flying solo

June 29, 2016

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In less than 48 hours, I’ll be boarding a red eye flight to Italy, hopping to Venice first, followed by Rome (with a little jaunt up to Ireland afterward). I’m beyond excited for two big reasons. The first? My last proper visit to Italy was over 10 years ago when I studied abroad in northern Italy (Torino to be exact), so you can imagine how ready I am to dive back into the food, the culture, the language, the adorable Vespas at every corner! And second? I’m going solo. Completely alone. By myself. And, contrary to popular belief, I’m really looking forward to it.

Admittedly, this trip didn’t start out as an “Eat, Pray, Love” sort of soul-searching adventure. I had been planning to go with an old friend but unfortunately, or perhaps serendipitously, they backed out at the last minute. I seriously contemplated canceling the first portion of the trip (some of which I had already booked accommodations for), and instead, just head up to Ireland for my friends’ wedding, as originally planned. But I hesitated. Something about the idea of strolling through the Eternal City without a companion in tow sounded rather liberating. Planning out my days exactly the way I want them. Lingering perhaps too long in curious shops and galleries in Venice.  Ordering another plate of pasta because, why the hell not? Sitting on the Spanish Steps and reading a book at sunset, listening to the chatter of crowds go by. Taking one too many gondola rides at sunset. I didn’t cancel a thing — updated the number of adults from 2 to 1 for each room — and called it a day.

Granted, this isn’t my first foray into solo travel (I cruised around London a few years ago by myself), but I’m looking forward to the next two weeks — my longest time traveling solo. I’m already anticipating a lot of random asking of fellow tourists to take my photo (no shame!) but I’m looking to snag a good selfie stick before leaving (sigh, yep, it’s happening!). Do you guys travel alone often? Any tips you’d like to share?

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Zimmerman dress // Express jacket // Steve Madden “Stecy” heels // Chloe “Drew” bag // Celine “Audrey” sunglasses

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Photos by Lydia Hudgens

23 thoughts on “flying solo

  1. I have traveled alone, several times. The last time I did so, I stated in a hotel rather than a hostel (or shared accommodation) and felt like I missed out on missing all of the amazing people I met on previous trips. If I ever traveled solo again, I would definitely stay in a hostel or somewhere with a common area where other travelers hang out. Have fun! P.S. Ireland was my first International trip ever, and still one of my faves!!

  2. Have a great time! I traveled through Italy solo for two weeks after studying abroad about 10 years ago, and I loved it. Maybe it was something about that early 20’s age, but it most definitely changed my life, and gained a lot more confidence in myself after navigating a foreign country like that! You’ll have a fabulous time 🙂

  3. I travel solo all the time! My first trip was to Thailand in 2013, I then went again in 2014/2015 ( December to January). I go to music festivals on my own a lot. And then, I took a huge leap and went to Australia on a year visa, by myself. I’ve been here for 7 months and absolutely loving it! My travels won’t stop after this year too, I’m planning to head to Bali, and then back to Thailand (I can’t stay away!).
    One of my favorite parts about solo travel, is you really get to do whatever you want. You don’t have to discuss plans with another person, and there is absolutely no judgment for your plans, because you’re the only one! My biggest tip is to try to say yes to as much as you can, but really listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it or get out of there.
    But, the big downside is that you are by yourself. Sometimes you can get a bit lonely, but I’ve learned to be okay with my own company (and enjoy it too) and know that nothing lasts forever. It’s also a big step to ask people if they want to join you. Sometimes you really want a partner in crime, a bud, someone to talk to over drinks. And usually all it takes is just asking someone. It feels weirdly like dating, and something I’m not totally used to, but I’ve made some cool friends out of it!

    Feel free to follow along with my travels on my website!

  4. You’ll have tons of fun and meet wonderful people! I just soloed in Thailand, and turns out I was never alone because every day I met new people. You just need to have an open-mind and be willing to talk to strangers – and obviously stay safe!

  5. Traveling alone is the absolute best. Once you fly solo it is so hard to travel again with a companion! It is the absolute best and most freeing! Enjoy it!

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