ALL PHOTOS FROM ANDREA SWARZ’ SOLO TRIP to ASIA
Setting off on a solo adventure can be daunting, especially if you’re a woman and you’re all too aware of the dangers of the world. Not only is travelling on your own more vulnerable, but what if you get bored? Who will you talk to? Do you dare dine out without a companion? Why would you travel alone, when you could take a holiday with a partner, family or friends?
It’s easy to stop there and decide it’s not for you, but every woman should relish in the freedom of a solo trip at least once in her life. Not only will you be taking full control of where you go and what you do but you will have invaluable time to yourself, allowing time to focus on what you deem important. You could choose to spend entire days lazing by a pool with a book, take part in a local cookery course, or lace up your boots and spend your time hiking along clifftops. The beauty of solo travel is that everything is your decision.
Even if you already consider yourself to be an independent woman, travelling solo will bring a whole new meaning to the word. Not only will you have the flexibility to decide where you go and how you spend your time without having to compromise, but you’ll have to face any challenges that arise on your own. Don’t panic if things go wrong; accept that all journeys have their flaws and be proud of yourself for overcoming difficult circumstances.
Rather than indulging in conversation, you will be free to focus your attention on your surroundings. The scents, sights, sounds and smells of your destination are yours to experience alone, and you can take your time letting them all sink in. There is no other opinion to tar your thoughts; everything that you experience is yours and yours alone. You’re free to spend an entire afternoon perched on a cliff listening to the waves crash against the shore, or to linger in a restaurant for hours tasting local delicacies, making up your own mind about what you do or don’t like.
Of course, you’re perfectly free to talk to other people if you you’re missing conversation. Reach out to fellow travellers or strike up a conversation with the locals; you never know when you’re going to make a connection with someone. When you travel with a companion, it rarely crosses your mind to talk to a stranger but if you keep your wits about you, solo travel opens up the opportunity to meet interesting people with stories to tell.
For most women, the lure of travelling alone perhaps comes from the lack of compromise. Perhaps you have a destination you have always wanted to visit but no one will accompany you, or you and your partner have very different ideas on the types of holiday that you enjoy. This is your opportunity to go away on your own and enjoy those places that you’ve always dreamt of. Whether that means staying in a cosy cottage an hour’s drive from home or embarking on an adventure to the other side of the globe, you’re free to take that journey.
The beauty of slow travel is that you take the time to savour your surroundings and this works perfectly when you travel alone. There is no one to rush you along, so you are free to take as much or as little time over activities as you like. If you want to reflect on a recent event, mull over a difficult decision or find inspiration for a new project, you are alone with your thoughts and only your surroundings as a distraction.