Kay`s Explorer Guide to Solo Travel | Part 3: Being Social
This was my biggest concern when traveling alone. I was concerned I overestimated how much I enjoy spending time with myself, wouldn’t find things to do or meet people and end up miserable and bored. Those outcomes didn’t happen by the way. Read on to find out how to avoid them.
The most important knowledge to possess in order to ensure the right social interaction balance is how you enjoy spending time:
- When you are at home, do you more like flying solo or spending time with people?
- Are you introverted or extroverted? (Are you drained or energized by interacting with others?)
This insight will help you gauge how much you vs. people time you’ll enjoy while exploring your destination.
If you dislike spending time alone, do not travel alone without having a plan to meet people. If you don’t have a plan to meet other people and aren’t good at spontaneity or end up being overwhelmed with something else on your trip, you are setting yourself up for a small disaster especially if you are psychologically caught off guard and can’t catch and reverse yourself becoming slightly bummed.
If you are drained by constant interaction, make sure you build in ways to recharge and on the flipside if you are energized by people interaction, make sure you find activities that allow you to be surrounded by people.
For me, I am the type of person who is independent and enjoys spending time with myself R-O-R-ing (reflecting, observing, relaxing), but I also get antsy of doing the same “thing” for an extended period and need to switch things up…this goes for activities and being alone vs. with other people.
To satisfy my preferences, I made sure that in the mornings I built in Kay-time to ROR, and for after getting my fix, I lined up people-oriented activities for the evening. When I sensed myself becoming antsy with either, I made sure to follow my urge to do something different. When I couldn’t change tracks fast enough, I made sure to keep myself mentally pumped and recognize the situation for what it was.
In sum, avoid the mistake of ignoring your sociability preferences and not incorporating them into your plan. Recognizing how much you do or do not enjoy spending time with people and figuring out sources of friends at your destination maximizes the enjoyability of your travel experience.