I Traveled Alone and It Kind of Sucked

Cry me a river, I know

Photo by Martin O’Neill/Redferns via Getty Images

By the last day of my trip I was almost thankful for the migraine that hammered behind my right eye. Wanting to be home while breathing through nausea made me sane; wanting to be home while wandering around Europe made me boring. Worse, spoiled.

The realization that I might suck at traveling alone hit me curiously hard. Before I left for London, I kept referring to my 10-day solo trip abroad as so Eat Pray Love. I’d never been to Europe. The round-trip flight was a nonrefundable remnant of an anniversary vacation that would never be, and now I was on my own. At the heart of my cynicism was a kernel of hope that it’d be unexpectedly magical (a paradox). That this departure from my comfort zone would be a catalyst for some internal shift I’d reference for years. The presumption of importance was my biggest mistake.

I’ve never been particularly wanderlusty. I think my willingness to travel alone was about proving something. I’ll never forget my mom telling me she thought me mentally equipped to live on my own when I was 10. “I could move you into your own apartment tomorrow and you’d be fine!” She’d always laugh. Certain compliments stick with you when you’re a kid; I think I might have built my entire identity around that one. This solitary trip abroad felt like a test I was made to pass.

The thing is, I should have planned more. My casualness leading up to the flight translated to oversights that had ripple effects: arriving at my hostel seven hours before check-in meant wasting an afternoon with all my luggage in hand, meant changing in the tiny lobby restroom, meant dropping my Oyster card in the toilet. Not reading hostel reviews meant a “kid-friendly environment,” meant screaming toddlers, meant little socializing. Not checking the forecast (or calendar?) meant packing only a denim jacket for 40-degree weather, meant buying a cheap coat, meant not having room in my bag for it, meant extra schlepping. Not planning meant not having outlet adaptors, meant forgetting shower shoes, meant not knowing where to go.


The litany of little mishaps that were a direct result of my incompetence became a large theme in my day-to-day. This is just what it’s like to travel! I thought to myself, shaking them off each time. Chin up, earbuds in, tens of thousands of steps clocked, my mind in a fixed state of This Should Mean Something. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern, the Tower of London. It sounded like heaven on paper. I certainly looked charmed — all bundled up and rosy-cheeked and starry-eyed — only I was never quite sure if I actually was. It felt, at times, like acting. My lingering sense of ennui didn’t make sense, though. I’ve always identified as an introvert who thrives on long walks and empty rooms. This should have been my element.

After a few days, I booked a $140 flight to Paris. I couldn’t really afford it but I was trying to indulge a travel bug I wasn’t sure had bitten me. In Paris I’d feel something, I thought to myself. When I got there I was gobsmacked by its beauty. The Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, the Arc de Triomph. Again I felt my cheeks smiling and again I wasn’t sure it was genuine. I went to bed, convincing myself that tomorrow, November 9th, would be great. When I woke up, Donald Trump had won the U.S. Presidency.

At that point, whatever dregs of feigned cheer were left in my teacup dried up. Or rather, I threw the entire cup against a wall. I walked around narrow streets crying about America and wondering what was wrong with me. The weather was fittingly ominous, darkening every half hour, sending me rushing for cover where, under the safety of my umbrella, I thought about New York. I was so lonely. That felt like a failure.


The next day, I was sitting in the lobby of my hostel texting my friend that I couldn’t remember why I’d come. That I was worried I wasn’t doing it right. Call me, he said. Right then a girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was okay. Her English sounded like music. I accidentally started crying, then rambling. She started hugging me. “My name is Danielle.”

I thanked her, apologized profusely and told her I had to call my friend. Up on the roof I curled up under my coat and told him I was feeling lost. “You have to take the pressure off of yourself,” he told me through FaceTime. “Who cares if this trip means anything? Fuck it! Fuck seeing what you’re supposed to see! The best thing I did in Paris was watch a bad movie and get diarrhea! It can’t all be perfect. Stop trying so hard. You’re ruining it. Just exist. If you’re sad, be sad! Go to a restaurant with a book and cry! Then look at the pretty skyline and think fuck that skyline! Order whatever you want and if you don’t like it? Leave! Better yet, shove that shit off the table! Be like ‘Fuck this burger! Fuck it all!’”

It was an absurd pep talk and my anxious expression broke into laughter. It was the happiest I’d felt since arriving in Europe. I was free. Another guy on the roof started laughing in spite of himself.

“I’m sorry to eavesdrop,” he said. “But your friend is really funny.”

When I hung up, he introduced himself as Jamie. Another guy introduced himself as Juan. Just then, Danielle walked onto the roof and asked us if we wanted to walk around together. Suddenly I had three new friends and a plan. The day we spent together was the highlight of my trip. And none of it had happened because I tried. It was just random. Turns out I enjoyed traveling, just with other people.

On my final day in Paris I was alone again, but with a newfound sense of acceptance. Or a newfound sense of fuck it.


On my way to the airport, I stopped at a café and tried to order a coffee. Instead, I was delivered a platter of desserts. This is not a metaphor. I ate those fucking desserts. It was 11 A.M. By the time I arrived back in London I was ready for whatever shit was coming. My last hostel was essentially a three-story dumpster. My roommates were traveling students who’d set up very messy camp, going-out tops strewn about like streamers, faces so buried in iPhones I literally didn’t know what they looked like. The wifi didn’t work. My email had locked me out for some reason. I lost my headphones immediately. My period was coming. It didn’t have to mean that much, did it? That’s when the migraine set it. I lay in the lobby my entire last day in London, unable to open my eyes and yet somehow relieved to be dealing with a pressure that was so purely physical. I did not search for the meaning.

Landing back in New York was like a dream. I avoided telling people that my favorite part of the trip was a call I’d made home near tears. That I’d spent so much of my time there wondering if I was doing it right. That I’d had no epiphanies. And if I’m being honest, I’m still not sure about what it all meant. Maybe that I suck at traveling alone. That I’m boring. That beauty is just beauty. That I picked the wrong time. That I’d followed through on that Seth Godin quote I read years ago and never could forget: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” Maybe I’d done that. Or maybe it all meant nothing. Maybe none of us get to glean meaning through brute force. Maybe we just have to live sometimes.

Feature photo by Martin O’Neill/Redferns via Getty Images.

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  • Nicole

    One of the few scenes I find relatable in eat, pray, love is the one where the main character is trying to meditate and immediately starts thinking about her life at home, what she’s going to to do when she gets back, how she’s going to redecorate etc. I don’t know what it is about leaving home but whenever I find time to think while away, I immediately start thinking about re-organizing my junk. Why is it so hard to just enjoy the moment? I guess it’s something we all struggle with and need to work on.
    Another thought, I think times of self discovery and realization happen when we least expect them, traveling to a new country isn’t necessarily one of them. But don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to travel! There’s just something more special about sharing moments in a new place with someone else.

