Traveling solo. As common as it is within the travel community, it is still a bit taboo to the masses. People seem to have a hard time comprehending why anyone would go out of state, or worse, out of the country, alone. I will admit, I had reservations about traveling alone at first. Then I took my first solo trip to Breckenridge, Colorado and all of those reservations melted away!
I’ve taken a few more solo trips since Breckenridge (The Bahamas, Thailand and Cozumel being the most recent). When I would share my travel plans with others (family, friends or strangers), they immediately would start with the questions. Below I’ve summarized the top 5 questions I’ve received when people know I’m traveling solo.
#1 Why do you want to travel alone?
This is usually the first question I’ll get asked. People seem to have a hard time comprehending why I would want to take a solo trip instead of going with family or friends. I usually tell them I love traveling with people, but I also enjoy going it alone sometimes. When you travel solo there’s very little coordination you have to do. When traveling as a group you have to coordinate schedules and preferences to ensure everyone is happy. This can be a bit stressful at times (at least for me) so I like to break it up with a solo trip. When I travel alone it’s just a matter of picking the place I want to go and the time that works best for my schedule. Simple as that!
#2 Aren’t you scared to travel alone?
With all the unrest in the world, I totally understand why this question is asked repeatedly. Every other day there’s a story on the news about terrorist striking areas frequented by tourist. Because of these stories, people are scared to travel out of the country, even if it’s with a group. So naturally, when I tell people I’m traveling alone they look at me like I’m insane! I always respond that I have the same risk of something bad happening to me here in Houston that I do in another country. So for me, there’s nothing to fear when traveling solo.
While I am not scared traveling solo, I make sure I take the necessary precautions to stay safe. I always stay mindful of what’s going on around me, I stick to well populated areas, and I don’t wander off too far from my hotel at night. In the future I’ll do a post providing more details on how you can stay safe when traveling solo.
#3 Do you not have a boyfriend/husband?
This is the question that always makes me chuckle. Apparently if you have a boyfriend or are married you’re not allowed to travel alone. LOL. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it seems to be the consensus from the people who ask me that. Just recently, while I was in Cozumel, I was asked this by one of the staff at my hotel AND by the taxi driver. Is he meeting you here later? Did he have to leave early? They just would not let up on the questioning!
I’m sure that once I am married my travel habits will change, but I’m optimistic that the person I marry will understand if I want to take a solo trip. When that day comes, I wonder what questions will follow when I say yes…
#4 What will you do by yourself?
I also laugh when this question comes up. I do the same thing anyone would do on a trip: explore! Traveling solo does not mean you cannot take full advantage of everything your destination has to offer. When I went to Breckenridge I tried skiing for the first time (will not be doing that again – lol) and dog sledding. Of course it would have been fun if someone else was around to see me fall, repeatedly, but I still enjoyed myself all the same. When I wasn’t out sightseeing or making a fool of myself on the slopes, I caught up on some reading and went out to local restaurants. At no point during my time there was I at a loss for what to do.
#5 Isn’t it lonely traveling alone?
I’m a classic introvert, so this question always seems odd to me 🙂 I love being alone because it allows me to recharge. Even so, this introvert still enjoys meeting new people and interacting them. In my travels I’ve noticed a tendency for solo travelers to drift to one another. Our shared experience gives us common ground to start a conversation, and then it takes off from there! We all come from different backgrounds, which have provided us with different experiences. I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve met along the way! If you don’t take advantage of meeting new people, then you may end up feeling lonely. Try not to let that happen though 🙂
I’m sure as I take more solo trips these questions will keep on coming. What are some of the best questions you’ve been asked when traveling solo? Please share them in the comments!!