2. I must admit solo travel isn’t my thing either. I like having someone to share the adventure with too #travellinkup

  3. Don’t feel bad, I feel the same way! I have never considered myself a “solo traveler” even though I moved to to Germany twice alone. But the first time was a study abroad program, so I wasn’t technically alone and the second time, I really was alone. But I made friends and coworker friends quickly, and within a few months met my then boyfriend, now husband, so I was never alone. I don’t understand how people could travel alone anyways. I think it’d be so boring. I love to share my experiences with someone by my side, someone to chat with, go to dinner with and get lost with. #FarawayFiles

    1. Wow, both of those Germany trips sound pretty darn brave to me, but look what you got out of the experiences. Yay! 😉

  4. I’m not a big solo traveller either. When I travel for work, it’s alone so when I travel for pleasure, I’d rather spend the time with someone I enjoy rather than trying to make friends with strangers along the way, and awkwardly eat dinner alone at a bar. I understand the appeal though, and have a lot of respect for people who enjoy going it alone. #FarawayFiles

    1. Ah yes I can see you’d particularly want a differentiation between work and pleasure trips too, right!

  5. I’m with you Keri – it’s all about the shared experience for me. I have done a few solo trips that were great for my confidence but in the end there’s nothing like being with your favourite people sharing those wow moments. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. I can imagine they’re good for confidence – as long as things don’t go wrong! (see that’s my scaredy cat outlook on the whole idea of solo travel.) The odd thing is I travelled alone to America to stay with a cousin /penpal for a month when I was 15. I think ive got more scared as Ive got older. Very silly really!

  6. Well good for you for owning up to it, Keri. I think it’s really important to be comfortable in our own skin and accept ourselves for who we are. I love the freedom of travelling alone but am much more often in the company of my kids these days so I try and work out ways to make that really special. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. So true Clare, instead of feeling like I’m a failure Im accepting that its not for me, and that’s ok! I can imagine, after having kids a chance to travel on your own must be an amazing opportunity though lol

  7. Everyone travels differently and there is no wrong way. At some point, I would like to try solo traveling but only because so much of traveling for me is conquering my fear of the unknown. I will never become a “solo traveler” by definition because I, like you, prefer to share my travel experiences with others. #FlyAwayFriday

  8. Keri, you do your thang! I think you stated it perfectly when you said “travel in the way that brings us the most joy.” Nothing left to say! I think whether people travel solo or not has a lot to do with two things: personality (eg, proactive loaner) and circumstance (eg, trip booked, but no one willing or able to join). I agree that travelling with company beats travelling alone provided it’s the RIGHT company…because an incompatible travelling partner is the pits! I guess my main point is that the reasons for solo travel are varied and complex. But what is most important is what you stated so perfectly: travel in the way that brings us the most joy. #FlyAwayFriday

  9. No traveller is better than another! If solo travel is your thing, then get amongst it, but if it isn’t, it doesn’t make you a second-class traveller at all. The reason why I enjoy solo travel is because I get to do what I want, when I want. I don’t have to consider someone else’s feelings or bucket list. So I guess I’m just really selfish 😉
    Having said that, while I’m eating alone or joining tours on my lonesome, I’m totally jealous of all of the twosomes and group travellers who are having so much fun together. #FlyAwayFriday

    1. Nah it’s not selfish at all, I can see why the freedom of travelling solo appeals, it can be tough when you travel with people who all like and want to do different things!

  10. I have done both solo travel and travel with others. I will say I enjoy traveling better with others (especially my husband) too. However, I am really glad that I have done solo travel because I did learn a lot about myself and know that I can do solo travel if I wanted to. It is liberating to know that I don’t need anyone to travel and if I want to go somewhere I can. I also always think its a good idea to try everything once, so I think you should consider doing one short solo trip. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    1. Thanks Anisa. I agree one short trip would probably do me the world of good, Im sure one day the right opportunity will arise…

  11. Hi Keri! I saw your blog on the “Traveling Texans” blog link up, and I felt compelled to read it because I wrote a post about “5 Top Reasons Why It’s Better to Travel Solo”, and I also shared it on the link up! https://travelwithclem.com/2017/10/07/5-reasons-why-its-better-to-travel-solo/

    Essentially, I agree that you should travel in the way that brings you more joy! And if traveling in groups is your thing, hey, go for it! The more the merrier, you make memories, and always have things to look back at! For me though, I also like to travel in groups in certain situations, but there are undoubtedly 5 top reasons why I love traveling solo, and they are worth it… everyday!

