Why I Started Traveling Alone, and You Should Too

Apr 26

Why I Started Traveling Alone, and You Should Too

When I had the opportunity to take 3 whole months off work, I felt the pressure to do something incredible with this gift of time.

I’d been focusing on my career since I was 19 and if I didn’t take a break now, I’d never get a chance.

The clock was ticking.

The only problem is that while none of my friends were working (2008 bad economy) no one wanted to go traveling with me. No one else seemed to see this massive opportunity available at  the time: no work, some money, all the time in the world.

What was I going to do? I had to go somewhere.

I made a promise to myself in 2004 that if I ever left my company I would take 3 months off to travel and here I was with the days counting down until I had to return to work.

I wanted to go somewhere exotic and tropical – somewhere completely different than anything I knew. Egypt, Thailand, Peru- these were all countries that came into my mind.

But nobody wanted to go with me.

While many of my friends entertained my ideas, no one actually took me seriously.

If I was going to do this, I couldn’t depend on anyone else. It was up to me to make my dreams happen and waiting on people would just leave me high and dry.

It finally occurred to me that the previous year I had gone on a packaged tour with my grandmother in Europe. I remembered that there were a few people on that tour that were traveling alone. Could I be that person? Could I travel alone?

I certainly couldn’t travel alone, alone but the comfort of a tour sounded like the next best thing than not traveling at all.

I was going to do it.

I found the perfect solution: a 17 day Yoga and Spirituality tour through India. It was perfect! It was everything I needed and wanted.

What happened on that tour was life changing and needless to say my life has never been the same ever again. I’ve now been traveling for over 5 years and found a new purpose in life that far surpassed my previous life goals of having a successful career.

My goal in life is now to LIVE.

I’ve never been one to wait for things to happen to me, you’re the only one in control of your life and you’re the only one that can make things happen. Whether it’s travel, a job, a relationship, or whatever your dream may be – ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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18 comments

  1. Hi Alex! I really connected to this post. I have been going through some life changing events recently too. I don’t travel alone, I am with my hubby. My life changed 14 month ago when we packed up our old life in Australia for a life of permanent travel. I got sick of waiting for something extraordinary to happen, so I MADE it happen. And now I am a different person, on a different path and happier than Ive ever been in my life. Sometimes you have to step into the unknown to find what you are looking for.

    • Hi Nicole, thanks for commenting! I totally feel you. It’s the only way to live life – to make things happen for yourself. It’s very rare to meet someone that regrets making the decision to travel. You can always go back to your old life if it doesn’t work out, but you can never get the time back that you lost waiting. Congratulations on your life change :-)

  2. I’m in exactly the same boat you were in. I’ve got three months off work – and no one wanted to go travel with me, so I just went to my friend, who was a travel agent, and told her to book me on the cheapest flight to Paris. I’m heading off on my first solo trip for three months in July and I’m SO SO SO ready for it!

    • That’s incredible Olivia! Congratulations! It’s going to be such an amazing experience and you’ll find that you’re so much more open to meeting new people when you’re rolling solo. It’s such a freeing experience. Hostels are the best places to interact with other travelers. Are you staying in Paris for 3 months? Lucky girl :-)

  3. I also started travelling alone when I was younger, as I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to come with me. Although the idea itself was scary, I absolutely loved the reality and have now been on many solo trips – I’ve just got back from a nine month RTW. The other thing I discovered is that you stay in hostels you’re very rarely ‘alone’ anyway as you meet so many brilliant people along the way!

    • Hi Emily! Yes, you travel alone but you’re never alone! I love that. When you travel with someone else you tend to isolate yourself so it’s awesome to get out there and do it on your own. Hostels are the perfect way to go :-)

  4. glecyl /

    Hi alex, thanks for posting this. since i was a kid i really longed to travel and see the wonders of the world, new place, see new people and the way they live. like you i started working at a young age 17 while pursuing my college education, but my dream to travel was always there.. now that im 29 i would like to try to travel alone, because i believe that it is a life changing experience, i guess i would give myself more confidence and could face all the challenge that may come my way. i hope like you i can travel also…

    by the way this may 16 is my first travel, this time is with my friends but this could be a good start for more travels…. thanks for inspiring me. :-)

    • Alex /

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! It makes me happy to hear I could have helped inspire your travel dreams. It’s a good idea to start the first time with friends or with a group if you feel apprehensive. However, you are completely right about traveling alone – it’s a personal challenge and tests you in ways that you didn’t know where possible, it can be personally enlightening :-)

  5. yeeling /

    Hi Alex, I have also traveled alone, several times in my life already. However, as a solo traveler, I have encountered puzzled frowns from people who could not understand why I traveled alone. Have you ever had such an experience and how did you deal with it?

    • Alex /

      Hi Yeeling, thanks for the message! I suppose maybe I have but there are so many solo travelers out there I think I give them a more puzzled look for now knowing ;-) If I were you I would just smile and ask them a question to take the attention from you. Thanks for reading!

  6. Carrie /

    Hi Alex! I was wondering what the name of the tour was that you took in India? Who did you go through for it? This seems like something that I would really enjoy. I am suffering from an uncontrollable desire to travel aimlessly. I thought it would eventually subside but its getting harder to ignore. I am married with a 6 year old, so I have a little while before I can actually fulfill my travels. But I would love to take a tour like the India one at some point.

    • Alex /

      Hi Carrie! Going on a tour is a nice way to go on your own when you have a limited time. The nice thing about this one is that when I did it it was mostly women so it gives mom a nice “me” break for you to return refreshed to husband and baby :-) The tour is the India Spring tour from Sacred Earth Journeys: http://www.sacredearthjourneys.ca/ Tell them Alex from Travel Fashion Girl sent you!

  7. Houda /

    Hey Alex! when reading your post i was totaly seeing myself in the way you started, well i haven’t traveled that much but i’ve decided to ..now that i have the “travel fever” lool .. i have practicly spent my entire life studying and working on my career , my first solo experience was a trip to istanbul (amazing place by the way) ..i reeealy liked the idea of travelling alone , i was actualy dreaming of but i was scared .. but the experience was worth it …and i’m absolutly not stopping … you can say that i have found new meaning to life and i can’t stop thinking about my next destination i’m thinking Greece or Spain ;)

    • That’s exactly how I feel – a new meaning to life. Travel is such a personal experience and has the ability to change your life. Best of luck with your travel goals :-)

  8. Can definitely realte to this! I have travelled with family or a partner, but never solo and planning my first solo trip to Cambodia and Thailand! Seeing you know how it feels traveling solo for the first time, would you recommend an organised tour for thailand, or to just do it on your own?

    • definitely on your own 100%! Thailand is very easy to travel alone. There are agencies everywhere or you could easily take local transport to get around and travel on your own time. Have a great time!

  9. Thanks for posting.
    I am planning to go on spiritual adventure to India, probably Benares. I would like to get some feedback from anybody, who was there.
    I am leaving tomorrow. but I have my Travelsim with me, so I will be able to read your comments. Thanks in advance. Sat nam!

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