Last month I went on my first ever solo trip to Montenegro.
Yes, it was only a week (an amazing week!), but it was still a novel experience for me as someone who has always gone abroad with family & friends before. Travelling on my own – even for a short while – felt very different to those other trips, so naturally I thought I’d write a few of my thoughts/notes/lesson-type things about this experience.
1. Being solo forces you to meet people & socialise
The first and most obvious thing about travelling on your own is that you’re kind of forced to speak to people and make new friends. I’m known for being a massive introvert, but actually that’s part of the reasons why I liked this part of solo travel – it’s too easy for me to retreat to familiarity and therefore I feel like I usually miss out on all the amazing stories and discussions you get from meeting new people, so it was great to be forced into doing this.
2. It gives you time to read, think & just be
Of course you can do this alongside people you know when travelling, but not having to consider what anyone else is up to, or worrying about whether you’re being antisocial, is pretty free-ing. You can get lost in a book for hours if you want, or just sit and listen to music in a state of zen – whatever is your bag.
3. Having a hotel room to yourself is a weird feeling
I don’t believe I’ve ever done this before, and in May I ended up doing it twice! It seems like the most trivial thing, but for me it was kinda weird. I had 6 waking hours to kill in my Premier Inn on the way to Montenegro, and at first I walked in the room and was excited at all the freedom I had (“SCREW IT I’m gonna order pizza, and binge watch whatever I want, and put my stuff all over the room, and take a bath at 4pm because WHY NOT!”). But after 15 minutes that wears off and you’re left feeling pretty bored and lonely for the remaining 5 and 3/4 hours…
4. There’s no one to share public transport ‘wtfs’ with
On another ‘not-so-good’ note, there was no one to share eye-rolls and giggles with on public transport when things get weird! I definitely take having company for granted when I’m on aeroplanes or trains; it was no where near as fun having to put up with screaming children and mad people on your own with no one to laugh about it with.
5. You can do what & when you want, but you also have to consider safety
I definitely loved the freedom of being able to do whatever I wanted when I wanted – fancy a nap at 5? Do it! Wanna go for a sunrise walk? Why not! However I was also more aware of safety because of being alone. We were in a super safe country, but nonetheless, it made me realise that if you want to wander off through the mountains on a sunset stroll, or get a bus to the city for the day, you just have to keep your wits about you a little bit more. Like, always be sure to have your phone on you, maybe grab a map if you’re going off-road, and generally be aware of your surroundings and belongings.
6. Group tours are the way to go
Like I say, doing what you want is fun, but it can get lonely – in which case being forced to socialise can be a welcome thing! I’m so glad I opted for a trip that was group-focused; we did day trips & hikes together and even shared a room, so loneliness was not a concern at all. I’d definitely recommend doing some kind of group tour or hostel stay for a solo trip!
7. You need to learn how to use a tripod and remote…
Sooo luckily I had people with me who were lovely and willing to stop and take some photos of me every now and then, but I totally didn’t expect it of them. For my blog, photos are super important, and sometimes when I’m doing posts with brands it’s important to have actual photos of me as well, so I made sure to bring my tripod and set up the remote app on my phone for the Olympus Pen.
Overall my first experience at solo travel was amazing, and I’ll definitely be doing it again. I couldn’t have wished for a better week and nicer people to share it with at Undiscovered Montenegro – although now any future trip is going to have a hard job to top it!
Have you ever travelled solo? How did it go? Comment below!
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