In follow-up to my original post, below are some additional ideas on the types of places that are great to incorporate into your solo travel experiences. Enjoy the magic of your solo journey!
Museums and Galleries
Going to a museum when you’re by yourself is awesome: You can look at anything you want for as long as you want. You can turn in any direction, linger as long as you like by the pieces or subjects that intrigue you, and breeze right by the ones that don’t. You will be able to weave through crowded museums and get up close to that Picasso you’ve always wanted to see!
Outdoors and Nature
Being in the outdoors alone is pretty spectacular. Experience a nature trail in the woods. Visit a botanical garden or arboretum. Take yourself on a romantic walk by the ocean. Kayak on a lake or bike along a local greenway. You will hear the singing of the birds and the rustling of the trees more clearly when you are alone. You will feel the wind on your face. You will not feel lonely, because nature will be your travel companion.
Cathedrals and Other Sacred, Spiritual Places
In solitude, you can reflect and be truly present in the moment. You will feel the energy of the place. You can admire the architecture, history and culture of the place, or you can pray for as long as you like. You will feel a closeness with a higher power and with yourself in these quiet moments alone.
Take your kidself to ride roller coasters! I promise the little he or she will be so happy. Ever heard of the single rider line? All the more reason to go solo! I rode California Screamin’ at DisneyLand about 10 times in a row a few years ago. My kidself thanked me big time.
Trust me — it will sound awesome! You won’t need to worry about whether or not your friend is enjoying the song or is uncomfortable next to the stinky guy that you squeezed them next to when you wanted to go to the front of the stage. You will be able to lose yourself in the music and engage with the musicians. You will be able to get right to the front of the stage at a crowded concert because it’s just you, and you can dance however you like and as goofy as you like because no one knows you!
Markets and Festivals
I have found that the most interesting people can be found at markets and festivals, and this is also one of the best ways to meet the locals. You can take your time when you are by yourself and chat with artists and farmers. You can meet the beekeeper and talk about honey for an hour if you like. You can taste all sorts of local food and drink. One of my favorite solo travel adventures was at a market in Nice, France, where I met a woman who was selling fresh lavender and homemade perfumes.
There’s something super nostalgic and fulfilling about roadtripping on your own. Try to plan a road trip with no particular destination in mind and no schedule to follow, even if for just one afternoon. When traveling alone, you can choose to take the road less traveled because no one is going to be upset if it takes three hours longer to get there. Whether it’s a drive along the coast or through the countryside, driving through the mountains or the hustle-bustle streets of a city, you will see so much from your own car (or the rental car). You can listen to your favorite bands along the way, and listen as loud as you like. Who knows what you will discover along the way!
(I brought this in from my original post, but it’s worth saying again.)
Do not be afraid to dine alone! Some people hate eating at restaurants alone, but I actually enjoy it. When you travel and dine in a restaurant alone, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the things that you wouldn’t notice while dining with a friend. The food will taste so wonderful. The flavors will pop! Don’t be afraid to sit at a four-person table by yourself in a restaurant. Don’t be afraid to ask them to light the candle. After all, you are on a date with yourself. Order whatever you want, because there is no one to judge. You are only paying for one, AND you don’t even have to share the dessert!
Traveling with loved ones, friends and family is something that I always treasure and enjoy. But a solo journey is quite therapeutic: You will discover so much about the destination, and yourself, when you are open to the magic of traveling alone.
Enjoy the magic of your journey!