For the majority of my trip I have been travelling with someone else. I spent most of my time with Tyron and a few weeks with my girlfriend Emily in Japan. But eventually it came time to fend for myself.
My time alone was very short, only about 2 weeks total. After exploring Beijing and Shanghai with Tyron, we said “see you later” as he left for South Africa to visit with his family. I took a train to a lake side city in China called Hangzhou. I met a lot of people in the hostel I was staying at, and always managed to have someone to go out for dinner with, But I usually had my days to myself.
What was nice about being on my own was that I could do whatever I wanted without even saying it out loud, let alone discussing the options with someone else. I was alone with my thoughts and had a lot of time to think about what I want to do with my life, and contemplate deep philosophical questions like ‘How the heck did that 5 year old learn to use chopsticks?’
Many of my friends and family were pretty worried about me being on my own as a solo female traveler, but I truly felt very safe on my own. Obviously you have to be smart when your on your own. When people asked if I was on my own I would make up a lie about how my kick boxer boyfriend is meeting me for dinner, I never went out on my own at night, I always chose the busy street to walk down and I checked with the hostel to see if where I was going was a safe place.
I wouldn’t hesitate to go travelling on my own again, but I also discovered that I prefer travelling with friends. Weather I knew them from back home, or I met them along the way. To be able share your experience with someone else is pretty special and when its all done you can reminisce about it together over a bottle of wine.