Travel Solo..Yes Plz!
As a woman, yes we always worry about safety, we always worry about not fitting into a crowd without having a friend to help distract others from our awkwardness. Blah Blah Blah. Traveling alone today is very different than traveling alone 50 years ago. If you go missing today we'll know in less than 48 hours, if it takes longer than that then I'm not believing the number of followers on your IG anymore.
I remember my first solo trip, about 6 yrs ago. I went to Miami (exciting right?) I spent a week on my own. I visited a good friend of mine while down there but went off on my own the rest of my time there. I proceeded to spend time at lounges/bars with no real sense of time, fully confident that my card wasn't going to get declined because I planned my trip during payday weekend (I know you ain't judging!) I ordered my rum & coke and people watched. I went to the beach, laid out, did whatever I wanted and it was glorious. Miami is a great place to relax and meet others.
Miami offers an amazing nightlife, delicious restaurants and great beach days. I stayed on Ocean Drive in South Beach. I was walking distance from everything, if not a short taxi drive away, which I highly recommend this as a means of securing safety while traveling alone; staying in a busy area with plenty of people around.
I spent a lot of time at the Clevelander Hotel, met amazing people that I'm still friends with today. The Clevelander is a fun vibe, great drinks, pool right by the bar, live music some days/nights etc. I walked the strip and smoked a cigar, yes by myself. I toured a couple sites and took a quatrillion selfies...hell no one else was around!
There's a million sites that outline for you what NOT to do when traveling alone, plus if you are planning on traveling alone I'm assuming you have enough sense not to talk to JJ on the corner who needs $10 for the next bus going to NYC. I want to switch it up and tell you what TO do while traveling alone. Here are some of the things I did...
1. Be confident in your own skin. Taking a trip on your own is a means of solidifying that "independent woman" in you. Part of this process in finding the confidence and understanding that traveling solo doesn't mean traveling alone, it simply means table for you and well...it depends on how the day/night goes :-)
2. Appreciate the time that you will have to yourself..clear your mind, disconnect, bring a good book.
I remember being down in Miami and it happen to coincide with a shitty break up, well instead of sulking I accepted how I felt and didn't knock myself for it, didn't apologize for it, I was entitled to how I felt. It's all part of our personal growth and appreciating you! Put the phone/ipad on silent and chiiiiilllll..try it...let me know how it feels!
3. Get a massage! Lawd KNOWS this is a must, especially when you aren't on a time schedule and have zero to answer to...plus its pay day remember?
4. Make friends!!! I can't tell you how many times I hear "but I'm shy..i dont know how to talk to people...how do I start a convo?" Stop it...that's where the confidence comes in! This is a chance to practice that. You got a brain right? You got a voice and a pretty smile to accompany that brain and voice right? Then you're all set, put your big girl panties on and make it happen. Sometimes you don't even have to do anything, there are men/women out there whom are much better at starting conversations than we are (beware though some may have 6 kids and 1 on the way with 7 baby mommas) Entertain the fun, always be aware of your surroundings but enjoy the company of others. There are so many interesting stories & everyone has one! I, myself, would start chatting with the bartender about any given topic and before I knew it the person next to me joined the convo and a friendship began, even if for that moment. Keep a note of those whom you meet, you never know when these connections may come in handy.
5. Write about it. Blog about it. Do whatever you want about it. Fully appreciate your experience and don't forget all those cool little spots you went to. Push yourself to try something new, something different. Your recommendations and memories go a long way for others :-)
6. Understand not all days need to be filled with things to do. Plan out a day or two that you may want to check out some sights, do the touristy thing and cross some bucket list things off. Then the rest of your time opt for more local areas, parks, lakes, beaches. Rent a kayak, chill, read a book at a nice cafe, do some hiking, anything that doesn't require to much brain power and lets you relish in your own being.
7. Always keep a copy of your passport (if traveling abroad) or a pic of it on your phone. Know where US Embassy is in countries that may be little more challenging, this can prove to be a life saver in critical situations.
8. This is Important. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings, yes all of them. Do you feel super sad that your alone because you don't have a special someone to share this trip with? That's fine, feel that, acknowledge it. Do you feel liberated because you finally went off solo and overcame some personal barriers? Feel it! Anger, Happiness, Anxiety, Confusion, Clarity, Refreshed. Stay in tune with yourself and recognize when your feeling a certain way. Be insightful about it, ask yourself what's the root of that feeling, where's it coming from and be honest about yourself to yourself. Denying emotions is a recipe for explosion in one way or another in the future.
When I went off on my own I felt a bit anxious about what I would do, how I would occupy my time or fill up my days. I had no real itinerary. I just chose to leave it up to the universe. I went on the trip with a positive attitude and a very "what will be will be" mindset. For example, I would check in with myself whenever I would meet someone or a group of people; did they make me feel comfortable? Did they not? Why/Why not? What did someone say or do to make me feel that way? And do this for anything and everything. Be mindful, this requires a lot of "talking to self" but that's ok right? You went on a trip with yo' self!!
9. Cry if you need to. Laugh at stupid jokes and/or memories. Use the time wisely. Really listen & learn from those you meet. Put yourself in their shoes and wonder how would you manage? You'll grow to appreciate your own situation.
10. Above all be safe. Do give someone at home the details about your trip. Do check in with fam/friends if gone for a long period of time..otherwise they will be calling Juana up the street looking for you. How they got Juana's number I dont know...my mom had her ways -_-