Sunset on Kuta Beach. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.
Sunset on Kuta Beach. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.

Travelling solo

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

"And you're going on your own? Oh, I could never do that! » If you only knew how many times I've heard these phrases...

For many people, traveling solo is inconceivable, especially if you are a woman. That's right... 🙄 I can hardly understand why. On the contrary, it's a chance to be able to go alone. And for my part, I find a lot of advantages in it.

So what if I'm a girl?

My shadow on the sand, in Nusa Lembongan. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.
My shadow on the sand, in Nusa Lembongan. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.

When I talk around me about my solo escapades at the end of the world, I have the impression that I am often mistaken (as you wish) for a super brave amazon or for a not very normal, borderline asocial girl. No half measures... 🤪 People are weird.

It seems that mentalities have not changed much since the past centuries! Even today, in the XXIe These spontaneous reactions leave me wondering. Shouldn't a woman travel without a chaperone?

So yes, I am a woman and I am going alone. There is nothing extraordinary or incomprehensible about that. I'm not going to give up the pleasure of discovering new horizons, just because I'm not a man and I don't have anyone to accompany me? Right?

I have done a lot of trips, with all kinds of company: a lover, someone from my family, a girlfriend, a group (more rarely)... But for several years, I have been traveling almost systematically solo. I have really taken a liking to it. I love to go alone.

It's not difficult or risky. It's not sad or unhealthy. In fact, it's just the opposite!

Alone but not lonely

Small party between divers, one evening, in Tioman. Malaysia, July 2006.
Small party between divers, one evening, in Tioman. Malaysia, July 2006.

Those who have never tried it may not realize it, but solo travel is rarely synonymous with solitude. You never meet as many people as when you travel alone.

This is even more true when you practice an activity like divingIt's an easy way to socialize around a common passion. When you spend a whole day on a boat with other divers, it creates links. Often, we meet again in the evening for a drink or for dinner...

In general, people, whether tourists, expatriates or locals, come to you more easily and engage in conversation when they see that you are alone. So much so that it even becomes difficult to enjoy moments of solitude when you seek them out! 😄

I see myself on the island of Tiomanin Malaysia. That evening, I had declined an invitation to have dinner with my diving companions, wanting to finally have some time to myself to write in my little notebook, without being disturbed. As a result, the waiter of the restaurant where I hung out couldn't help but come and chat with me after his service. The kind of guy I classify as a "nice guy". Harmless, but a bit of a pain in the ass. In these cases, my notebook is a formidable weapon: I explain that I have work to do, I play it cool travel writer very busy with lots of things to write, and the guy, impressed, then leaves me to my "work"... 😂

Thus, during my stay in Pemuteran (Bali) in 2008, I did not spend an evening alone. One time, in a tiny local restaurant where there was a lack of tables, it was a couple of very charming Germans who offered me to come and sit with them and we spent a pleasant evening chatting. Another evening, it was an American couple with whom I had been diving during the day who insisted on having me at their table. The next day, it was the Balinese who ran the mini-mart near my guesthouse who invited me to the party they were organizing for the marriage of their son

And then, there are people who become friends during the trip. In Malaysia, from Perhentian Kecil to Tioman, I had the pleasure to meet Maz and AlexBritish people who were on a humanitarian trip to New Zealand. À Sipadan (Borneo), it is with my diving partner Sabrinawho was also traveling solo, that I liked.

AT Sulawesiit is all Dutch family met in the Makassar-Rantepao bus who became fellow travelers and friends, for a good part of my journey, to the islands Togian. Still in Sulawesi, it is with Spanish couple, very nice, Joseba and Ana, that I made motorcycle trips in the villages and rice fields of the country Toraja. On the island of Siquijorin the Philippines, Marika and ShareefMy bungalow neighbors, a Swiss-Maldivian couple, became friends. We had memorable evenings with Neal and Raul, the two Filipinos who worked at the Kiwi Dive center and who introduced us to the island... 

In short, I'm forgetting a lot. I forget a lot. I don't count anymore the walks, aperitifs, meals and parties I was invited to. No, really, it's impossible to stay alone when you travel solo! 😅

Long live freedom!

Sunset on Kuta Beach. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.
Sunset on Kuta Beach. Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.