    • Haley Nahman

      Completely agree!

    • Phil

      Funny enough, a friend told me that if you can, always plan holidays for 2 weeks rather than 1, as for a one week you spend the first half still thinking about back home, and the 2nd half mentally preparing for your journey back. Only for 2 week or more can you switch off and “enjoy the moment”. True, most of us can’t do 2 weeks. But my friend did say this after apparently having their first 2-week holiday in years.

      Mind you, personally I have enough self-doubts about travelling alone without trying to restrict myself to searching for 2 week windows. So even a weekend would be cool.

  • Amélie

    I’m from Paris and the same thing happened to me in New York, so I feel you on this one. (And I’m guessing you ordered a “café gourmand” at the café, ask for an “allongé” if you want something that looks like American coffee when you come back – with friends!)

    • Haley Nahman

      OMG THAT WAS TOTALLY IT!!!!! Cafe Gourmand! You’re a saint for this

      • Amélie

        Leave it to us to turn coffee in dessert… Hope you feel cosier next time you visit France!

    • Sam

      Ooooh merci bcp pour expliquer ça! Je vais devoir me rappeler ça pour la prochaine fois que je rends visite à Paris! 🙂

  • Harling Ross

    I think this is my favorite thing you’ve ever written, and that’s saying a lot. Scrolling back up now to read again and again. Bye!

    • Haley Nahman

      Ugh Harls you’re just the best

  • Damn! 😉 Next time you are here, let me know. You never know what your MR fans can do for you (I identify as an introvert, so no worry)

  • Caroline

    This is so so wonderfully refreshing. I had diarrhea at that Disney castle in Germany and felt like such a d-bag for just wanting to be home watching HGTV in my basement. Not to mention spent like 20 euros on bathroom trips alone.

    • Haley Nahman


  • Emily

    I also went to London alone a few years ago, and had a similar experience! It was nice for about one day then I felt empty…there’s something really important about being able to reminisce about these new experiences with someone else. I also went to Bali alone, which was paradise, but felt a little lonely. I vowed never to do a big international trip alone again!

    • Haley Nahman

      Pretty sure I’m with you on that vow!

  • Nature is best for solitary trips! Cities constantly call into question our proximity to others, playing on all sorts of ideas about alienation and inclusion. Being (relatively) alone at the basin of Death Valley, though, or at the peak of mountain? That’s a whole other thing. First the beauty hits you, then the numbing and humbling realization of your insignificance, and then the overwhelming feeling that we are part of something so much bigger than the social proximities we construct. Like earth. And then, peace! And tears bc transience! <333333

    • (I strongly believe that if every American visited somewhere in our national park system — which we share and are universally affordable to access — we’d have more empathy and understanding for one another! Like, we’re all on this stiflingly stunning planet together, our only home…)

    • Haley Nahman

      V good call on nature. I love that idea! Dare I though……….

      • Yes ya do! you could even pull a bear grylls and stay in luxury hotels in between days of cresting glacial peaks or descending into empty watersheds.

    • Eva Skewes

      I love this! It’s a wholly different experience being out on a bike ride or a hike and just pausing to breathe or listen. For me being alone in the wild is much more about privacy and reflection than loneliness.

    • Jennifer Vercelli

      I can personally attest to this as I am currently solo in Iguazu, Argentina. The awe and wonder I felt today when visiting the falls I think for me was something profound that was best experienced alone.

      • PDuff

        I reserved a day each for both the Brazil and Argentina sides of Iguazu, but I really wished I had friends along with whom to enjoy the spectacle (and witness my lunch being stolen by an aggressive coati, or have someone to tag along on the boat ride).

        • Jennifer Vercelli

          The boat ride would have been more fun with friends, agreed! I actually hated it and was miserably uncomfortable.

  • Julia

    I hear ya! I also think that the election may have had a huge impact on your trip. When I found out Donald Trump won, I cried for two days and for the next seven after that I ate only bagels and drank diet coke. Which I never eat or drink either one of those items on a regular basis. ALSO I just did a solo trip to France this summer and struggled a bit like you. The day I landed in Paris the attacks happened in Nice. I was on edge the whole time but really tried to get out of my comfort zone. I met with a friend of a friend under that fancy bridge, he spoke with a beautiful french accent and some how made smoking look good. He insisted on hanging out more but I ended up getting a taxi back to my apt I had rented. While riding in the taxi it got hit by another taxi and I was dumped out on a random street in Paris at Midnight and just burst in tears. I then called myself a huge baby, found my way home and took a snap video of me sneezing…..The rest of the trip turned out great, but I will say traveling for me would have been better to have someone to share it with. I am glad I did it though, because if not I never would have known that traveling alone kind of blows ;). Below is a screen shot photo montage of the said solo sneezing snap video for your viewing pleasure….https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8692eea1066f2e4924a926920e2e6a3b6a94e5de4ffaf5337e3eccb078287356.png …. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b2f78ff3340a6ddaf90d81b2fa2903d193629c558684305caf038ef54de2ffa.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/81a1aeba5ddcc0952bb5d163254b6a4da8951a5a58f06ee46c3cff6f0c899b01.png zing xo!

    • Haley Nahman


      And tysm for sharing the snap sneezes. This is important intel. And I totally agree that trying it — even if just to learn I didn’t like it — was worth it.

  • Alexis Thomolaris

    Srsly want to meet you/be best friends. My solo travel experience in Paris this summer while studying abroad was eerily similar. It seemed like everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong (stolen phone, shitty hostel experience, bird poop on my new shirt, etc.) and I kept beating myself up about it. I was in a city that I had always dreamed of visiting, yet I was finally there and miserable. I thought that despite all of the hubabaloo I was supposed to feel something. The Parisian magic was supposed to kick in and wash my worries away. It never did! But my trip did teach me something: life is messy! It rarely goes as planned, and that’s ok!! Paris will always be there, and if I’m lucky enough I’ll get to go back, this time friends + phone included 🙂

    • Haley Nahman


  • LandonMarie

    I just face timed a Brooklyn friend who had crappy dreary rain in the window when she picked up. She took one look at the palm trees in my screen and said, “Oh my god! You’re life is so amazing!” That’s about when I started crying and telling her that life just sucks sometimes, even on islands. I also hate the pressure to enjoy every moment of traveling. Great article. I’m on month 10+ or so of mostly solo travel and sometimes I just want Netflix and a yoga date.

