Discover the Benefits of Solo Travel - Right at Home
Updated: Jul 10
It’s been awhile since I have written! The timing of COVID-19 and focusing on solo travel, seemed to conflict with one another. But what better time than Independence Day, a day built on freedom and choice, to talk about traveling solo, since these are the very same reasons people opt to go it alone. And if you have been stuck, I mean “quarantined,” with loved ones for the last three months, venturing solo might be more appealing than you ever thought!
There are several articles on this site where I discuss ways to begin to “dip your toe” into the world of traveling solo. Fear of being lonely and isolated are often why people do not tackle this ever-growing way of travel. If you were scared of traveling alone and have been able to survive isolation over the last few months, you’re good to go solo traveling when you feel the time is right.
While I was supposed to be in Bali writing my upcoming book during this time, I couldn’t help but notice that I was treating my stay-at-home orders much like my vacations.
Here’s what I mean.
Explore New Areas
One of my most favorite parts of traveling alone is the ability to go wherever and whenever my fancy strikes me. Oftentimes, this means I walk out of my hotel, turn in one direction, and just keep wandering around, people-watching, meandering in and out of stores (usually grocery or open markets), and observing local customs.
Minnetonka, a western suburb of Minneapolis where I live, is home to 44 parks and approximately 90 miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. I had no idea! I have lived in this same neighborhood for nearly a decade, yet never turned right down a street just two blocks away. I found not only a new community, but a Nature Preserve with a creek running through it, and a great lesson in how making one slight shift can open up many possibilities.
Experiment with Unique Foods
Due to the Coronavirus, my two young adult children have moved back in with me, and if you are a parent, you are all too familiar with the popular question, “what can I eat?” I have used this opportunity to kick things up a notch in the kitchen, and have been experimenting with foods from regions I plan on exploring once the world opens back up to traveling. If you’re like me, and oh say the other millions of people who took to cooking and baking during COVID-19, you have probably tried some interesting recipes out of sheer boredom or because you now finally have the time. And let’s be honest, lucky enough to find Yeast! Trying unique foods is just one of the key ingredients to successful solo travel. With the added benefit, if you don’t like something, you can toss it out and no one is the wiser! Likewise, if you did enjoy it...maybe that’s all you will want to eat on your vacation, or during quarantine! My favorite find has been Shakshuka, a traditional middle-eastern dish that somehow has eluded me all these years.
Dress like an Egyptian
Wear whatever you want! Who doesn’t love John Krasinski and his new SGN show? If you haven’t seen it, treat yourself to “Some Good News.” In it, he is an anchor sporting a nice blazer and pajama bottoms on the hidden half. How many of us have done this while working remotely or chatting on endless Zoom video calls? While in the comfort of my own home, I have adorned a sarong, kimono, flowery dresses, and with a quick YouTube refresher on “how to tie Thai pants,” my most comfortable souvenir from Bangkok. I also took out my favorite straw hat for a walk with the dog. If I can’t travel, I want to feel like I am!
No doubt over the last several months, you have had much time to contemplate. Slowing down and pondering life is one of the major advantages of traveling by oneself. But the truth is, you probably don’t need a trip to Indonesia or a visit “down under” to find new spaces that allow the quietness you may need to reconnect with “you.”
Sometimes what you are looking for is right here at home.