Travelling solo was new to me. Before the adventure began, I had a lot of nervous energy leading into my trip to Bali and maybe a little guilt for leaving my family at home.
Of course, I know any concerns were unjustified, and while my family was not physically around, in this modern world of Skype and Facebook, they were only a phone call away.
Now the trip has come and gone, it had me thinking of my solo travel adventures in Bali. What was good about it? The bad bits? And the plain old awkwardness of it all. There were many different emotions, feelings and experiences to take from the trip (most positive) and I will share it with you in this article.
One thing I can assure you that is a fact. If you want to take the plunge and experience an adventure on your own, then do it. The memories will stick with you for a lifetime, and you will appreciate those closest to you a whole lot more upon your return from your destination.
The Initial Fear of travelling solo
Embrace it, because it won’t go away in the lead up to your trip, no matter how many times you are flying solo, fear will always be around, but not only that, it’s a high commodity to have, it means you won’t have complacency in an unfamiliar environment during your travels alone.
The fear will stick with you right until your arrival at the airport, getting through customs and if landing in a destination like Bali, dodging the hundreds of taxi drivers desperate to give you a ride.
Eventually, you’ll get more comfortable, but fear won’t leave you and nor should it, you always need to be wary when out on the road and particularly careful at night, when you can be vulnerable the most.
However, you’ll find the overall experience to be a pleasant experience, and that most people in this world can assist you positively.
The awkwardness of Dining Alone
Walking into the fine Sakala Resort restaurant all alone, it had me thinking of the Jason Segal movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. You know the scene, where Segal walks into the restaurant, and Jonah Hill mocks him big time about staying the magnificent resort in Hawaii all alone and offering him a book to read to combat the boredom. Hilarious scene and it is how I felt (See the clip below).
It is a real awkward feeling when dining alone. Others are sitting together in groups, laughing and carrying on. Couples are rekindling their love in style, and no doubt have further plans later in the night back in the room.
It’s all the thoughts that come into your head, and a little envy comes your way. You make a point from then on that the next time you dine, you do it when the restaurant is empty to avoid the embarrassment.
Learn the real locals
Solo travelling opens up your eyes to the others out there, the locals. It’s natural that when you are travelling with your family, with your lover, or in a large group, that you tend to keep to yourself. It’s not that we ignore the friendly folk in their own country, but sometimes we do get caught up in our bubble.
Travelling on your means, you open yourself up to the locals and believe me that is a good thing. On a recent trip to Bali, I was able to meet some incredible people, learn about their life, their background and culture. The experience in itself was fascinating, and they were conversations I will always cherish.
Enjoy the freedom while you have it
Sleep in or wake up early. Drink at the bar and get home when you want, or take a day trip to an exotic location that suits your desires. The freedom of travelling alone allows you to do whatever it is you want. And why not take advantage of it, you have no one else to answer to but yourself.
Although, at least for me, freedom is only enjoyable for the short term. You do miss your family, a laugh with your kids, or cuddling up to the wife., who is back at home. I am a family man, and I know who I do prefer to take on my adventures throughout the world, even though it can’t always be the case.
There you have it, a few of my solo travel experiences and how I felt about it all in the long run. Since this trip article, I have had many solo adventures, and while it never gets easier to leave the family, it does get easier to embrace solo travels and to master your initial mistakes ultimately.