    • Haley Nahman

      “Life just sucks sometimes, even on islands” is perfect

  • lydia

    After a really stressful 6 months of 7-day, 12 hour day work weeks (seriously), I booked a solo trip to Hawaii for 5 days. Never traveled that far or long solo (work doesn’t count). I spent 75% of my time by the pool and most of the remaining time watching reality tv. I was a little bummed with myself that I didn’t go out and explore more, but frankly it was MY version of Hawaii. This entire thread totally validated that for me.

    • Haley Nahman

      Love your version of hawaii

  • Eva Skewes

    I cannot imagine being alone in a foreign country on November 8/9. It was so important for me to be able to call my parents and just cry, or go to work and see others grieving. It was ghostly, but not lonely.

    I’ve traveled/sighseed alone for a day or two in Paris and there was a sort of sense of wondering what I SHOULD be doing. Was I getting enough out of this site/store/place? Was I there too long/not long enough? Was I being judged for being alone? Who would this be better with?

    I did prefer being alone to waiting for friends to arrive and slowly realizing they were THE WORST at predicting time. After wasting hours waiting for people, I eventually just started doing what I wanted to do. Traveling with people is best when it’s with the right people. The trouble is you never know if they’re the right people until you’re in the thick of it.

    • Haley Nahman

      Oof, v true!

  • Amelia Diamond

    Haley I love this so, so, so so so so much <- fuck commas! (this is amelia but my disqus login is being super rude)

    • Mariana

      Mine too, disqus off all afternoon!

    • Haley Nahman

      Fuck commas!

  • Lily

    Haley! I love this, and I feel for you, big time. I went abroad my junior year, was told it would be the best experience of my life, best semester in college – have never felt more lonely, bored, or unlike myself. I think it is okay to not be a person who loves to travel. And certainly you don’t need to be a wanderlust-happy person who wants to go it alone. I’m glad you’re back safe and sound, and thanks for sharing.

    • Haley Nahman

      Thank you <5

  • Aw! I kind of want to say try again but if you’re a social traveller then whatever.
    I’ve been travelling semi-solo since I was 16 (flying alone but meeting people at the destination) but last summer I took my first 98% solo trip to Barcelona. I say 98% solo because my sister gave me the contact of her friend there and I hung out with her and her friends for 2 nights.
    It started out really shitty. My luggage didn’t arrive, and I travel super light so my carry-on was my regular purse that I had packed as if it was a regular day at home. I actually cried on the train platform going into the city. Then I had to spend my first few hours scrambling around trying to find products so I could take a shower – I learned the hard way that in Barcelona most grocery stores are food only. Once I took a shower and got into the city I actually started to be happy, because I genuinely love wandering around new cities and admiring architecture and such alone. Though I was really happy when I met up with my sister’s friend and had some human interaction.

  • Ally Mijol

    First of all, I want to say that you’re a wonderful writer and you inspire me. I went to Amsterdam by myself during my time studying abroad in London and that felt exactly how you described your own experience. London was da bomb for me, granted I was totally established there as a student and had the chance to really ‘inhabit’ the city as opposed to just exist like I did in Amsterdam. Then again some of my classmates were ready to go home by the first week of the trip. There needs to be a sense of belonging somehow, I think.

    • Haley Nahman

      Agree completely and thank you!

  • Mariana

    “Happiness is only real when shared” maybe? I would love to be that girl that could put a pair of underwear and dresses in a bag and just go and travel the world (that would be so practical for a single girl like me that likes constancy in life but also really hates boring routine and needs a change), but I seek connection and the joy of sharing.
    I love your real and honest essay, thanks for that!

    • Haley Nahman

      Upvoting “happiness is only real when shared.” Or maybe it’s just better?

      • Mariana

        Yes, Hapiness is better when shared is more accurate!

  • Gleaming the Cube

    I was also abroad (Italy) on November 9, and it is weird. People were very nice about it, aside from one asshole… I’m actually really glad I was not at home (home being NYC) on those days, because the distance was very helpful in trying to process what had just happened.

    But, re the travel: I’ve been traveling alone by myself for quite a few years. I lived abroad– where I was often very alone, and lonely–too. And I think maybe that travel isn’t necessarily so good for learning who you are (the Eat Pray Love bullshit), but the inverse. I know what I like, I know what I’m looking for, and I now travel extremely happily. Either by myself, or with others. I recently came back from a short weekend by myself in Brazil and had a great time! But, I planned it (the hotel, the location) keeping in mind that there are some things I like– no matter where on earth I am– and things I hate. Some of that is not feeling compelled to see the sights you think you’re supposed to, but do what you like. I like cocktails, so I search for ‘best cocktail bar’ in whatever city. Or the best oysters. And if you’re doing what you like anyway, I think it heightens the chances you’ll run into other people who are simpatico…

    And that works. I spent enough time in my early 20s doing things I thought I was supposed to do. Now my travel involves hotels with nice bathtubs, leisurely mornings, cocktails, and random ambling. I meet people, I get a sense of place, and I enjoy my time away.

    • Haley Nahman

      Love that approach. You’re V cool for looking up the best cocktail bar wherever you go.

  • Christine Seigneur

    You have to be my “shitty trip soulmate” :.D
    Did exactly the same thing in september, but from France to visiting Iceland… Not a disaster though, but not quite the enjoyment I had planned…
    I had my best time eating crisps in my bed, watching a movie featuring Simon Pegg :.D

    • Haley Nahman

      Lol. Love it!!! Def shitty trip soulmates

  • Allegra

    I’m so sorry you had that experience. But maybe if you would like to try again at some point (not during an election…), it sounds to me like it might be advisable to plan ahead a bit more? All those little grievances can add up if you’re alone in a foreign country, jet lagged and not knowing the language. Splurge on a well-reviewed hotel where you can relax, find out about the weather forecast, etc, to make sure you don’t have to work through too many unexpected kinks while on the road. Book some little tour at your destination city so that for a little while, you won’t have to make any decisions and can just follow along and enjoy. Call or text or email home to share your daily experiences to feel less alone. Maybe you could then enjoy what I personally find to be the best part of solo travel – always doing what you want, even the cheesy things, and never having to negotiate shower times or what shows to see or when/where/how expensively to eat or if you want to change plans on the spur of the moment etc.

    Or, maybe you just aren’t a person who enjoys solo travel or feels content exploring on her own. Nothing wrong with that either.

    For me, being alone in nature is eery. (As much as I’d sorta like to do the Wild, I would never even consider it.) I’m much more in my comfort zone as a big city solo traveler. Safety in numbers, I guess.

