From Our Readers Traveling with Me, Myself and I From Our Readers

I’ve always enjoyed and been comfortable with my solitude. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my friends and I have some of the best. I would consider myself quite independent and I love spending time by myself, whether it’s going on long walks or spending the day alone, it’s something I need. Unfortunately in our culture being alone is often paired with feelings of loneliness while being with others is seen as bringing happiness. For me, there is a different kind of happiness for when I’m alone and when I’m with my friends. I try to embrace my alone time and find it an important aspect of being happy and healthy.

I’ve gone to the movies, concerts and dinner alone and I’ve recently wanted to try traveling alone. Having wanderlust has been a great true love of mine and what better way than to spend it with myself? A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Los Angeles to see two close friends of mine. While my friends were working during the week, I had most of the day to travel on my own, which was a new life experience. I was a bit nervous about the whole idea but through that came excitement and wonder. I put on my brave big girl shoes and rented a car for the week and each morning, I would decide where I wanted to go and typed it in to my GPS, having an Australian woman guide me through the Los Angeles area.

I was concerned I may feel lonely at times or have a scary encounter or wonder what the hell I was doing but thankfully, neither happened. Except for that one sketchy bus encounter but that’s a story for another day. It was wonderfully freeing going where the wind blew me each day. Not only did I see many beautiful sights but I also learned something important: I’m good company on my own. May we all be good company and a good friend to ourselves. It was during my alone time on my travels that I learned more about who I am and that was a true gift.

I discovered how much I happily enjoyed exploring a new city with me, myself and my camera lens. I now feel ready to tackle a whole new life experience, one where I travel to a place where I don’t know anyone and see how I do. While being alone, whether traveling or just for the day, it’s incredible what you can learn about yourself while gaining a newfound independence. You don’t need to travel far away to do this. Take yourself and explore your town or near by city and try and be open to all the wonders that you have yet to discover. Put on your brave shoes, be safe and see what is waiting for you, it just might be yourself.

by Lucy Fisher

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  1. I am going on my first solo abroad trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand for my birthday on January. I CANNOT WAIT!

  2. I’ve done quite a bit of travelling, with friends, and on my own and each have their advantages. With friends you have someone to share the memories with and you’ll always have them as a safety net, but there is something so special about being on your own. You’re more open to meeting others, you can do what you want when you want, and I know it sounds cheesy and cliche but it really lets you get to KNOW yourself on a different level! When I’m all alone in the great big world, I am my home, and I am able to find a comfort and confidence in myself that isn’t always there.

  3. This is a great article. I am much like you — concerts and traveling alone, but still enjoying the company of friends and family. It’s a healthy balance. I went with some friends to London. They went onto other places in Europe and I stayed behind by myself for a couple of weeks and at one point hopped a train to Poland by myself, which I am proud of as I don’t know the language and had never been so far away. I liked doing things at my own pace and really take in everything with fewer distractions. I would pick a random tube stops and explore whichever neighborhood it stopped at. It’s important to get to know oneself for personal growth. Traveling alone is a great way to do that. Some of my friends hate being alone, even for just 30 minutes. I don’t really understand it and I think it’s a bit sad in a way.

  4. I did the same thing when I visited a friend in NYC this summer. She worked in Brooklyn and I waltzed through the city until she was off, absolutely
    lovely!

  5. Thank you everyone for the kind comments, I loved reading them!

  6. This is crazy, it was like reading an essay that I never wrote. A few things I liked about this: 1) You using wanderlust, it is my favorite word. 2.) The GPS’s woman’s accent. Best way to have your GPS setting on. :) 3.) Exploring a new city with you, yourself, and your camera lens. Again, describing my life. Loved it.

  7. I’m an outgoing introvert. I have to have “me” time or I turn into the Incredible Hulk. I studied abroad in Israel and spent many days just immersing myself in the amazing city of Jerusalem.

  8. I totally understand! I studied abroad in Scotland last year and one day I decided to take the 45 minute train ride to Edinburgh, then go on a bus tour to Loch Ness for the day. By myself. I didn’t invite anyone else to go with me, I just wanted to be alone and do what I wanted.

    It was awesome! Don’t get me wrong, I loved traveling with my friends, too, but this was a whole different kind of experience. I learned there is absolutely nothing wrong with independence.

  9. I flew to Egypt from Moscow by myself to meet up with some friends there. As it would happen, they were sick almost the whole time I was there, so I spent most of 2 days checking out Cairo by myself. I thought I was going to die once or twice because everyone there is an INSANE driver (and remember, I had just come from Moscow where they consider the sidewalk to be an extra lane) but it was definitely worth it to not miss out just because I would have to do things by myself.

  10. I absolutely love this! “Loneliness and solitude are two things not to get confused.” — a lesson I’m finally learning. Thanks for this post :)

  11. I like doing certain things alone, because you have your own time to do what you want. Shopping alone is great! You can try on what ever (that crazy kitten sweater?) and don’t have to worry about what other people think.

  12. I am an extrovert to the core of my being, but sometimes it is nice to just go and not have to decide things by committee — Do we want sushi or Mexican? (When in LA, Mexican. Always Mexican…) Or worse, fall into the “Oh, whatever you want to do” mode, when we really DO NOT want to go to the toy museum. I decide where I go, how long I stay, and what comes next. If I walk into a restaurant, and it doesn’t “feel” right, I can walk out and not feel the pang of guilt that my travel partner’s stomach is currently eating her insides. I am blessed that I live just 30 minutes from London, which offers great opportunities for selfish me time.

  13. I definitely prefer being by myself than around other people sometimes. I’ve traveled around my city by myself before and it felt so freeing! People should definitely take some time off to themselves once in a while because that’s when you really start to get to know yourself and have a better relationship with yourself. And you can’t have better relationships with other people if you don’t have a good one with yourself.

    Great post!