Besides accommodation, I’m the type of person to never really plan my solo trips. It all started about seven years ago when I took my first solo-trip to Italy. You’d think, as I was only 18 at the time and new to travelling, I would put some thought into what I would do abroad but I just booked a flight for later in the week and went. Was I spontaneous or was I naïve? I guess it depends who you ask! However since that first solo-trip, I’ve followed a similar approach to travelling. Now, when I travel with a group my approach is different as I feel responsible for making sure others have a good time, but when I travel alone that’s a different story….
You may have seen in my other posts that I frequently mention how much I rely on walking. I rarely catch public transport when I’m out and about. Yup, even a location 60 minutes away I’ll almost always just walk. I feel completely at peace walking in my hometown, but when I’m abroad there is the advantage of seeing things you’d never normally see. I’m talking about random little restaurants or photo-worthy streets even a Google search wouldn’t pick up. No expectations I guess! Sure, sometimes I end up walking 30 mins for somewhere to eat without much luck but I usually become distracted by something else. It goes without saying, I’m street-savvy and cautious but just following random pavements and signs gives me experiences I wouldn’t have ever imagined. Some of my favourite memories include walking to a hidden beach or stumbling across the BEST local food in a small rural zone.
Another reason why I prefer not planning a solo-trip is because I never really know how I’ll feel that day. I’d describe myself as a sociable and confident human but I struggle with anxiety. It just seems to creep up on me unexpectedly. The type of anxiety which makes even leaving your accommodation to buy a bottle of water impossible. With age, I’ve learnt what works best for me when I get anxious abroad but it made me realise how basing my activities on how I feel that day gives me more control. That’s why I won’t promise myself things like ‘On Tuesday I’ll go here and on Wednesday I’ll go there’. My anxiety has improved over the years from a mixture of medication and self-awareness, but even to this day, when I arrive somewhere new I’ll always have a chilled one to gage how I feel. Then I just take things from there without set plans. Don’t get me wrong – I like to do a quick search of a restaurant online the moment I see the building, or I’ll search up a location’s hashtag for picturesque views when I want to unwind. However, I tend to do that all on the spot. If you’re interested in some apps I use for backpacking then I’ll link you to a previous post: My Favourite Apps for Solo-Travel, Backpacking and Exploring
Whether lack of planning is my way of re-living the memories from my first solo trip I don’t know, but it made me realise how much I enjoy being spontaneous. Unpredictable experiences definitely keep me excited.
What’s your approach to the topic? Are you an avid planner? Do you prefer to go with the flow? Or, perhaps you mix the two together? That’s never a bad thing! Let me know in the comments, I’m curious!
Until then, see you in the next post