    • Haley Nahman

      All amazing suggestions, if only I’d talk to you before going!!!!! But you’re totally right, I relished the moments I realized and capitalized on that fact that I could do whatever the F I wanted. There was such an unexpected beauty to that freedom

  • MK

    I did just a weekend in Paris alone once in between meeting friends for other legs of the trip and really did not like it! And I’m someone who absolutely loves Paris! It was so strange to me, because I’m also an introvert and need time alone. But I’ve come to the realization that I prefer alone time where being alone is totally my choice; where if I feel like being with someone, all I have to do is call them or walk over and see them. Wanting to talk to someone in person and having no one around I could talk to (besides the skeevy French dudes who wouldn’t stop hitting on me) made me feel so lonely. Great essay, I can totally relate!

    • Haley Nahman

      That’s a great way to put it. You’re totally right!

  • Gina Fuchs

    This was so great to read. I recently got home from 5 months studying in Europe. I had first thought this time would be well spent #alone. I remember the first real solo trip I took out of ~home base~ (Barcelona), to Copenhagen. I stayed in a small Airbnb in the Denmark suburbs. I was obv trying to be creative and not stay in the city. I got lost for 3 hours without a phone in “Klampenborg” — little suburb along the Baltic — upon arrival. Learned a lot about myself that trip. I thought solo travel would help me find myself or whatever, but it made me feel dejected and agitated. Small things (like how SMALL the coffee is in Europe) were real downers at a certain point. I can’t even imagine the emotional toll of being away from everyone the day after the election… Everyone raved about solo travel, but I swear it wasn’t anyone who ever tried it bc that shit is ROUGH. It def brought a lot of insecurities to the surface I wasn’t even aware I had, and then REALIZING I have those insecurities made me insecure, so ya know. Instagram posts became a v shallow source of anxiety. Everything that was supposed to be rustic and adventurous was low-key scary, like hostels – where in one I was asked why I wasn’t in Mexico (I’m Puerto Rican) by the old british guy I had the misfortune of rooming with.

    After getting over my twenties crisis of trying to find myself, I reallllly found myself trying to find other people which ended up being the most valuable “adventure.” It honestly ended up being great in the end and blah blah blah (but really). Re-realizing how important human connection is was refreshing, esp having left from NYC.

    Thanks for this. So well written and v visceral recap of the tragedy that can sometimes be traveling alone.

    • Haley Nahman

      1. The coffee in europe!! I was confused the whole time omg.
      2. Yes to new insecurities coming to the surface!! Maybe that’s what people mean, I guess, about solo travel teaching you about yourself. HOW FUN
      3. Lol/I’m so sorry re: your whole travel story. Feeling u
      4. Cosigning on realizing the importance of human connection. Traveling during the election results showed me that to a degree I didn’t expected.

  • Caro A

    One time I spent a month in Berlin with family friends and that was great but I also went to Paris by myself for 5 days and by day 3 I wanted to rip my hair out. I look back with a twinkle in my eye (?) but I remember walking along the Seine with a baguette, the sun SHINING, and it was like 80 degrees (beautiful) and I could not stop thinking about how much it sucked.
    Your friends phone call comes off as magical to me. Wowza. Amazing. Also, it’s so crazy the random friends you meet, how close you become to them in a matter of hours… on my way back to Berlin I randomly sat next to a girl my age and we talked for hours. Magic. I don’t know. I feel you, Haley.

    • Haley Nahman

      RIGHT? And totally re: the magic, on both counts. Funny how the best part of traveling alone is the not-being-alone part.

  • Rose

    This is so, so, so great. Thanks for sharing your story! I do like traveling alone, sometimes, only because I can see what I want to see without feeling obligated to listen to what other people want to do. It depends on the place and my overall mood, but I also like to plan things out and am generally pretty good at amusing myself even if I never look all that put together.

    I do, however, suck at getting a drink or dinner alone at a place I really want to go to, when no one will go with me. THAT I wish I was better at. I feel very self-aware and insecure when I try, and on a deeper level I worry that it means (when it’s a bar, anyway) that I am somehow becoming an alcoholic (the disease runs deep in my family). Even though the other night I passed a basement jazz bar and it made me think of La La Land, which I’d just seen and am in love with, and I wanted to go in. But I felt weird about it even though plenty of people wander into bars by themselves all the time for a drink or to listen to music.

    • Haley Nahman

      Yeah that’s such a THING huh? Eating alone. This was actually one cool thing I learned from the trip, how fine it is to go to restaurants alone. I mean, everyone writes thinkpieces on ~this being okay~ and it’s not that I thought I was afraid before, I’d just never really thought to do it. Now I’m kinda into it!

  • Cazmina

    This was very relatable. I’ve travelled alone quite a lot, and it can certainly be a mixed bag.
    I love being able to walk around by myself during the day, but night time is when it gets tricky – dinner alone is depressing.
    For that reason I prefer to stay in hostels rather than hotels (plus, budget). You can meet other travellers in your room or the common areas and suggest hanging out, and often hostels will organise activities such as pub crawls or day trips. Some hostels are quiet or lack common areas – be sure to read the reviews.
    I also recommend going on free walking tours, which every city seems to have; they’re usually interesting and you can strike up a conversation between stops with some other solo travellers, and then ask them if they want to go check out (insert tourist attraction here) or get a beer afterwards.

  • LMN

    I’ve done 2 solo trips: a 10 day one and a 3 day one. I loved almost every part, except dinners. I loved being able to see what I wanted. I loved being able to nap when I felt too jetlagged, to take a bath (or multiple baths) when it was raining and I didn’t feel like wandering in the rain, and I loved being able to try whatever cool restaurant or bars I discovered in my research. I booked some day tours or half day tours which were nice because there was some human interaction. But my lesson learned, especially on the 10 day one, was dinners alone suck… Especially as an introvert and especially in countries that don’t have a bar scene like we do. In America it’s easy to just saddle up to a bar and eat. Maybe there will be a tv, maybe the bartender will chat you up, maybe you’ll befriend another solo diner, or maybe you’ll just sit there alone on your phone– but you don’t feel bad about it. 10 days of table for 1 gets old and gets depressing. I did a food tour for dinner one night and it was so great to have company. So it took one trip to learn my lesson but now I know how to book another solo trip that will be an all around success… And so do you!

  • Fraternal Films

    This was so funny. I travel alone and I love it. Although I am shooting for my experimental travel essay film so I guess I’m actually working. Focusing on having to get certain shots really helps. I have a goal and purpose so that does distract me. check it out http://www.fraternalfilms.com.

