Solo travel isn’t for everyone, and if you had told me this time last year I had travelled solo, then I wouldn’t have believed you.
For most of my life I have always travelled with my family; the occasional school trip to France, and Belgium; or, taking a reading-week break to Montreal and Quebec City with my Brits on our year abroad. It wasn’t until January, when I booked a trip to explore the Canadian Rockies in April, that the thought of solo travel even entered my mind. Normally, I like to spend time with people I know, and not walk about a city by myself.
My first solo travel experience happened in February. I knew I wanted to go to L.A. but unfortunately no one else was interested, with some friends heading out to camping in snow, exploring Toronto or Montreal, and even a trip to Miami, I took a page out of one of my friends book and decided to go to L.A by myself.
It wasn’t the flight that scared me, I had already done that twice getting to and from Canada, for my first semester of my year abroad, it was the whole experience in general. The reality was nothing really scared me about travelling to L.A by myself, well except for the L.A metro, which I wouldn’t recommend.
Exploring a city by yourself means you can do whatever you want, without having to compromise to others needs or what they want to do.
I spent five days in L.A and saw everything that I wanted to see. From hiking the Hollywood Sign, the Griffin Observatory, Santa Monica, and getting them photos of the famous walls in Melrose. I could eat whenever I wanted, and do whatever I wanted to do.
Normally when I explore cities, we stay in hotels, but to keep the cost down staying in a hostel is the best idea. Now, people normally turn their noses up at the end of sharing a room with strangers, and sharing a communal bathrooms, but it works. You get to meet people from all over the world; explore with hostel run tours, and there is normally some type of activity in the evening that draws people to the common rooms.
The same happened after my friends left in Vancouver, and when I explored San Francisco by myself. I was free to do whatever I wanted. I just grabbed my camera, bookmarked places of interest on google maps, and enjoyed my day.
I would honestly recommend solo travel to anyone. Even if you are not brave enough to stay in a hostel, book yourself into a hotel, and explore what you want to see. You will honestly get so much out of the experience.