How many times have we told ourselves we need a trip? Either being for the purpose of unwinding, or just to take advantage of those extra vacation days we refuse to waste at home. We share the idea with our friends and/or spouse, but it seems everybody is too busy, consequently impeding your desired jaunt. Even worse, urging you to put your plans on hold until they are possibly… maybe on board.
It is almost impossible to sync our plans to other people’s priorities, and sometimes even when you find yourself a travel buddy, is it really worth it? The trip becomes an endless compromise battle. You start ruling out that modern art museum, because your buddy thinks he could have painted half of the exhibitions. You ditch your escargot tasting plans due to your friend’s rigorous McDonald’s diet. Instead of killing the person in your imagination, how about traveling solo?
The mystification of traveling solo is long overdue! ‘But I am a woman…its dangerous!’ ‘I am going to get so lonely!’ or ‘ I will look like a loser sitting in bars and restaurants all by myself!’ These affirmations usually put many of great expeditions on standby if not in its complete oblivion.
It’s time to do it! Put your excuses aside, take a pen and paper and start tracing the first of many solo traveling experiences. It’s addictive! There is no better place to self- analyze all of your irrational fears and maybe low self-esteem than picnicking in the shadow of the Eiffel tower.
Paris: A romantic first time
Paris is one of the most beautiful and/or romantic places in the world. How many times have we heard this sentence? I am afraid as cliché as it may sound; it is just the plain truth. Although people connect the statement to a loving partner, traveling alone to Paris could be that twist to your experience. Being able to either find love or fall in love with this city is something that can be read in numerous blogs online. It is a safe bet!
Step 1: Booking and arrangements
It is an essential yet fun task, which should commence as soon as your tickets’ confirmation is sent to your e-mail. This is my personal favorite, to study the city, to find things that interest YOU, foods, drinks, places YOU would like to experience… For heaven‘s sake you are alone! You can do whatever you want, whenever you want! You can splurge on a luxurious hotel, or book that little charming one of your preference. You can spend a whole day at the Louvre, or sleep in and then go market hunting at 2 PM. Paris is your canvas!
When planning a solo trip, it is important to do your homework before embarking. Spending a few evenings researching addresses of landmarks and emergencies numbers. It will come very handy, especially if the WiFi in your hotel room is not as good as you anticipated.
Make a list of attractions, directions, numbers, and tips you can easily find online about the city. Even if you are not going to follow it religiously, it’s better to be over prepared and slack off than slacking off and being overwhelmed.
Booking a proper hotel is one of the most important tasks, but it is also a fun part of the process. You will book the one that best attends to your personal preferences. Take time, read reviews, choose consciously and from there on you can enjoy without a worry. We have a wide selection, pick one and be happy!
Step 2: Sightseeing: It is not as scary as you think
The best way to sight-see when travelling alone is in group tours. Pick interesting ones and strike a conversation with your fellow rubbernecks, you will be surprised at how they crave for a nice conversation or an exchange of picture taking. If you hit it off, it could even lead to an invitation to this great wine bar friends told them about.
There are also places where you can have an introspective expedition or just some me time. You decide when you spent enough time with Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Milon de Crotone or when it’s time for a café au lait break.
It is also a good idea to enroll yourself in culinary courses or group activities. These would be perfect ice breakers, and an opportunity to meet people from around the world as well as learning something local. You enjoy a nice meal, conversations, wine and laugh about your initial self-spelled loneliness curse.
Step 3: What mustn’t I see?
The real smart people are those who learn from other people’s mistakes. A nice idea would be to ask friends that have been to Paris to tell you places you should not waste your precious time on. This could be different for everyone, of course, but it comes very handy as you can spend your vacation doing only things that are worthwhile.
You are braver than you give yourself credit for. It is OK to feel lonely sometimes, to feel a bit scared sometimes, but the feeling of overcoming these feelings is something that will carry on for way longer than the date on your return ticket. Still in doubt? check many of the solo travelers’ blogs available online for inspiration, they will change your mind.
Pack your bags, put your brave face on and explore!