I have always loved travelling. My parents took me on my first international flight when I was only one year old and every year, we would visit all kinds of new places. I first set foot in South Korea when I was travelling with a French tour group in 2012. We spent two weeks touring the country and exploring a few of the major tourist attractions. On our last day in Seoul, we had some free time left and I decided to check out the neighborhood next to our hostel. While I was wandering around Hongdae, I stumbled upon some great places including a cat cafe and a Hello Kitty cafe (unfortunately, both are gone now). At that moment, I felt like even though I had been to many nice locations during those two weeks, I had missed out on a lot of places that I would have loved to explore. I knew that I had to come back and to make the most out of it, I decided to come back alone. In July 2013, two months after my eighteenth birthday, I embarked on another two-week trip, but this time, I was on my own.
The time I spent in Seoul in the summer of 2013 turned out to be one of the best vacations I have ever had. I was able to do everything I wanted to do whenever I felt like it. There was no one holding me back, telling me that they would rather go to some other place or that they were too tired and wanted to go back to the hotel.
In 2015, right before moving to Seoul, I made a bucket list of countries I absolutely had to visit during my stay in Korea. Most of these countries were located nearby, which made it easy for me to travel. In addition, my trip to Seoul in 2013 showed me that I could get around by myself and that I would not have much trouble travelling alone. So, the past four years, I spent most of my school breaks ticking off my bucket list and exploring other countries. I also went on quite a few weekend trips to other Korean cities. And most of the time, I was all by myself.
The first question I get when I tell people that I like solo travelling is “oh, but don’t you feel lonely?” and to be honest, I barely ever feel lonely while travelling. I believe that keeping in touch with my loved ones helps with that. I know that they are just a message, or a voice call away, so I never really feel like I am all on my own. Another thing (and I know that might sound a bit strange) is that I tend to think about everything all the time and my thoughts sort of keep me company, in a way. Another aspect of solo travelling that most people like is meeting new people, which certainly is one thing you could do, but that is not really something I enjoy doing while I am travelling alone.
My solo trips have taught me so many valuable life lessons. They taught me how to be responsible and how to look out for myself. I also learned how to organize whole trips on my own and what to do when something does not go as planned. Solo travelling allows me to be spontaneous and creative, but most importantly, it has become my way to decompress from the hectic and stressful student life. Whenever I felt like everything was getting a bit too much for me, I would look forward to my next trip and my worries would go away for a while 🙂
I know that solo travelling is not for everyone. I believe it depends on your personality and whether you like being on your own or not. I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, which is why I sometimes need some alone time to recharge my batteries that are usually drained by social interaction. You can always give solo travelling a try but if it is not for you than that is fine, too 🙂
I hope you found this article interesting!
Till next time,