A lot of people ask me, when they find out I’m traveling alone, “Who’s going to take your picture?” Well, looks like you, Sparky! To be honest, I don’t take vacations for the pictures or to show off to anyone else. Although, the pictures do help to remind me of great memories and the stories are fun to share. Nevertheless, I take vacations for me. It doesn’t matter if I’m by myself, with friends, or in a random group. I went on vacation for me. Sure, it sounds selfish, but have you ever had one of those “I need a vacation from my vacation” experiences? It’s exhausting, but I love being able to give myself credit for having that much fun. That’s a feeling I love and cherish.
Well, three weeks of holidays in Ireland, Bulgaria and Switzerland have passed and, throughout my travels, I compiled a list of thoughts on traveling that I wanted to share with my fellow world explorers:
- Bring your music, but try not to be plugged in unless someone else in the room is snoring.
- It’s okay to spend the day and night with a good book or a well-stocked Kindle to decompress.
- Sitting at the bar in a pub-like establishment is a great way to 1) get free drinks, 2) get good local advice, 3) make new friends and 4) people watch.
- Never hesitate to introduce yourself to an attractive member of the opposite sex or send a nice smile/wink across the bar. If it’s a bust, oh well. If it’s not… 🙂 Not single? Make a new friend!
- Try not to let your travel companions make you as anxious as they are or more so. Stick to your guns.
- Accept differences. Obviously it’s going to be different. That’s why holidays are considered escapes from your normal life!
- Drink water! Dehydration = Feeling crappy and being cranky.
- If you understand the local language, read the local paper. Learn what’s going on right now. At the very least, you may be able to find funny headlines to include in your travel albums and slideshows.
- Dare yourself to go big or go home. As Mark Twain said, in 20 years you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did do.
- Seeing the sights is great, but take time to just absorb the environment, culture, food and views also.
- Traveling by yourself? Don’t be afraid to have a sit-down dinner by yourself. Sure, some people will think you’re nuts, but it’s just because they’re impressed with your confidence. Also, try not to spend too much time checking your smart phone while you’re waiting for your food.