    1. Aha, very cool Clem! I agree, different ways to travel suit different people and all things have their pros and cons. I’ll def go check out your post for some solo inspiration! 😉

  12. While in Glacier (I’m currently writing about this on my site, btw), we met someone who up and did a road trip by himself. He was very personable, well-spoken, and nice. My dad and I had a joke about how we’d probably take a solo trip and wind up not talking to anyone the whole time.

    I admire people who can do this, but I don’t know if I ever will. Good to know I’m not alone.

    1. Ha ha, that’s what I worry about Eddie – I’m not great at meeting new people, Im too shy and worry I’ll end up not making new friends lol.

  13. Everyone’s comfort level is different and we all have different styles. It’s awesome that you own your travel style and know yourself. I enjoy both solo travel and traveling with others, but I only did my first solo trip this past year so it’s still new to me.
    #flyawayfriday

  14. Preach, girl!! To each their own, I say. I think my personal time limit for solo travel is about 2 weeks, based on past experience! It’s pretty easy to make friends while travelling solo, but often it’s just a superficial kind of interaction (or it could just be me…) and it’s definitely not the same as travelling with your loved ones.

    1. Yeah I can imagine it must be different, but then at the same time you might make a new life-long friend, you never know. But for now, Im sticking with the way I enjoy most… 😉

  15. Its totally fine to not want to travel alone. I couldn’t imagine travelling without my husband – its a shared experience for us & i enjoy it more as a result. Also, it means we can stay in slightly nicer places and avoid dorms most of the time!

  16. 99% of my trips include my husband and three kids. During those times when people are squabbling or I am the only one interested in visiting a certain spot, I dream of solo travel. The grass is greener on the other side, perhaps? But yes, you bring up many good points. I do like having someone to point out details I may miss or show me a different perspective. I like having the shared memories to look back on. My current dream is to do a couples vacation — just my husband and I without the kids. If only I could find someone to mind them.

    1. I can imagine solo travel has a lot of appeal in that situation Michele. Still, sharing those experiences must also be great to look back on. I hope you find a sitter so you can have your special trip! 😉

  17. While I am able to travel by myself I generally don’t unless it’s for work or something. I am totally a loner but there is something about those shared experiences. Who else is gonna think that travel mishap is funny 5years from now? If you go by yourself you will tell the story or andnover and no one will want to hear it. If you have a friend you can laugh together. Forever. I also feel like people are wearing it as a badge rather than being honest with themselves

    1. It does feel that way sometimes, doesn’t it Victoria? Yeah Im sure I’d also survive travelling solo too, but I just don’t think I’d ever choose it over having someone to share a trip with…

  18. Owning it. There’s power in that. We keep saying we are not “couples travelers”… but we are. Groups are fine, solo can be fun (according to Rob, who’s a loser…er, loner…anyway) but travelling together is sort of our thing. On the other hand, look at how much fun you’re having in those group photos! However you travel, it’s those memories that are important. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    1. I think you’re totally right Emma, we’re all unique! I think the most important thing is being cool with the way you want to travel 😀

  19. Totally get this. My last solo trip 5 years ago was…well, quite frankly I was lonely and I never wanted to travel solo ever again. Having said that, I am currently on a trip by myself, left the hubby behind due to finances – but I’m having a great time and the main reason for that, is that on this trip I have been able to connect well with people. Connection, a sense of belonging – these are things that make me happy. I feel better about solo travel now than I did 5 years ago, although this will probably be a one-off. Still, want to share the experience.

    1. Thanks for sharing Juliette, glad to hear your having a good solo experience this time round. I do wonder if things change with our age as our views and experiences evolve…

  20. Love this post so much! I rarely travel solo so I completely agree with you. I love being able to share my experiences with someone! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this week! xo

  21. I am the same! I like to travel with others. Now I travel with my best friend – my husband, but before I would always join tour groups. I know lots of girls enjoy the solo travel gig, but I like to be around people, especially in foreign lands. Hope to see you at Fly away Friday tomorrow 🙂

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