Another advantage, when you go alone: you do what you want, when you want. Without needing the assent of another. Without depending on the constraints of another. What a freedom!

We eat or not, at the time we want. We can hang out or not in a corner that we find nice. We don't have to answer to anyone. You don't need to be two to like the accommodation, guesthouse or hotel, that you visit. We are not obliged to have the same desires at the same time, nor to compromise on certain activities or excursions...

I also have the impression that this freedom makes you more receptive, more attentive, more available. Without company, one is more sensitive to the atmosphere of a place. More open, perhaps, to other cultures, other mentalities, other ways of thinking.

The fact of not being monopolized by the presence of a travel companion, who speaks the same language as you, who comes from the same world as you, it purifies the sensations, the thought, the look. You get a better feel for the country. You have a more personal approach, a more personal vision. No interference, no influence, no matter how benevolent and complicit they may be.

It is even a great advantage, sometimes, to be a "lonely traveler". As you are alone, the other women of the country dare to approach you. The conversation starts, you inspire curiosity, they want to know everything about you. Obviously, they are surprised that you travel like this, without a husband, without a child, without anyone. At the same time, they assure you that they find it very good (with a mixture of politeness and envy, often, for those who do not have your freedom of privileged Western tourist). You reassure them a little, saying that you still have friends, with whom you dive or go for a walk...

Being alone opens doors, breaks down shyness. Yours and others'.

Any drawbacks?

No worries to make cash, Nusa Lembongan! Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.
No worries to make cash, Nusa Lembongan! Bali, Indonesia, July 2008.

So yes, there are small disadvantages to traveling alone, but they seem minimal to me, compared to the infinite freedom of solo travel. They are in fact disadvantages of a purely material nature.

With two people, the accommodation is necessarily cheaper, since we divide the cost of the room. And nothing irritates me more than resorts and hotels that impose an exorbitant surcharge on travelers who have the audacity to not go in pairs... Grrr. I hate all these attractive rates that we find on the web with this charming parenthesis in small at the end: on the basis of two people.

The same goes for paying for private transportation with only a small purse, when there is no public transportation. But until now, I have often managed to share the price of a cab or a boat with other travelers I met along the way without too much trouble.

The most annoying thing, in fact, when you travel alone, is to have a problem with money: lost or stolen credit card, or cash... When you are two, you still have the card or the money of the other. When you can only count on yourself, you have to be careful. It happened to me three times that I had a hard time for that.

The first time, it was at Siem Reap airport (Cambodia). I didn't have enough dollars to pay the departure tax, which was higher than I thought, and the only ATM (automated teller machine) in the airport only accepted Visa cards (and at the time I had a MasterCard). So I begged for the few dollars I needed one by one from the tourists waiting there with me. People were nice and helped me out.

The second time, I simply lost my card in Thailand... at the bottom of my bag (yes, it happens). I finally found it, well stashed in a pocket I never use, just after I made a stop payment! I was good enough to call my sister and ask her to make an expensive Western Union money transfer for me, from Europe, just to have enough money to finish the vacations.

Finally, the third time was it was in Bangkokat the end of my stay. I wanted to do some shopping at the MBK Center and withdraw some baht. Except that after three weeks in the islands, I had forgotten my code (yes, it happens). I typed three times in a row a wrong code and my card was swallowed. I was able to get it back, because the bank where I wanted to make the withdrawal was open. But the card had been automatically deactivated... Fortunately, I still had enough cash for the small expenses before the departure. But I had to give up shopping.

What about security?

Kuta Beach, Bali. Indonesia, July 2008.
Kuta Beach, Bali. Indonesia, July 2008.

Apart from these minor material mishaps without consequences, nothing untoward has ever happened to me during my solo trips. My optimistic temperament leads me to believe that it can only continue like this.

Of course, I never hang out alone at all hours in bad neighborhoods. But I don't do it at home either. Whether at the end of the world or in my own country, I keep a minimum of common sense. Common sense is more than enough, in terms of precautions to take. I don't need a survival manual for women in foreign lands... Although.

