It was my first time traveling completely alone, no friends, no family, just me and my thoughts. Booking my flight to Lisbon was during a tougher time earlier this year, I thought this little trip would help me to getaway, but I underestimated myself because by the time I was getting on the plane, I was already over what was going on when I purchased those tickets.
But then the present fear kinda kicked in, questions started to come up in my head “What the hell did I just do?”, “I’m fine now, I don’t need this!”. I’m facing my consequences now for booking without a thought. I knew deep down I would be okay, but will I ACTUALLY have fun? Am I wasting my money doing this? Don’t get me wrong, I have been living alone in Toronto for the past 6 years now and I’m used to doing things alone (now I just sound miserable) so why am I still worried? Probably the same thoughts that go through your head when I mention solo travel.
I got some judgy comments from some people when I said I was going on a solo trip. The typical, “really, why?” What is the problem with doing things alone? Why is that a negative thing? I think it’s liberating and powerful to do that, it builds you, so at the end of the day, I come back from the trip better, and you’re still bitter. Spoilers, my trip to Lisbon as a first time solo traveler was the best experience I have ever signed myself up for.
Yup. Best trip ever, and I’ve done plenty of trips but this was different. I didn’t set high expectations because at the end of the day, I thought traveling alone will be limiting. I was wrong, some parts MAY be harder like eating at a restaurant alone, or watching the sunset with a bottle of wine with no one to share it with. But at the same time, I chose the restaurant I wanted to go to, and I got to finish the whole bottle myself. 😉
I was surprised at myself and how capable I was at doing this. Some of my worries about solo traveling are; will I have to go to the bar myself? What if I want to go clubbing? THAT I cannot do alone, sorry bout it. But I ended up meeting some cool people at the hostel I stayed at, went out till the morning and then back to my bed ready for the next day. I even met people from ANOTHER hostel while I was out enjoying Fado with someone I just met. These strangers spilled beer on us and conversations flowed so easily that we ended up being invited to join their private pub crawl with locals!
Meeting people was too easy. Call it desperation, but I was able to strike up conversation like that old man at a coffee shop who wouldn’t stop talking.
What I am trying to say is, don’t be scared, once you’re thrown into the situation, you will adapt and come out better. Travelling with friends is fun, but so is travelling alone. Both different experiences, can’t compare it to each other!
Check out my experience through video here: