I did it. I just returned home from my first solo trip, and I have to say it has been one of the best ones thus far. Yes I have traveled by myself many times, but not like this. This was my first trip completely alone. I can’t take all the credit though, I owe a lot of this trips success to the location. Apart from being incredibly gorgeous Iceland is also one of the safest countries in the world (reassuring for a first time solo female traveler). Iceland is now in my top 5 of the countries I’ve visited (so far) and who would have thought. When I told people I was going on this trip I got some strange looks followed by “Why Iceland?” (the same people who have now liked every single photo I have posted on social media).
Here is what it comes down to, if you are even thinking of taking a solo trip, stop what you’re doing and just book it. Traveling alone is not as scary as it sounds, trust me, I did it so can you. And I’m not saying I wasn’t nervous because I 1000% was. There was even that slight feeling when I arrived at the airport of “oh shit what did I get myself into.” But once I made my first friend, before I knew it Saturday turned into Tuesday and I was headed home.
When I was preparing for this trip a friend told me “you’re as alone as you want to be” and that proved to be so true. If you’re still not sold on the idea of going solo, whether it’s to Iceland or another destination, here are just a few tips that will hopefully help make your decision a little easier.
1. Liquid courage – I’m already a pretty outgoing person, but a few glasses of wine (or whatever poision you choose) definitely makes it a bit easier to talk to strangers. Now I’m not saying get totally wasted, no one likes a drunk slob kabob, but let’s be honest a couple of drinks doesn’t hurt.
2. Join a group tour – Whether it’s a pub crawl or something adventurous like horse back riding this is a great way to meet some people and not feel totally alone.
3. Stay at a hostel – Take my advice and book a room with a decent amount of beds, that way you’re more likely to make at least one friend. The hostel usually has events going on to make it easier to meet others and be social. And trust me you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many others are on their own.
4. Buy a selfie stick – this doesn’t really apply to the whole being scared to travel alone thing, but having a selfie stick will ensure you still get awesome pictures while traveling solo. A lot of people think they are stupid, but I love it, no shame in my selfie stick game.
5. Don’t be shy – easier said than done I know. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone and spark up a conversation. Odds are they were once or are currently in your position. You’ll be surprised how many people travel solo nowadays. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a pep talk before engaging with a stranger, and if they think you’re weird don’t worry you will probably never see them again.
So do it, just go, you might surprise yourself!