The trip for girls who are afraid of everything

A book to recommend

For those of you who are worried, I invite you to relax with this great book, full of useful tips and testimonies of more or less intrepid adventurers (including mine), co-written with humour and talent by my friend, blogger and Quebec journalist Marie-Julie Gagnon:

→ Travel for girls who are afraid of everything

In all honesty, I have never had a feeling of insecurity. And I have never been mugged while traveling (it only happened to me in France, in Paris and in Rennes, in everyday life). A lot of girls ask me this question, but overall, the countries in Southeast Asia where I have been are safe places for a tourist traveling alone. Once or twice, I invented a husband who was supposed to join me soon, just to discourage some nice people, but that's all.

I'm not taking any risks, really, to fly away with my little person for only company to a far away place. I don't travel to countries at war. I do not put myself in physical danger. I do not accomplish any feat. I am not an explorer who takes risks. Just a dreamer, a walker...

Facing yourself

Faces surmounting one of the doors of the enclosure of the temples of Angkor. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 2001.
Faces surmounting one of the gates of the Angkor temple enclosure. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 2011.

All I risk, by leaving like this, is to be changed and transformed, to come back richer in encounters, memories, emotions. To know myself better too. To find oneself face to face with oneself, far from one's usual reference points is an interesting and instructive experience.

We rediscover ourselves in a new light. We discover qualities, unsuspected resources. Weaknesses, too. But suddenly, you know where you stand with regard to yourself.

And frankly, it is very gratifying to know a little better who you are. Once you've been relieved of everything, when you have nothing left but a travel bag to carry, you're clearer about who you are. We tell ourselves less stories, we better understand what is really important.

This helps in everyday life. From this point of view, solo travel, whether you are a man or a woman, is an invaluable experience.

More to read
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  Between Two Journeys

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  1. I admit that the first time I went alone, I had some apprehensions, but finally I just loved it. We are more available and more open.

  2. @Denis: You're more available and more open, that's the impression I have too. But it's funny, I can't remember when it was, the first time I went on my own... And I don't remember being particularly apprehensive.

    @Nono: Well yes, it's so much easier and simpler, that I really don't understand why it impresses people so much when I talk about it around me... Curious. Otherwise, for the credit card problems, I take my hat off to you, you are the champion of all categories! Getting your card stolen... in a bank!!! You have to do it!!!

  3. It's true that it's generally easier, simpler to travel alone. When you lose your credit card (it also happened to me, it was stolen in a bank) it's the great system D.

  4. I agree so much with what you say about solo travel, which I too have been practicing assiduously everywhere (but especially in Southeast Asia), for years, that I can't help but stick my two cents in. And I am much older than you.

    This is still no problem. I have not experienced your money problems. I only had an accident once in Bali and it was a bit of a hassle to get to a transport, alone and walking with difficulty... but I got through it. It's more tedious in China in the sense of tiring, sometimes even exhausting because you have to deal with everything alone, all the time (accommodation, transport, formalities...), but that was from 1985 to 1991 and it must have improved.

    Indeed, this attracts the confidences of the local women against us. Men can be more difficult to convince and sometimes you have to lie, invent a whole family and especially children, to have peace. However, I rarely do this because I don't like to lie. Come what may!

    And what a delight to be alone on lost beaches (around Banggi in Borneo or Palawan in the Philippines for example or in Rodrigues (towards Mauritius), to have the whole sea, finally the impression of... You feel so much closer to nature, it's as if you threw yourself into it with open arms. And we can shout to it, even scream that we love it, as I did in the jungle of Borneo or Brunei, more than once and be surprised to talk to an animal that we have just crossed. And we can find ourselves the guest of a lost tribe (Penan to Bario in the Kelabit Higlands, still in Borneo), precisely because we were alone and that facilitates the contact, that we are easy to invite. And we can even leave with gifts (cucumbers of the tiny wild garden well hidden too).

    I don't dive, but I walk a lot with a small bag, water, fruits and cookies and I am often invited to the villages and I also put what I have on the collective table. And it is always spontaneous and unexpected. WHAT A HAPPINESS!

    No, there is no risk if you love the people, their country, the nature... they feel it. And I play a lot with the children who teach me a lot of things... It's a whole world. IT'S A WHOLE WORLD OF LIVING, FINALLY! I could write books about it.

