Dear Solo Traveller
As you are about to set off on a solo adventure (Yes, you are a Nigel No-Friends), I thought it would be timely to share some thoughts and advice on traveling on your lonesome.
Ignore me if I am trying to ‘sell ice to Eskimos’, but here goes:
Do as you damn well please: Make the most of the chance to simply suit yourself. You can set your own agenda, eat what you want, when you want and walk and wander as little or as much as you desire each day.
In a world where we are often bombarded by a million competing demands, revel in the luxury of just being free to set your own pace.
Enjoy the silence and solitude: There is so much input all day, every day in normal life – telephone, TV, radio, social media, emails – now is the time to just listen to the silence, the sounds of nature, the wind in the trees, the rustle of a small animal in the undergrowth or the cry of a bird.
Silence and solitude give you time to think or time to simply empty your mind and rest your brain. That opportunity doesn’t happen very often in our busy lives, make the most each day being reduced to the basics i.e. food, bed and beer….not necessarily in that order.
Open your heart to adventure: You know every day will not be perfect, in fact some will be damn hard, but that is what makes an adventure. The good, the bad, the rough and the smooth. It will make you stronger and more resilient, and importantly, more appreciative of the good life you have at home.
Make new friends: No one knows you and you are not pigeon-holed like you may be in your ‘real’ life. Be your true self and open yourself up to the interesting and different people of this world.
Start conversations and respond to conversation.
Within your own comfort limits or levels, trust that people are as genuinely interested in you, as you are in them. It doesn’t mean you will like everyone, but be open to new connections.
Take a book: Books, either tangible or e-books, become your best friends when you can’t find human ones.
Be safe: Always be conscious of your surroundings. Not that you need to be hyper-vigilant, but understand where you are in the landscape and where to avoid. Don’t put yourself in questionable situations and if your gut is telling you you are uncomfortable, then listen to it and move on.
Be brave: Life is too short not to grab opportunities with both hands. Shake off the nay-sayers and follow your dreams.
Don’t stay at home just wishing and dreaming. That sells yourself short, makes you restless and unhappy, and that affects both your work and the people around you. Much better that you be true to your wanderlust, get it out of your system (if ever that is possible) and return home satisfied.
Love your home: Appreciate the people in your life and your home. Enjoy your return to normality and be conscious that while you have been off gallivanting around the world, life has continued ‘as per normal’ for everyone else.
Appreciate that they haven’t had the level of excitement and adventure that you may have had, and they have been diligently keeping the ‘home fires burning’.
Be thankful: Acknowledge the privilege that is travel. Not everyone has the financial capacity or life circumstances to be able to take off at the drop of a hat, so show appreciation and thankfulness as you travel and when you return home.
There will never be a perfect time to pack your bags and take off. There will always be something you should be doing instead, you should be more sensibly spending your money on etc.
It is a terrible, but true cliché that ‘life is short’. Don’t wait for tomorrow as tomorrow may never arrive.
Live the best life you can and if that means stepping out into the World on your own, then…
Just Do It!
Wishing you blue skies, gentle breezes, lots of laughs and a cold beer or two at the end of each day.