  • Pudenda Shenanigans

    I was in Paris at the same time as this manrepeller. I was alone, I took in all the sights, smells, culture, and everything else that is the glorious world of Paris. I woke up on November ninth and danced through the streets because Donald Trump was elected president. I met a lot of interesting people and enjoyed life. It’s a wonderful world.

  • lauren

    Becoming borderline obsessed with your articles Haley! Man, I did this too…and it fucking sucked. I convinced myself I needed to get away from a pretty miserable time in my life (breakup) and travel alone to have some eat.pray.love experience. I knew I’d be bored as fuck on a beach, so I went to London for 5 days and realized almost instantaneously that I did not like traveling alone. It ain’t for everybody. Meanwhile, my friends boss mandates 3 weeks a year where she takes a giant trip alone to some destination at least a 12 hour plane ride away. HOW?! Anyway. Your friends advice couldn’t have been better. I loved every single word of it. So hard coming back and getting the “ohmygodhowwasthetriptellmeeverything” line. Do you go for the afternoon coffee and visit to Tate where you just *soaked in all the art* or the time you got back from a silent dinner alone, promptly hopped in the shower and cried and talked to yourself? Give me the people who can admit to the shower cries. Thank you for this!

  • This is exactly what would happen to me if I traveled alone, which is why I could never do it (although I’m tempted to sometimes). Also, I think extroverts would enjoy traveling alone more because they’re better at meeting new people.

  • Julie Lesgourgues

    Next time you feel alone in Paris, call me, I’ll give you a tour ! I’m from there.
    My first lonely trip was in another French city, in Lyon. I was there for only 3 days and I kept going through a variety of emotions, sadness, loneliness and then happiness when I saw something beautiful. It was a weird experience that I don’t regret. It kind of forces you to be yourself and that is what I enjoyed.

  • Ivy Lee

    Wow, man, I think this is one of my favorite pieces of (all) time. There something so deeply profound and beautiful in that cliche ‘wherever you go, you carry yourself along’, or smtng.
    Also, traveling now-days became a status thing, something you show off with, and consequently with a lack of meaning, pure narcissism (a have to work on that premise but there are some great analyses already…)

  • Kokonuts

    I can completely relate to your experience traveling alone. I have found myself alone in Zurich, Paris (twice), and Amsterdam while traveling to meet up with friends in Europe (We live in different cities in North America, we met up in Europe). Trraveling to different countries (for me) means sharing experiences, making commentaries along the way, going out for an evening drink a great restaurant for dinner – these are things I simply don’t enjoy doing alone. I am a huge introvert and like being alone, ,but not for traveling. Now I can look at those trips fondly-
    I made myself pleasantly uncomfortable and pushed my comfort zone. With that said, I don’t think I would visit a foreign country alone anytime soon 🙂

  • lily

    This made me feel so much better about everything just like…in life. I did a study abroad WEEK in Ireland and I hated it. It was 7 days!!! But it was 7 days of torture and I just felt like everyone was having so much fun and like I failed. So, I didn’t like it. So what?
    THIS WAS THE BEST LINE-> “The best thing I did in Paris was watch a bad movie and get diarrhea!”

  • EmilyWilson

    I think you eloquently captured the pressure that a lot of us feel while we’re on vacation: the pressure to Live in the Moment, Soak It All Up, Have the Time of our Lives, etc. It’s a pressure that’s been greatly exacerbated by social media, but what it can lead to, if we’re not intentionally meta about things, is giving ourselves FOMO. That is, being an incredible moment (looking up at the Eiffel Tower) and psyching ourselves out that we’re maybe not enjoying that moment as much as possibly could.

  • Chrissie Reitmeyer

    I traveled alone for two months last year and had a lot of great times, but also a LOT of tearful calls to friends and family. When I got back, everyone thought I had been so brave even though they didn’t see the days where I felt like an idiot or a failure. I think the coolest part about this story is that you did it anyway–the things that sucked, the good times, the times you had to laugh at yourself were probably all worth it because you pushed outside of your comfort zone. I’ve learned that a lot of people I know never even make it that far.

  • E

    The great thing about traveling, no matter how sanitized and alike we try to make it look, is that it is an individual experience. The good parts, the bad parts, the in between. They’re all your own. Embrace it!

    Also, minor typo: Seth Godin*, not Goden. Just because he’s my friend’s dad.


  • Ömer Erencan DURAL

    It seems to me that you did have an Eat, Pray, Love experience. I mean, didn’t Liz Gilbert travel to accomplish a certain amount of tasks, only to fall back on those and discover new aspects of her personality? As far as I remember, she wasn’t keen on “seeing what you’re supposed to see” either and in your case, your epiphany was, at least I believe, sort of induced by a phone call. I am sorry that you had such an unpleasant experience but in the end, you gained an experience you could later reflect upon

  • Serena

    What an honest account of your trip! I’m quite afraid of visiting a new place solo, even though I like to think of myself as a solo traveler and I think the reason is that I’m not that savvy, I overthink everything like where I should eat stay walk etc for the best or mostly authentic experience. The places I enjoy most are cities where I can’t feel anonymous and independent at the same time – for me that’s London, and whenever I’m there I get this rush of euphoria when I feel both those things. Happy travels, I hope the next are more enjoyable!

  • Helena

    In the summer of 2015 I was seriously thinking of going on a holiday alone. Eventually, I didn’t muster up the courage to do it and planned a trip to an island (I’m from Greece, PLENTY of island options) with a good friend of mine. We live in different cities so I would arrive there in the morning and he’d arrive at night. I too thought I would have an Eat, Pray, Love experience during those few hours when I would go swimming, watch the sunset and have dinner completely alone but in reality it was just. So. Boring. I am a huge introvert in general but just in half a day I realised that I hate travelling alone and travelling experiences mean much, much more to me when I have someone to share them with.
    Loved your article 🙂

  • Melissa Dunlap

    I went on my first solo trip when I was in college and I was both thrilled and terrified. I had literally not ever done anything by myself (I have a twin)

  • Pamela

    This was so good!

  • I’m so sorry that you had this heinous experience. However, your writing skills made it sound entertaining to read.

    I have gone to Europe every year in October, alone, for the past few years. My longest trip was 15 days and, each time I am packing to leave, I cry. Because I am not ready to leave yet. I spend most time in Paris with a quick trip somewhere else squeezed in between.

    I agree with one of your responders below: planning is key. And remembering that this is your “freedoms to do whatever you want”.

    Maybe I love it so much because of that sense of freedom. Maybe the only child in me easily entertains herself. I also travel for my job so solo travel isn’t unthinkable for me. It is a my daily.

