I admit, deciding to travel to New York by myself was an act of spontaneity but nevertheless, it was one of the best decisions I had ever made.
Because I booked my flights far in advance, I wondered for some time if I would actually end up going by myself or whether one of my friends would end up tagging along. Around the ‘100 Days to Go’ mark, it kicked in and I realised that I was definitely going by myself. Some of my friends and family were surprised when I told them I was going it alone, ‘are you sure?’ popped up a few times. But really, it had been dream of mine to visit New York and I wasn’t going to let that slip away just because no one could go with me.
The subject of female solo travel brings up multiple opinions however, my view is that we really shouldn’t have to feel restricted in any way. Yes, there are some countries that people may be hesitant towards but there is still a world full of destinations, ready to explore.
Before my trip, I did a whole heap of research about where I would be staying, the layout of the city, views on getting around as well as reading suggestions by locals. This preparation definitely made the trip easy-going and I felt incredibly comfortable arriving in New York, well, with the exception of the first 3 hours or so – my luggage went missing. Stepped off the plane, first time to New York, first solo trip and my luggage was nowhere to be found. Those who know me, losing my luggage is a big fear of mine but it’s crazy how much you learn about yourself when faced with a challenging situation. I had no one else to depend on and in a sense, it wasn’t an overly bad start to the trip as I proved to myself that I am stronger than I imagined.
I also read a lot of posts by other solo female travellers before jet setting half way around the world and was enlightened by their views and experiences.
One of the best parts of travelling by myself was the freedom. I had a tour planned one afternoon but decided in the morning I didn’t want to partake, I went to the M&M store at midnight because I had mad chocolate cravings and spent an hour at Top of the Rock admiring the Empire State Building and city lights at night, simply because I had the freedom to do so. Some people like to play on the whole ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ journey but I really believe travelling solo, especially for us ladies, can be life-changing. For the first time I had found peace and comfort within myself.
Travelling solo may not be for everyone. You might miss the idea of sharing the experiences with other people, there were moments during my trip where I had, but I think there is a great deal missed not travelling solo at least once. It can be quite an inspiring and magical experience.