    Well to you and accomplice,

  5. I had the chance to go alone, as a couple, with friends...
    Each configuration has its advantages and disadvantages, its freedom or its concessions.

    There are things that I would not have done alone, like renting a motorcycle to go for a ride or chartering a boat with friends... There are memories that I am delighted to share and evoke with my partner... With two people, it is easier to afford rooms that are a little more cozy...
    To many, we negotiate more easily rates, visits, we share some costs.

    Alone, as a couple, with friends, the important thing is not to have the impression of sacrificing your vacation to the desires of others, to keep different activities if the desires are not the same ... we already have enough constraints like that in our daily lives!

    Often, I spend part of the vacations with friends, for example on a diving cruise. Back on land, everyone continues their vacation between rest, other visits or destinations, diving again or going back home... Even in a group, I understand very well this desire to be free for a while.
    Besides, apart from diving, each of us lives his own life... we often cross each other walking on the side of the road... we laugh a lot when we meet each other on the side of the road... we exchange the good plans (purchases, restaurants, landscapes and monuments...) that we discovered.
    The important thing if you don't go alone is that the goal is not to stay stuck together, without communicating with the outside world... (a friend of mine recently spent 10 days cruising alone with a pre-formed group... who didn't speak to her the whole time!), that everyone is open and autonomous and respects the freedom of the others

    Alone or with others, it is also and above all a state of mind.
    Just look at the number of people who demand a French-speaking hotel, who don't set foot outside of their golden all-inn... they travel without a desire for openness and adventure... solo travel just doesn't have the same flavor... To each his own, it's just not the same way to experience a vacation.

  6. So, so, so much. You described perfectly (for a change! lol) the reasons why I love going off on my own. Now that I have a family, it's more difficult, but I'm finding benefits to this new situation too. Passing on my passion for travel to my daughter is more exhausting, but so rewarding!

    On the other hand, I admit that at times I wish I were a guy. In most Asian countries, I feel safe, but I sometimes avoid places that attract me because I wouldn't feel as comfortable there. Everything can't be perfect...

  7. Wow, very inspiring this post! I'm thinking of going on my own trip for the first time soon, but I must admit that this beautiful project gives butterflies, nice as most pernicious!

    There seems to be a penchant for Asia for single girls. What would be the best destination? Are there other regions that lend themselves to this type of travel as well? For me, it is Australia that attracts me; I think I would be as safe there as here. On the other hand, after hearing several interesting travel stories, Asia could be an option (and no doubt that the cost of living there would be much more reasonable!).

    Thank you for this beautiful testimony!

  8. Well done !

    superb article, each person having travelled alone will recognize himself there I think.
    In any case it was my case, you describe very well the state of mind that one acquires at once by leaving alone. One goes more to meet the other and especially, one is more 'listening' to the others!
    I also strongly agree that we meet a lot of people and that people come more easily to a single person... less fear of being turned away I think.

    Continue to make us dream !!


  9. Oh dear, I've been away from the computer for a while because of smoking cessation (just to dissociate the habits of smoking + keyboard + coffee) and I find messages!

    Thank you all for sharing your experience here. It is really exciting to discover through the words of each one, the thousand facets of the journey.

    @Odile: I took the liberty, as I indicated to you by e-mail, to put here, in the form of a comment, the so beautiful message that you had sent me. Your testimony touches me a lot.

    @Manta: I totally agree. Whether you go alone, in pairs or in a group, true freedom is a question of mindset. But everyone lives his vacations in the way that suits him... I am not a judge, on the contrary. As far as I'm concerned, solo travel suits my very independent character very well!

    @ Marie-Julie: I met a lot of people who were traveling with their children. The goal of this post was to demystify the so-called "adventurous" aspect of solo travel, to show that it is actually very simple and very rewarding. I suspected that, once again, we would find some common points... But like you, for some places, especially in Muslim countries, I think I would like to be a man, sometimes.

    @MissChocoe: Ah, how I love that expression from across the Atlantic, "having butterflies in my stomach"!!! Yes, that's exactly what I feel too, at each new departure. Asia has the advantage of being very safe for a lonely traveler, globally, people are very respectful; and yes, it's not expensive... Often, for an "easy" first approach, I advise Thailand. I would also like to go to Australia one of these days... An old dream!

