Girl solo travelling: the ultimate Valentine’s Day

Solo travelling is fabulousJess was in the City (the original and only one) this Valentine’s Day. Wow, the ultimate Valentine’s gift from a new boyfriend? Nope, Jess was in the City all by herself. And there, when she saw a heart-shaped balloon floating romantically over the New York skyline, her heart sunk…. aw….she realized…she does not miss a boyfriend at all.

This can actually be considered the ultimate way to spend the V-Day, Solo Travelling.

There are a number of advantages in being single, one being – being able to accept a last minute business trip to the Big Apple, without any explanation to be provided to anyone, or the risk of being grounded by a partner. So, it hadn’t exactly been planned as a Solo Valentine’s Trip, but it turned out to be an excellent way to celebrate loving myself.

Travelling can be a dreary or fabulous experience, much of it depends on the company. Now, I am a pretty awesome person. I am rather shy, but I am intelligent, practical and witty, an excellent travel companion. I get along with anyone, myself included. I have personally never found a person that was as companionable as I am. Solo travelling is an indulgent retreat for the inner self anyone should have the pleasure to experience, single or coupled ones. If you can’t stand your own and only company though, well, you are probably not as awesome as I am.

Are you now thinking I could never do that, does it mean I am not awesome?  Bad news, it does, but don’t despair, the essential skill of being alone can be learnt.

There are some processes you have to go through in order to discover the Art of Solitary XXX (be that travelling or anything else):

Overcome the fear of independence – Yes, my dears, independence. If you are afraid of feeling lonely when alone, the truth is you are scared of independence, of having to deal with everything on your own. Fear of the unknown? Fear of running out of things to do? Again, that is fear of independence. Let me tell you, you should try the thrill of independence. Travelling solo is an introspective journey, it’s great for the soul. For once you do not have to be sought after and included in activities by others to feel good. It’s you and your inner self, living a unique experience.

Overcome the fear of silence – Quiet is not scary per se, what is scary is the emphasis it puts on the small things that normally get lost in the daily hullabaloo, plus the emphasis it puts on your thought processes. Do your thoughts scare you? Nothing I can help you with, but you should remember that you are the master of your mind, use your thought processes to your advantage. Learn to deal with yourself, be your own entertainer (but don’t talk to yourself out loud, that is alarming!).

One of the downsides of solo travelling!

Deal with the social aspect of being alone – Contradictory as it may sound, when performing the Art of Solitary XXX (replace xxx with any kind of activity), you are not cast away from society. Surprisingly , aloneness makes people less closed off from others and more capable of empathy, in other words – better social animals*. How possible? It’s the power of solitariness, it strengthens your sense of identity (remember? I am awesome!) and frees you from the “group mind”, making you more open to socially engage with people, even those that are more distant from you. Once you reach solo contentment, you will emanate the attracting “constructive solitude” vibe. New social interactions will flow in naturally. And then, who knows, they may be even better than the ones you have been used to all your life.

* Read full article “The Power of Lonely” by Leon Neyfakh, The Boston Globe, March 6th 2011

3 thoughts on “Girl solo travelling: the ultimate Valentine’s Day

  1. Great post…

    One of my most popular blog posts is 12 tips for women traveling alone. I’ve been doing it happily and safely since I spent four months in Europe alone at 20 (34 yrs ago.) I can never understand any woman who is too scared to travel alone. The very worst things that ever happened to me (crime) happened at home in my suburban NY town. Go figure!

    • Hi, in fact all you need is common sense, whether you are at home or travelling.
      I actually think travelling alone makes you stay safer than travelling with other people, where you are less alert because you feel safer in the group..
      I’ll go check your 12 tips for women travelling alone as I have actually just started travelling on my own and I already have plans for some other holiday this year!

  2. Pingback: The number 1 reason why I hate Ryanair « Jess & the City

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