In December, I traveled solo for one week to northern Thailand. It wasn’t my first time taking a trip by myself, and I’ve written multiple posts about how much I’ve enjoyed being alone.
And while I met some really lovely people on the trip and enjoyed myself overall, I felt pretty lonely most of the time. When my carefully laid out plans got cancelled (on multiple occasions), I had no one else to turn to and say, “What’s next?” When the first hostel I stayed at in Pai was a nightmare, I texted friends at home and said, “What do I do?!” instead of hashing it out with someone else IRL. When I was tired and couldn’t muster up the strength to leave my bed, I needed someone to shove me out and say, “You’re only here for one Sunday! Don’t miss the Sunday market!!”
I was so tired of answering the same questions: what’s your name, where are you from, what do you do, HOW LONG ARE YOU TRAVELING FOR (followed by shock that it was only for two weeks). Very few conversations turned into anything deeper than the polite generics (shout out to Rach and Sasha for actually trying!!).
There could have been many factors playing into why I wasn’t so in love with my trip:
- Maybe I came with a bad attitude
- Maybe I missed the person I had just started dating
- Maybe Chiang Mai and Pai weren’t very enticing
- Maybe solo travel isn’t really my schtick
I don’t write this post to discourage you from traveling alone – because it can be super awesome – but as more of a reality check. You will get lonely. You will get bored. You will be annoyed at times answering the same questions. Traveling solo will be a test of your personal strength. And you might not like it. But you should absolutely, definitely, positively, for sure try it at least once in your life.