In September, I got back from a trip to San Diego. My First Solo Vacation experience! I know that I talk about this experience a lot, but I feel like there’s so much that I need to cover- and today I am covering the Q & A on the trip overall.
Before I answer the Q’s, I just wanna say that I probably wouldn’t have had as much motivation to go on this trip if it weren’t for this book I was reading beforehand. It’s called The Solo Travel Handbook and it’s an excellent read for anyone looking to travel alone! It really got me into that solo traveling mindset.
Being someone who is so often dependent on others’ company, I had to come to a realization in 2019 that I can’t always have other people there, living MY dream with me. If I want to travel the world, I have to take steps forward all by myself. September, 2019 is when I decided to jump all in.
WAS IT SCARY?
At times it was scary. Saying goodbye to my significant other, The whole airport situation was a bit intimidating, but honestly everything ended up going so smoothly. If I had any questions, there was always someone there to answer them. Just being alone was sometimes scary – people (men) would try talking to me… a lot. I would kindly tell them I’m not interested and constantly stay in public areas with my phone fully charged. Just staying prepared for any scenario gave me comfort to where it wasn’t so scary.
WHERE DID I STAY?
I stayed at a hostel (a shared room with a group of people) in Ocean Beach, San Diego. It was a really cheap stay ($30 a night) and a convenient area. It was a quick seven minute walk from the beach and there were so many shops and restaurants near by!
WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE, BEING A FEMALE?
Strangers would approach me so often! People were mostly kind and it was always in a public area, but I always had that worry that something bad might happen. I ended up meeting some cool friends though. Like I stated before, it wasn’t as scary knowing that I had a phone fully charged and ready to go in case of an emergency.
*QUICK TIP* Staying in a public area at all times as a solo female traveler is mandatory. Also, someone once told me “If you’re ever in a sketchy situation, act like you’re recording the person. People hate to be recorded and they’re one click away from being on the internet.” Sadly, but I think most of us females can relate that we’ve put our phones up to our ear “calling someone” when feeling in danger.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT I HATED
-No doubt, number one thing I hated was the loneliness I felt. Mostly at night time I would get incredibly lonely and want someone to talk to about the beautiful day I had.
-The lack of privacy. Sometimes I just wanted to be alone! It was impossible to do that when staying at a hostel.
-The budget. I was budgeting super hard because I was going to be in London the following month. I didn’t save anything for this solo trip. One of my favorite things about vacations is the food! I didn’t really get to experience different restaurants due to my low budget.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT I LOVED?
-I loved the freedom. I know I said that I hated the loneliness. But with being alone comes freedom. I was able to go anywhere. Stop anywhere. Do anything at any moment. If I wanted to snap a quick selfie or take a hundred pictures at a certain spot I could do it without anyone there to worry about. If I wanted to stay and appreciate the nature or a sunset I could do that without something in the background telling me “lets go!” or my conscience telling me that the other person is bored and I need to hurry and do something more entertaining. I was able to stop and appreciate things.
-The satisfaction of being able to say that I did this 100% independently. I grew. I had some time to self reflect. Just the time alone was so therapeutic.
-The location. San Diego is so beautiful and it will always have a special place in my heart.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY?
I would have definitely saved money beforehand. This trip was pretty much saved with a small portion of one paycheck! I would have also done some research on transportation because I was walking everywhere, which can only get you so far. I would have probably used AIRBNB for my stay rather than a hostel. I would have also loosened up a bit. I wasn’t open to doing group activities or socializing. I think I was a little bit too cautious and said no to everything.
Study your dream location in depth. Make sure it’s somewhere safe and secure. Get to know the area before you arrive.
Always have internet for navigation and communication on your phone.
Don’t hesitate to book that trip or buy that plane ticket! Act first and then think after. I would have never had this great experience if I had thought too much.