Songs for the Road No. 7: Inspiration for Solo Travel

by Ekua on October 17, 2010 in female travel,solo travel,songs for the road

Traveling solo now feels normal to me, but there are those rare occasions when loneliness consumes me on the road. The day I arrived in Oaxaca which I wrote about in my previous entry is one example. I sometimes fight the solitude rather than reveling in it and understanding that it’s only temporary. Sometimes I forget about all the people I’ll meet and the observations I am able to make because of the openness and quietness being alone provides.

My friend shared this video with me yesterday about learning how to be alone and making the best of solitude. It mostly refers to one’s regular environment, but it can all apply to traveling solo as well. If I’d had this video when I arrived in Oaxaca, it would’ve been the perfect antidote to the way I felt then. Of course, time and a change of attitude had the same effect. But I’m sure it won’t be last time I feel that way on a trip, looking back at the comfort and fun times of a group rather than looking forward to possibilities that await. When those times come, hopefully I’ll remember some of the words in this video, especially the most simple ones at the beginning of it, “be patient.”

Maybe this poem doesn’t really qualify as a song, but it’s close enough and it’s a beautiful little video:

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary R October 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

This is great!

Like you, sometimes I need a little push to remind me why traveling alone is fabulous… even now, I’m trying to talk my husband into a trip with me, only he’s not having it… and I think, “well I guess I’ll just go alone…” but not in a positive I can’t wait to do it kind of way. It’s too bad, because I’ve had some of the best experiences on my own. I don’t know why sometimes I feel anxious about doing it solo.

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Ekua October 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm

For me, arranging a solo trip seems natural, but sometimes when I actually arrive in a new place, it all hits me! And in the case of Oaxaca, it felt like an abrupt transition back to being solo after I’d enjoyed having a built in set of people to mingle with when I was Cuba.

I think it’s totally natural to feel anxious about traveling solo… most people I know wouldn’t even think about doing it! I think the patience part is key. Sometimes I arrive and meet people immediately, sometimes it takes a few days to meet solid people to hang out with… but either way, it happens!

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Reannon October 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

What a cute little video! I’ve traveled alone and with friends or boyfriends and I gotta say, I like traveling alone best! You meet a lot more people that way. I think it has to do with the fact that you’re less threatenning or easier to approach solo than you are as a group or couple.

I have no problem going to resteraunts by myself but I still feel uncomfortable with going to the movies alone.

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Ekua October 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I think in addition to being more approachable when you travel alone, you also make yourself more available to meeting people. Sometimes it’s easy to fall back on a travel partner or a group and not really try to meet anyone else.

Interesting about the movies! I’ve done it a few times because sometimes I want to see strange foreign movies that other people don’t want to see. Trust me, it really isn’t uncomfortable. With restaurants, going to lunch alone, but depending on what restaurant it is, dining alone at night can feel awkward for me. In Oaxaca, I tended to wander alone in the daytime and then get a group together for dinner!

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Monica November 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I love this and will share it with friends. I like how she says being alone is a freedom. I’m constantly asked how I can go to the movies, dine alone and travel alone to foreign countries. I recently went to my first concert alone and survived.

Thanks for sharing!

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Ekua November 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm

When my friend sent it to me, I knew I had to share it. I love company, but learning how to be independent is invaluable!

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Lily January 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I was looking for songs to download for my solo travel tomorrow to Cancun and I found your website, which is awesome. Yes, I really enjoyed my solo travels. Its like you can be somebody else in a totally new place, or maybe you can finally be yourself in the new place that nobody knows you. Keep travelling, enjoy solo.

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Ekua January 6, 2014 at 10:08 am

Glad you found my site! I think going abroad solo can free you from the feeling that you have to be a certain way… maybe not someone else, but a different (perhaps more honest?) version of yourself when familiarity is stripped away. I hope you enjoy your trip to Cancun!

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