    But, most of my vacays are solo. It’s like recess with endless possibilities.

  • Sam

    Haley, I’m sorry you had a shitty time. 🙁 If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone in the difficult feelings that surround travel and not having a good time. On the one hand, you feel incredibly lucky to be able to do something like that (anyone who can do it is very lucky) but on the other, the gratitude amounts to little more than cold comfort when you’re having a truly horrible time and just want to go home. I hope your next trip comes together better (if you want to take one) and you can go WITH someone and create good memories instead of methodically viewing the requisite historical sites with bemused interest.

  • Bec

    Sounds like you might not have introduced yourself to people until you were approached? I think you definitely need to say hi to everyone in the hostel! I found it easier to make friends as a solo traveller because you’re kind of forced to strike up conversations and make friends. When I travelled with my boyfriend for 16 months I got kind of lazy with that…

  • Marisa Brenizer

    Thank you for this – earlier this year, I went on a “soulo journey” that didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would. But you know what? In a harsh sequence of heartbreaking, eye-opening, demon-facing experiences, I came out much wiser. It has been the worst year of my life, the trip being the abyss or, perhaps, the catalyst, but I know I am where I need to be. In searching for fulfillment outside of myself, I finally found it in the one place I stopped looking – at home.

  • Renee

    How weird, I was in Paris about a week after you. The trip was a lot of things: a post-election treat to myself, (also) my first time traveling alone out of the country (and to Europe), and coincidentally an anniversary vacation that would never be. I won’t lie, I had a great time, BUT there were a few things that certainly made my trip much better and I would not have had as good a time if they had not happened. I hope I’m not being too pedantic here, I love this piece and obviously relate quite a bit to it. 1. Research does help. 2. Low(er) expectations. If you expect to have the trip of a lifetime, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment, because you’re going to get lost a lot or feel sad when you see couples sOoO in love, and you’re a party of one, but if you go in with low expectations or a “I’m just gonna see the things I wanna see, eat the food I wanna eat and that is good with me” kinda mindset you’ll have a better time. 3. Meet up with friends of friends, not old friends. A friend connected me with one of his friends (American) who lives in Paris. We met up, I met his friends and had a great time. I hung out with his group of friends like 4 nights of the 7 I was there because we all hit it off so well (Seriously: trivia night, networking party that turned into a night out, birthday bar crawl, and a house party.) There was also less pressure because my connection there was just a friend of a friend, not some random sorority sister or former roommate that I was forced to reconnect with and feign (re)interest in. If it didn’t work out, I could just blame my travel plans and not see them again. But it did, because I was actually interested in chatting with him and meeting his friends. Anyway, I found these tips helpful and while I don’t have plans to go traveling alone again, I would certainly do it again.

  • Ciccollina

    Oh I freaking LOVED this. London and Paris can be particularly bleak but hell, all solo travel is hard. It’s so nice to hear someone be honest about their travel experience, rather than being all like “it was so amazing!”

  • Jessica

    the only way to avoid fuckups like this: travel more often. you already learned a lot from this trip i guess ^^

  • Rebeckah Kemi Apara

    I moved to Paris for 6 months to teach English and I was deeply disappointed because I had so many expectations about leaving London that weren’t really met. When I got to Paris I moved flats twice, was promised a higher salary (but was paid peanuts) while teaching 2 very rude girls but that turned into an au pair/cleaner/cook job. The family I worked for had a cat, I’m allergic. To begin with it just wasn’t great. I think there’s a pressure we put on ourselves to have the best time so we can tell everyone about it. I totally understand how you feel and appreciate you articulating it. Before finding my next job in Paris I just wandered around the city shopping in vintage stores and not really checking out the time. I ended up moving back to London for love. Paris wasn’t amaze balls for me but it was an experience.

  • Molly D

    Late to this party but like it too much to not say so. “And if I’m being honest, I’m still not sure about what it all meant.” Your honesty is what it means!! Anyone can go to Paris; not anyone can describe, let alone admit, to themselves or to a wider audience, how it actually feels. Epiphanies are for squares anyway.

  • I had these same thoughts and feelings when I visited Vancouver, BC earlier this year. It’s a cool city and I was hoping for something life changing, but I don’t think I found it. I would try traveling alone again, but I think I put too much expectation into it. Once again, we’re on the same wavelength Miss Nahman.

    Also, maybe a beach destination might be a nicer setting. Who can say no to tropical cocktails with tiny umbrellas!

  • I’m so with you on travelling with others. It just feels so good to share all the experiences, good and bad, with someone else. I spent two months in France alone doing lab work for my uni project (I’m from the UK), so not exactly travelling but still very alone! I’m glad I had the lab full of people to go to every day, that was the highlight (and the hot weather). But exploring at weekends alone made me feel so lonely sometimes, I just wanted my family or boyfriend to be there to experience all the sights and foods and stuff! I cried so many times in the room I stayed in in a family home. The family were OK, some of them were weird, then their grown up children with babies came to stay and omg I’ve never hated children more…

    After it all though I felt proud of myself, ‘cos even if I didn’t completely make the most of it, I didn’t see all the sights, I cried a lot, I still did it alone 🙂 so don’t beat yourself up is what I’m trying to say haha, some of us humans just prefer having other peoples to travel with in new environments! xo

  • Hannah Johnson

    Don’t give up on solo travel! It was your first trip, give yourself grace that you didn’t know all of the things you should have looked up or planned ahead of time. The more you travel, the more you learn about these things. I have moved abroad a few times now, and I used to plan way too much. Like you said, with meeting those three people, none of it happened because you tried. You can’t plan that kind of stuff. There’s beauty in not planning everything (plan the important stuff like currency, weather, read reviews, but not everything!). This last trip I came to Australia without plans, just a rough idea of what I wanted to see. It was the best decision. I am also introverted, and even with this sometimes you get lonely. I couchsurfed and I stayed in shared rooms in hostels. I read hostel reviews before and ended up in great places, super relaxed, and I made friends!! However I do disagree that happiness is better shared like one commenter said…. Some of the best moments I’ve had were solo traveling. Maybe I was with strangers or alone, but I have felt the most amazing true feeling of freedom when I’m out adventuring on my own. My suggestion would be to pay attention to seasons, Paris and London this time of year aren’t the brightest, and I think that can affect your mood…. for example go to Italy when it’s a bit warmer…. it’s unreal! I think it’s best to try and meet people, as it gets kind of old day in and day out being alone. Couchsurfing events, meetups, heck, I’ve even used Tinder (which is kind of almost more fun abroad) and actually made loads of friends that way. Don’t let this experience get you down! Travel is full of really high highs, really low lows, but in the end it’s so worth it. 🙂

  • Didi Ramirez

    Solo traveling is definitely not for everyone. You have to be more alert and look out for yourself in a place that is unknown to you. That alone is intimidating.

