• Kris R.

traveling alone.

I remember a time when I would not be able to do a lot of things because I didn’t have anyone to do it with me. I missed out on concerts, movies, & other events/activities because either someone was busy or simply didn’t want to go. The worst, right?

If I remember correctly, the first major thing I did by myself was in August 2016, my junior year in college. I decided to go to the Summer Sixteen Tour with Drake & Future. Let me tell you, I’m glad that I went because I had an amazing time! At some point, It didn‘t even matter that I was there alone. I was there enjoying some of my favorite music like I was in my car (by myself) blasting the same songs.

After that, it‘s was on! I became more & more comfortable with making moves on my own. I went to sit at bars/restaurants, the movies, other concerts/festivals, parties, eventually travel, etc.

The first time I planned a trip alone was in April 2019 when I decided to go to Philly. The primary reason for me going was to go to a concert with Jill Scott & Jazmine Sullivan (by this time I had been to at least six concerts by myself). I was living at DC at the time, so I was weighing my options on my mode of transportation. I wasn't that comfortable with the 3+ drive to a big city that I knew nothing about. And I didn't necessarily feel like it was worth paying for a 10 minute flight either. So I decided to get on the Megabus for the first! I remember only paying only $15 for my round trip ticket! Doesn't get any better than that!!

I also decided to utilize Airbnb for the first time where I booked my stay & was able to find different experiences that I booked as well. One of the experiences was a cheesesteak + bar crawl & I remember having the time of my life, meeting new people & experiencing Black culture in another city. I also met someone that I ended up being in a relationship with, but that's another story for another blog!). I also visited their African American museum, the zoo, the headass tourist areas, & much more. It is one of my favorite adventures to this day & I'm happy that I made the decision to do so.

I wanted to start with this story because I wanted to begin the first suggestion of traveling alone. First, you should get comfortable with doing small things by yourself. If you’re someone that feels like they always need someone else to do things with, then you have to start small. It‘s time to learn to enjoy your own company. Take yourself on a solo date to one of your favorite spots. Go sit at a random bar. Go sit at a coffee shop. Take a walk at the park. Go to the movies. Go to the mall. Tour a museum. Try something new. Literally anything, but start small!

Once you get used to doing the small things by yourself, you will most likely feel more comfortable with doing bigger things. Go to a concert or festival. Take a class learning a new skill. Book a hotel or Airbnb in your city. Plan a day trip, taking a mini road trip about an hour or two away from your city.

And then ... you already know what's coming next! Once you feel comfortable with doing these things alone, I think it's time for you to book that trip that you've been wanting to go on but you haven't yet because you're trying to work around other people's budgets, schedules, etc. Stop it. It's your time!

Here are some tips for traveling alone:

  1. Do some research for different things to do at your desired destination.

  2. Look up different tours, events, & attractions happening the days that you plan to be there.

  3. Instagram hashtags are also good researching. For example, #neworleansbrunch, #blackownedbusinessboston, #thingstodoinatlanta.

  4. If you are a fellow Yelper, I would also suggest looking into different things on their platform.

  5. Plan for your hotel, Airbnb, resort, etc. to be the heart of everything you plan to do during your stay. If it's possible:

  6. Try to get everything within a 10-15 mile or less radius of your location. It makes it a little easier to navigate your trip.

  7. If traveling via plane, consider how far it is from the hotel, how long it will take to get back to & from.

  8. If it's in your budget, I would suggest renting a car so it would be more a convenience for you to move when you're ready to move rather than relying on other forms of transportation.

  9. Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings & considerate of your safety.

  10. For women, I would not suggest doing too much alone late at night, but if you do, plan in advance how you're going to get from Point A to Point B. I would also recommend having a back up plan. Just in case Uber/Lyft prices are surging or public transportation is delayed or closed.

  11. To be honest, same advice goes for men, but women are unfortunately more at risk for being tried.

  12. I know planning a trip can sometime be overwhelming, but relax & enjoy every step along the way.

Lastly, I know you are doing something completely outside of your comfort zone, but be present in what you learn about yourself during this experience. Branch out & do something you wouldn't normally do. Meet new people. Try new foods. Monitor how you feel in certain spaces. Most importantly, have fun!

I hope this will help someone who is anxious about experiencing certain parts of life by themselves!

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