What To Expect The First Time You Travel Solo?

Oooooh, does chill run down your spine when you hear someone say ‘Solo travelling? The discomfort in your chest? What happens if you get stranded somewhere? Daunting moments in the airport? Those who have travelled alone will understand this feeling.

I’ve always felt a compelling desire to challenge the Indian ‘taboo,’ making me somewhat of a rebel in my own right. While I hold deep respect for our traditions, I’ve often pondered whether the fathers and mothers of young Indian girls could approach our growth differently. Instead of clipping our wings out of fear, they could encourage us with a resounding ‘Yes, women can. Yes, YOU can.’ Here’s my journey, where I chose to spread my wings and venture across the seas, discovering that I am much more than I ever imagined.

At the Franz Josef Strauś Munchen Airport before boarding my flight.

In defying conventions, some view this as a daunting prospect, while others argue that it’s the most liberating way to explore the world. If you’re gearing up for your inaugural solo trip and wondering about the experience, you’re in for a treat with this article. Conversely, if you’ve already embarked on solo adventures, you’ll likely resonate with my story.

I remember breaking the silence with my mom when I informed her about my decision to embark on a solo holiday. The response was a resounding NO! She presented all conceivable reasons for me to reconsider, not out of a lack of trust, but rather stemming from her genuine concern for my well-being. I must admit, persuading my mother was no easy feat, especially considering I was raised by a single parent.

Setting jokes aside, the moment I purchased my very first air ticket, a mix of excitement and disappointment enveloped me. Excitement for the upcoming adventure, and disappointment as I went against my mother’s wishes. During my solo trip, I dropped her a text on WhatsApp, expressing the need to discover myself and emphasising that if it does not happen now, it might never. Eventually, my mother reluctantly agreed (I love you, Mom, for trusting me!).

So what happens when you travel for the First Time? 

I had cold feet that I almost lost my mind!

There will come a point where your brain will start speaking to you facing your heart and ask “WHAT were you thinking?!” I felt that everyone was watching me because I was alone. I was so cautious that I held my bags tightly especially when the engine revs up for take-off or when trudging through the airport to find my next gate. You will question your sanity for solo travelling and wonder why you ever thought it was a good idea. Give it some time. Solo travelling reveals itself to you – Slowly and blossoms in all its emotional races as a truly life-changing experience.

You’ll begin to trust in your decision-making.

One of the best things about solo travel is that I make the decisions. Be it booking a taxi or choosing a valuable deal for a hotel – It’s all on me. When you travel alone, you are in charge. You will learn to be responsible as you will have no one else to please with your decisions or blame for results.

You will realize you have a gut feeling and you will learn to use it.

Call it your instinct –  At times something inside will tell you something just isn’t right. Your instinct will tell you to get the hell out of the place that you’re in, and you should listen to it. After travelling alone for a while, the reason why you will develop this instinct is that you are all by yourself. You will end up being more aware of your surroundings than how you would have been if you were with a friend. Yes, solo travel is fun but you should be aware that not all areas in this world are safe. Even if they are, you never know what goes inside someone’s mind. At times if your instinct is telling you something, you should listen to it.

You will feel lonely at times

Loneliness is unavoidable when you travel solo and I feel it’s good that this kicked in. As long as you don’t embrace it, you will not be happy with your own company. I remember when I was flying past the skies of Europe and I witnessed the most beautiful sunset from up the sky! The clouds turned orange and the gradient of colors was purple and red and all I could think of was the blue sky! It looked magnificent and my excitement turned sour because I couldn’t share it with my loved ones and at that moment, I missed my little brother. I wish he could have seen this with me, we would have laughed and shared something worthwhile. I learned that moment that being alone for large quantities of time can be daunting – but I just roll with it. Surprisingly, I started loving my own company along the way.

My plane view

You’ll be a PRO in photography!

One of the best lessons I learned is getting smart with the smartphone. You don’t necessarily need an expensive camera to get a unique picture. When you are alone, your mind gets creative in getting interesting pictures to send over to your family. I finally learned the art of clicking epic pictures!


Believe it or not, the trip gets exciting and you will end up having the best moment of your life!! You will end up doing things that you never imagined you could. You will learn to survive on your own and will have a lot of fun doing so. I am a selfie person, so that makes me go ga-ga !! I click at everything and anything that I see, even if I am sitting alone in the hotel room.

Solo travelling offers opportunities to learn different skills. The first is becoming a very good observer. Sometimes many things happen at the same time. Sometimes nothing happens. Most of the time, you will play a guessing game when you don’t understand. But observing all the time.

Perhaps it’ll happen when you’re confidently sipping your coffee in a beautiful cafe but there will come a point where you’ll realize just how strong you can be on your own. It is a beautiful discovery to know you are wiser and stronger you get to understand your needs and you will be more confident than you’ve given yourself credit for.  Solo travelling will undoubtedly reveal all layers of your personality to you. When there is no one there to hold your hand you will surprise yourself by how you’ll approach local people easily just to strike up a friendly ‘hello’ effortlessly and venture out proudly.

Yes, I know it sounds cliche but travelling alone will open your mind and make you see things a little differently. It happens because most of us live our lives in autopilot mode and get into a routine. Many of us don’t shut up and spend enough time alone with our thoughts.


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