Travelling can be a gregarious, adventurous and intensely social undertaking. Even when taking flight solo, the journey and experiences are often shared and full of lively conversation, fun activities and thrills. If that very aspect strikes a chord of fear or discomfort to you, you may be one of the shy or introverted travellers who are looking to expand their wings, but just enough and not push it too far!
Solo travelling whether it is backpacking, a golf vacation, idyllic beach jaunts, city exploring trips and more, can be a sheer joy but also takes some adjusting. You will have plenty of time to yourself for introspection and take in a place at your own leisure and immerse yourself in local sights, sounds and flavours, but sometimes just want some other interaction and want to talk to someone other than yourself! Issues about solo travelling like loneliness or homesickness can be magnified when you are shy or introverted to begin with, but it can also be just the thing you need to push you totally out of your comfort zone and experience something in a totally different way.
Although most kinds of travellers can do with some of these tips, they may be especially helpful for the bashful at heart –
Stay at more lively places – Where you stay and its environment adds or detracts a lot from your experience on a trip. If you are travelling solo and find it hard to strike up conversations and make friends, it might work to your advantage to look for accommodation that is a more social place. Hostels are great in this regard since they are a place that all kinds of travellers from different parts of the world congregate and flock to on a regular basis and of course they are often much cheaper than staying in a pricey hotel too. If you are staying in a hotel and don’t want to interact too much but just need a little bit of social interaction, hang out more in common areas like the lobby, hotel bar or recreation room that will let you people watch and partake too if you feel the need and make a little bit of conversation to liven up the day.
Take some tours – Most avid travellers can attest to the fact that going on group tours is a great way to interact with different people and travellers from other parts of the world. It sometimes gives you just the right amount of interaction without making it too much for an introvert to handle and is a no pressure way to make new friends or simply spend the day with someone other than yourself. You can always extend some social time by going for a coffee or a drink later with someone you may have hit it off with. Look for free and cheap tours in case you decide to head off and continue solo after a while.
Try to initiate small conversations – To some the whole point of solo travelling is to not constantly indulge in long rambling conversations all day and for a really shy traveller doing so is a pretty tough task. If you are in the mood for a little chatting, push yourself to be a little more outgoing and ask your fellow travellers for things like restaurant recommendations, directions to a hot spot they have visited and the like. You never know where such random and light hearted conversations can take you!
Be careful about the booze – Now although a drink or two can serve as an ice breaker or may be something you feel you need to loosen up, make sure you don’t go to far. Being safe and a little sensible while travelling alone is key.
Maurice Nicholls is a travel writer and avid blogger. His favourite kinds of holidays are golf vacations and beach holidays to unwind. When not exploring new locales he loves to cook and experiment with different cuisines along with his better half.