    However, I found that solo trips provide a greater sense of freedom than going with a friend or a group. Possibilities are endless because you don’t have to argue about restaurants, hassle about where to go, and you have full control over your itinerary.

    The solo trip is an experience everyone should try once because you get to know yourself a little better.

    You never know… you might discover something along the way.

  • k.s.

    i love that you wrote this – I got back from a 2 week, fuck it it’s my 30th birthday trip in Europe and i had an amazing time in Amsterdam (similarly to you – I met a great group of people in a hostel), a great time in paris bumming the city with a friend, and an amazing time cycling through the countryside (once again a group of people) but laying on the beach in Antibes at the end – the one true ‘solo’ piece where i thought I’d find that inner joy? i ended up binge watching Marcella and eating haribo gummy bears in bed. i just wanted to go home. why did i feel like this was such a weak moment?

  • lucreziaborgia

    I feel like you went into this with big but vague expectations. I mean, what were you hoping to get out of a trip to see Big Ben and the Tower of London? You have to actually want to see the stuff you are going to see, because all you’re essentially going to be doing is just being by yourself a lot and looking at cities. I think that the loneliness is a big part of what makes the experience so intense. I have such vivid memories of travelling in Europe on my own in my early 20s. I was sad and lonely but I also found it an incredible strong and moving experience – because of a combination of seeing incredible things and being alone with myself for an extended period. I guess you have to be down for that kind of melancholy and also go somewhere you are actually interested in.

  • Vanessa G

    I was traveling alone in Peru – had just arrived, when the election happened, and I felt the same. I spent two days alternating between wanting to cry and wanting to throw up. I swear it ruined my whole trip. I also think you picked two of the loneliest cities I’ve ever visited. Next time, try Spain, Portugal or Italy- and get out of the city!

  • KJ

    I went to India and China in May and felt the same way. It’s depressing as hell to be standing on the Great Wall and mostly just wanting to be back on the bus where it’s warm. I’m glad you wrote this one, I felt alone in that thought that not all travel is automatically “life changing”.

  • vivcee

    I hope this doesn’t deter you from future solo trips! It can be such an incredible way of exploring different parts of yourself and seeing places you or your circle of friends wouldn’t necessarily gravitate to. I discovered my love for techno and electronic music in 2006 by befriending an Italian girl I met at a hostel in Berlin and having a wild night night on the town. For one example. Prior research is indeed important…but Tripadvisor’s ‘near me now’ function has also come in useful many times (Im bored, lonely, don’t know where to go next? Well this awesome looking gallery is just around the corner next to a super cute café!) I have traveled solo many times for work and leisure and those trips hold some of my most treasured memories of when I most felt ‘myself’. Hope it works out for you next time!!!

  • UnsinkingTheTitanic

    I’ve been doing solo travels for 25 years and enjoy all of them. What is best is the escape from all responsibility. I think we’re unaware of how connected we are with others. It’s worth it to disconnect from everyone for a week or two – I do so three times year. If you intend to publish your journey on wastebook or instagram that’s a responsibility.

    Long ago I had my fill of Europe and North America, so I tend to stick with Turkey and Bulgaria, the subcontinent, southeast Asia, and Japan for a yearly ski holiday + shopping – I’m Manila based.

    On my travels I often end up becoming attached to people for a bit. There was the night in Na Trang in ’92 where I was invited to dine with a Kiwi, his Taiwanese wife, and a Viet-Brit. Soon the little restaurant was filled with soldiers, and we started buying them beer. All drunk, we marched off to the army base where more soldiers joined us, and we went to a seaside restaurant for more drinking. Hours later an enraged officer pulled up on a motorbike w/ sidecar. We got him drunk too, he had his driver take us out for spins on his motorbike, and I still have his shoulder boards that he removed from uniform’s epaulettes and gifted to me.

    In Hokkaido, Japan ’95 I was in a train with my ski kit and a Yank struck up a conversation. We were both going to the same ski area, and he invited me to join him at his friend’s pension. I tend to not make reservations, so it sounded like a good idea. In exchange for shoveling snow in the morning and tending bar at night we were given a log cabin to stay in and meals – a brilliant deal. Many of the lift operators drank in this bar, and thereafter they’d pretend to punch my lift ticket. Anyway, I return to this pension every year, stay a week for spring skiing, and shovel snow and tend bar.

    In Dumaguette, Philippines 2013 I met a Hungarian who was waiting for his 50′ catamaran to be finished. I know how to sail, so I was invited to island cruise for a week. Once his yacht was launched I joined him cruising the Bohol and Sulu Seas.

    These things happen again and again wherever I go. Why? Because I’m not encumbered by others and responsibilities, I haven’t set a firm itinerary and book everything in advance, and I’m receptive to offers.

  • Demostheneez

    I’ve travelled alone a bunch of times in my early 20s and whether the trip was fun and enriching or not has always hinged on whether I met cool people or not. We’re so inundated with beautiful images of places on social media that I feel like the only magic left in a new place is in discovering and getting to know new people.

  • Brinkley Maine

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this article. I can closely relate and think you said these words so perfectly. Never filter and always stay true to yourself, you go girl! xx Brinkley Maine

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  • Tania

    Can I just say sometimes I get super hyped when I see more than 30 comments on a piece. ^.^

  • This feeling always reminds me of that scene in Frances Ha

    The thing is, you can’t escape yourself (Although I know people that still try to).

    What I’ve learned from solitary moments is that you really do need to be your own best friend (a line I remember from a Mindy Kaling interview when Mindy asked her dying mother what she’d do without her), in that you realize whether or not you have self-compassion in these moments.

    Also eventually everything becomes reality sooner or later when the shiny new place becomes familiar and you realize a lot of people are just hamming it up for Instagram.

  • Ruchika Shankar

    Here’s what I get from this article:

    You’re a kind of brat who wants someone to do all the planning for you while travelling. If you were travelling with someone you wouldn’t have needed to plan what to wear, where to stay, what to eat, what to see etc.. So all you would do is have someone to hang out with and take your photos. The part where you made a bunch of friends to hang out with; that ALWAYS happens when people travel solo. They are so many ways to find people in a new place if you’re there alone: facebook groups, walking tours, meetups, activities, tinder!, hotel breakfast buffets!

