WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

On Bravery

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Château de Chenonceau – Loire Valley (2006)

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly brave person. Independent, strong-willed, stubborn – yes. If you asked me to describe myself, I wouldn’t use brave as a qualifier though. It figures pretty low down the list, & I’d actually probably describe myself as more cautious. I reserve that description for soldiers, firefighters, & the like.

My best friend is backpacking through Europe on her own right now though, & we were discussing the comments that ultimately come up when you decide to go on such an adventure. I’ve done the bulk of my travel alone, & as I’ve expressed many times before, I am passionate in my belief that solo travel is important. I suppose I’d given her the impression that it’s also normal. Unfortunately, ten years after my first trip, it’s still not. In fact, more often than not, people comment that they could never travel alone. They’re in disbelief that she’s travelling by herself. I got this reaction often too, & then when I returned, I was often told I was brave for going it alone.

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All the solo travel selfies

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Covered Bridges in Strasbourg

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Solo drinks & planning

While I also love to travel with friends, I think it’s a completely different experience. (I’m really don’t mean to knock group travel! It has some serious merits too!) I’m sad that the prospect of travelling alone would deter someone from travel at all. Honestly, I feel they’re missing out. I hope perception around this is changing, but we clearly haven’t reached a point of normalization.

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Prague Castle

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Perouges, France

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Silly self timer shot in Perouges

If that’s what’s keeping you from an experience, let me just say that you can do it. New experiences can seem daunting at first, but it won’t take long to adapt. Take the leap! I personally loved my experiences & found incredible freedom in the opportunity to do as I pleased. I loved wandering new cities with no real destination, sitting in cafes reading or writing, & taking as many photos as I wanted without worrying that I was holding someone up. It gave me time to figure out who I was on my own, which was invaluable.  & since I was mostly hostelling, I met people in the evenings & enjoyed the company of others when I wanted it.

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Making friends in Munich

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Ski day at Chamrousse

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Lake Geneva

Have you ever travelled alone? Would you consider it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. Did it twice, sort of, not counting solo vacations to “normal” places. I went to Germany at 16 (verrrry long time ago) on a month-long exchange, but I was mostly doing things myself. And I went to Japan by myself in 2012, but only for two weeks. Travelling with someone else is great for sharing experiences and bonding, but travelling alone is fabulous also. It’s a very liberating experience, plus it challenges and stretches you. 10/10, highly recommended, would travel alone again. 🙂

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I love hearing about other people’s adventures. Glad to hear you’ve had such good travel experiences & are up for more! I think it’s one of the best ways to spend your money (second only to food!)

  2. You have so many good insights on travel :). I’ve never travelled solo but it’s something I’d still like to do at some point, even just for a short time. It’s amazing how you can feel so close to the people you’ve met at a hostel only hours before!

    • Thanks hgumms! ? Travel has given me so much & I’m so grateful for all the opportunities & support I’ve had. I hope that more people can be so lucky! I hope you get to go solo at some point – I really believe it’s an amazing way to grow, & really get to know yourself. & those hostel friendships are like nothing else!

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