When I wrote about the year I’d had last year I wrote about how I wanted to do more of the things I wanted to do. To go on more adventures. To do more of the things that scare me. One thing I decided was to do things that I wanted, regardless of if I have anyone to go with me or not. In the past year or so I’ve become a big believer of not letting fear of being by myself stop me from having fun. According to some of my friends this makes me decidedly strange. Especially when I’ll cheerily announce that I’m going to watch some film I’ve been meaning to see, or off to go watch some singer that I like, and when I’m asked who I’m going with I’ll happily say myself. In fact, the last time I went to see a movie one of my colleagues asked me who I was going with and thought I was joking when I said myself, at least until one of my other colleagues cheerfully interjected with “No, she’s being serious, she’s a loser and we’re her only friends round here, and none of us like that film.”
I think the first time I ever travelled somewhere completely by myself (when it wasn’t something for work, uni, or school) was when I flew to America, which was surprisingly more relaxed than I expected it to be. I think I even found it easier then travelling with other people would have been, purely because the only person I actually had to worry about was myself and be responsible for was myself. I found the airport so much easier to navigate when I was on my own, the only slight downside was having to take all your luggage with you when going to the toilet. Not always fun when you have a huge suitcase. Whilst I travelled to America solo, I wasn’t actually solo for my trip, as I’d gone to visit someone.
My first properly solo trip to anywhere was last May, when I travelled down to London for a parkour weekend. I stressed about it for a while beforehand, just because I was slightly worried about getting lost in London (being dyspraxic my sense of direction is pretty shit, thankfully google maps is a godsend), but it was an amazing experience. I got to meet loads of new people, and explore bits of London with local people who were all to willing to show off the best places to eat in Camden Market. At the moment I’m busy preparing for another solo trip down to London to go to a convention for The 100. The main reason I’m going alone is simply because it’s something I like, but that my friends don’t really watch, and I knew full well that if they did come down with me I’d be constantly worrying about if they were enjoying themselves and having fun or not. It also allows me to be selfish, I can go to the thinks I want to go to, I can wake up when I want, I can go to bed when I want, and I can eat what I want without having to coordinate the cravings of so many different people.
Travelling alone gives me the opportunities to see the things that I want to see, and let me dictate my own schedule. Plus, I don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone else with my snoring. It also means that I can take time to myself as well, which after spending a full weekend surrounded by other people I realised I definitely needed. Whilst I like people, I also need plenty of time on my own to relax and decompress, otherwise I get cranky and stressed. There are times when travelling alone does have its drawbacks. For example, if you go somewhere to eat where you have to have a table number before going up to order food it can be a bit of a headache, and you end up with a bit of a dilemma of do I leave my bag at the table and risk it, or do I pick a table number and risk having someone sit down at it whilst I’m ordering food. Maybe there’s a technique to it, or maybe I just like to overthink too much.
It’s not that I don’t like travelling with other people from time to time, I love trips away with my friends, but I also feel like I got very lucky with my group of friends. We can go away places, and whilst we do things together we can also go and do our own thing without any of the others getting upset or offended, meaning for me, I get the best of both worlds. Now to try work out where I’m off to next.