    @Akway: I'm glad to see that your male point of view finally matches my impressions as a girl on the go... There's something really singular, unique, about discovering other horizons solo. It changes the perception.

  10. My take. Of course, I agree, I too travel mostly by myself for my diving vacations (we should make a club 🙄 ).
    It's true, we immerse ourselves more, without the filter of the other(s) that ties us to the everyday and prevents us from completely immersing ourselves in another world. I would feel like I was less gone if I had to spend a week with a group of French people where everything was pre-organized, even if it was on the other side of the world!
    But I admit that I cheat a little when I go, because I always book in advance in the dive centers I want to go to. In November, I don't want to miss Froggies, but I would have to learn to be more flexible!!!
    In any case I have great memories of meeting people, both locals and tourists like me, people that would have been more difficult to meet if I had not been alone.
    And finally, I particularly liked the paragraph "Facing oneself" "one is clearer towards one's little person. We tell ourselves less stories, we better identify what is really important." It's true, true, true!!! And it feels good, it dusts off the head!
    So there will be a few of us dragging our dive bags, all alone like big girls, and chatting endlessly afterwards telling our adventures on land and underwater 😀

  11. My girlfriend Colette who is a real globe trotter solo could confirm the words of this post. The only problems encountered during these solo trips was in the Middle East. Because for men, she did not exist. Otherwise, never a problem.
    I agree!

  12. @Malene: Going alone doesn't mean you can't make some preparations beforehand. For me, it is rare that I set everything in advance (Preparations, but not too much!), but on specific things, where I know it is better to book, I do it too. That said, when you are alone, it is quite easy to show up without a reservation in a dive center, especially if you have your own gear... we always find a place for you on the boat!

    @ Cecilia: Yes, that's the only disadvantage I see: being a woman when you want to discover some Muslim countries... But it's not just a matter of religion, I think, it's also a matter of culture, education... The attitude towards women in the Middle East is nothing like the one I've seen in Asian Muslim countries. In any case, in Indonesia, in Malaysia, in the south of Thailand, you arouse curiosity, as a western woman traveling alone, but people remain very respectful (provided, of course, that you avoid hanging out in tight mini-shorts, especially in very "traditional" places, but there, it's common sense, as I said above...). Anyway, thanks for the link in your column!!!

    @The Seaman of the galley: Mission accomplished!!!

  13. I have to say that before leaving alone for work, it would never have crossed my mind to go alone on vacation either, especially abroad... and in fact, now, I think that on the contrary (and especially abroad), it's sometimes much easier to be alone, rather than to be the guide/translator/leader/candidate of circumstance or to be stuck with someone else who assumes this task (because it's often the case of trips with several people even if there are only 2). I completely agree with this point of view. On the other hand, for some time now, I have 2 credit cards, a Visa and a Mastercard 🙂 to avoid this kind of mishaps (the only time it happened to me, in Dubai, fortunately, it was for work with a colleague, otherwise, it's not the kind of place where you want to have such worries)

  14. @Sylvain: A lot of people make a mountain out of a molehill of solo travel, when in truth, it's much simpler, indeed... You have to have experienced it to realize it.
    The idea of having two credit cards to be prepared for any eventuality, it's expensive, I guess, but it's a good idea. In fact, I have the impression that it's less problematic to have CB worries in Thailand than in Dubai!

  15. Alone, you meet people you wouldn't with two people or in a group. From time to time, it's nice to find this autonomy and freedom 😀
    In groups, it's often wearing and restricting, I stopped 😕
    In fact I like to go in a mini group (4 to 6 people), it's nice, less expensive (Lembeh, 1 week at SDQ with unlimited dives for 300E!!), we share the tasks, we do things we would not have thought of and then there are the "nostalgia" evenings on the way back... 🙄
    But as an old popular saying goes: "Better to go alone than badly accompanied" 🙂

  16. @Alimata: Autonomy and freedom, yes!!! How precious these little things are... That's what true luxury is all about, basically 🙂
    I have only tested the "group" option during press trips. Fun for a while, and in a professional context, but clearly it's not my thing. With two people, in general, it's ok, since you choose the person you're going with, but you still miss a lot of meetings...
    For my part, it would be complicated to organize something in a well sorted mini-group. No divers in my entourage. And my best friend is scared to death of flying. I'm not about to take her to Asia... By train, maybe, one day. 😆
    As for the others, they prefer to devote their holidays to their dear half or to their small family, which I conceive very well.

