6 Things Solo Travel Teaches You

This post originally appeared on National Geographic. I still marvel I didn’t drop stone-cold dead from embarrassment during my first solo travel experience. As a 20-year-old, I booked a spontaneous trip to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. I didn’t want to go alone, but none of my friends had the time or money to go with me. Everything went wrong from the start. Poor planning landed me in the only available room in town, a backpacker bunk room occupied by two German men who didn’t speak English. On a guided tour of Kakadu National Park, I fell for every prank my Australian guide pulled. (Eventually he stopped baiting me. My gullibility made it “easier than tackling a turtle,” he said.) And I won’t get into how I won a wet T-shirt contest I never entered, thanks to a bad wardrobe choice. I am the reigning world heavyweight champion of beating myself up, and each mistake made me more self-conscious. I felt like Nancy No-Mates when I requested a table for one. I was certain everyone was watching me, wondering if I was recently jilted, or simply friendless. It turned out someone was watching me. During my last solo supper in Australia, a British woman approached me. “I don’t want to interrupt, but I just had to say something,” she said. “I think you’re incredibly brave. I’ve seen you around town this week and you look like you’re having so much fun. I wish I had the courage to tra...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news