    You were in a bad place in your life, you expected travel to fix your problems, of course it won’t! Just like losing weight doesn’t fix our problems; we’d just be thin people with the same problems. But what travelling to a new place does help with is getting some distance from your life back home and when you come back you view the same things with a fresh perspective. And that’s what helps. So what you need to work on is being responsible for the decisions you make. For instance don’t be mad at solo travel because you didn’t bother to plan it.

    Also, I think you should also work on getting comfortable with being by yourself. Being alone does NOT equate to being lonely. Learn to be alone with your thoughts, learn to appreciate uncertainty.

  • Agostinho Zinga

    Ha, this is awesome and sad at the time same time, bravo for being so honest.

    But essentially it sounds a if you prepared poorly, assumed you’d figure it out, realised you couldn’t and then had a bit of a freak out? And maybe you’re just not cut-out for solo travel (you mentioned as much in the article) which is cool.

    I think more people need to do what you did and try to travel solo, instead of believing some false narrative that just because they enjoy their own company, somehow that relays back to travelling the world on your own. Which it obviously doesnt.

    And that Seth Godin quote is great! I love Seth, i’ve read all his books <3

  • If you’re travelling solo to prove something – you’re already guaranteed to have a bad time. This really is something you do because you want to do it – I did it for 6 weeks last year (met up with friends here and there in a few places, but mostly I was alone) and I had THE time of my life. I truly think I would struggle travelling with a lot of people now. Although it’s great to travel with like minded friends and share experiences. Dinner is the only time when I would sometimes wish I had company.

    Travelling solo made me feel way more confident and I enjoy my own company so much more now. I don’t think it’s for everyone – but it sure was for me. Experiences play a huge part in this too, if you have terrible weather or your luggage gets lost or you get mugged, that’s always going to put a sour note on things too, things going wrong in general. I was just so lucky – I’d meet people everywhere, locals, and I think being alone brings you out of your shell more and allows this – if I was with friends this wouldn’t have happened.

  • Catherine Bohner

    I am really no good at it, but I love it. I can totally empathize with feeling pressure to travel in a specific way. I want to be someone who can go with the flow, but I do better with a plan. I am super indecisive. So basically, traveling is a mess, and I like having no one with me to judge!

  • Nat

    I don’t like travelling alone either. Don’t feel like you have to just because other people say you should. Fuck them too.

  • Samantha

    I’m guessing you won’t see this, since there are so many similar comments already. but for what it’s worth… I’m a 26 year old woman and I’ve traveled alone a fair amount, and have always felt moments of sadness, loneliness, frustration, and homesickness. I think the pleasure in solo travel is not so much being alone all the time, but rather having the opportunity to meet new people and experience a new way of life. In that regard I think it’s actually easier to go away alone for a longer period of time…that way you can make friends, explore, live the way the locals live. And at the end of the day, you will have days where you wonder why you’re doing it, where you miss watching TLC, where you just want to eat curry on the couch, etc. But if your trip is long enough, you’ll have time for it all. Writing from Panama where I’ve been for the last couple months. I might recommend AirBNB for your next effort – my best experiences have been in homestay/airbnb type situations, where you’re with locals who can recommend activities/experiences/restaurants/beaches to you. Plus they might even cook you some local treats! Hostels are not for me personally! (PS. Clearly some of my personal frustrations – see: TLC, Thai food – have affected this comment!)

  • Username

    travelling alone is “so eat pray love” holy shit, how dependent are you?

  • PDuff

    I’ve done 2 recent solo trips — a 90-day trip last year to South America, and a 40-day trip this year to Italy — and of course sometimes you’re going to feel lonely. I also stayed at a number of hostels, and would almost always have to introduce myself to roommates as well as those in common areas (I never let faces buried in phones or computer stop me). One trick was to ask, “Hey, do you know any good places to get some dinner?” which 90% of the time resulted in invitations to join them. Another good trick is to find expat or language meet-ups where the locals want to practice their English. It was from two such meet-ups in Buenos Aires that I made new friends with whom I’m still in contact.

  • mediabrainwash

    I disagree. It is London and Paris that suck to travel alone. Go most other places and it is great. Too many tourist there. Go to Georgia and Armenia or even Greece.

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  • La Vie en Rose?

    I was waiting to go to Paris once I could afford it, with my, now ex husband. I am seriously considering going solo, but honestly I expect that everything that happened to you, will happen to me. The optimist in me wants to imagine that I will spend my days walking down a old, beautiful picturesque streets where an accordionist plays La Vie en Rose. But most likely I will feel awkward and self conscious being by myself.

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  • Charlotte Keys

    Introverts should not stay at hostels. I know you’re trying to save $$ but there ARE reasonably priced small, independent hotels in London & Paris. Or look into dorms that rent out single rooms in off seasons. After a long day of pursuing the new and different (esp with a language change) we need some peace & quiet to absorb it.

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  • Amanda

    I was also traveling on November 9! I had been studying in the Czech Republic for a while and I remember waking up to a dozen panicked/emotional/crazed messages from my friends back home (we’re all political science/international relations students). I had already felt like I didn’t fit into the American culture before the election, but on that day it was like America was no longer my home. I’m not surprised your travels were bogged down given the times; half of America probably carried election-related stress around with them in their lives like a parasite.

  • DR

    I enjoy traveling alone. It is also nice if you are with the right person. Some of my best trips were by myself with an occasional tour guide.

  • You are so clever…. I’m in shoked

  • Jackie Arnold

    Thank you thank you thank you so much! I traveled to solo Montreal for my first international trip and I spent a lot of time wondering if I was doing it right lol highs and lows, lonely bouts, Times I wanted to cry. This article made me feel better:) everything isn’t always perfect:)

  • Yeah, looks like some crap happened. Nevertheless, looks like you just missed a bit of luck during your trip. Also, you were so skeptic about it…

  • I can actually validate this as I am as of now solo in Iguazu, Argentina. The amazement and ponder I felt today when going by the falls I think for me was something significant that was best experienced alone.

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  • Vincent Ferrari

    Man, i can relate to this story. I traveled alone to the Caribbean to an all inclusive resort. It seemed like a great idea at first until i got there and realized, boy am i alone. I felt extremely lonely. What amplified my loneliness was seeing couples or groups of friends and families wandering the resort. No single people i could really talk to. This was amplified even more during breakfast lunch and dinner at the buffet. I would sit all alone and think, people must feel sorry for me. The first night i layed in bed i thought, dang another 6 days of this. Big mistake. But on day 5 this gay couple came to the resort and we started chatting and i had friends for the rest of the trip so that was nice, a little late though. Never traveling alone that’s for sure.