  17. When you subscribe to the Visa Premier card, you are offered the Cirrus card for free, which is a withdrawal card, even abroad. However, you can't use it to pay at merchants. It can be a good formula to have two cards abroad. It's a bit expensive at the beginning but you have insurance included which is quite good and you are entitled to high withdrawal limits. I came to it after having had several problems in Indonesia where the bank didn't want to give me cash with a regular Visa card even though I had plenty of money.
    For going alone, I repeat because it is still very pleasant from the point of view of freedom and availability that it provides: you can adapt your itinerary to your heart's desire, it's easy to find a train, plane, bus or boat ticket... but don't deprive your spouse or your children of a trip for all that... everything can be good, especially since some people can't stand the risk or the solitude...

  18. Hello little bubbles!
    I will make the hair scratch.
    I hate traveling alone especially if it means without it.
    This has never stopped me from meeting people, from making acquaintances, but also some I could have done without.
    Meeting people when you dive is very easy I think there is a kind of bond that "unites" divers.
    So the contact is natural.
    For me, walking in places as beautiful as improbable without sharing them with the one who accompanies me spoils the pleasure.
    Underwater it's even more true, understand each other with a single glance without speaking....
    And then the most beautiful place in the world is the space of his arms.... then!
    Continue to tell your adventures it's fun, and it allows to travel when it's not possible.

  19. @Odile: I too switched to Visa Premier for all the reasons you list, but I was never offered a Cirrus... I'm going to go bitch to my banker.
    Otherwise, of course, for solo travel, it is not about depriving yourself of company, nor depriving spouses and/or friends of travel, but simply knowing that there is no point in depriving yourself of leaving if you are alone, because on the contrary you will have a great trip!!!

    @Blue Lagoon: Hello Blue Lagoon... Your invervention is not too "scratchy", in fact, it finally joins what I answer just above to Odile... 😉
    My point is not to say: leave your spouses, lovers, friends, children etc. at home and go alone, but rather: if you have no one to accompany you, don't be afraid to go alone, even if you are a woman, it is on the contrary an opportunity, it allows you to make a really different trip...
    And I agree about the ease of meeting people when you dive. For me who travels solo, diving is really nice from that point of view.
    In any case, I am delighted to you / make you travel by proxy!

  20. Corinne!
    Ok, I'm jealous to death of the possibility that you have to travel so often.
    But it is especially your diving stories that tickle me the most.
    We just got back from a diving vacation a month ago and it feels like it was ten years ago!
    When I read you, I say "you", I have the pleasure to be with you under water. Since we won't be leaving for another year, it helps.
    Usually when I start purging my stab on the sidewalks of Panam, it's high time we booked a plane ticket.
    In the meantime I'm going back to my underwater pictures, and I'm dreaming of a little Nitrox at 32%.
    When are the next bubbles for you?

  21. @Blue Lagoon: I manage to go away twice a year, during my winter and summer vacations... No family constraints, it certainly gives more latitude!
    Even though I leave relatively often, I feel the same way as you do... I've only been back from Thailand for a month and a half and it feels like it was longer than that! My next bubbles will be in July. I haven't decided yet where to go, I just got a cheap round trip ticket from Paris to Kuala Lumpur. But I'm thinking about going back to Sipadan...

  22. Pffffff & #8230; ..
    You will say hello to the turtles on my behalf.
    We are returning from the Maldives, a small corner of the world where we have been putting our dive bags for a while already.
    I feel like I live there and I'm just passing through.
    It's quite different from purely Asian trips, almost impossible to get to the place outside the structure, but underwater it's carnival.
    To be done at least once with the risk of returning.

  23. Don't worry, it's only a matter of time.
    It is certain that it is not cheap, but it is more affordable on a cruise. On "Le Soleil" for example with Sean at the helm.
    Friends are full of praise for this.
    Well that's enough back to the gray.

  24. I traveled alone, I liked it a little, then I traveled alone to a destination shared by solos like me, with C****** [Message from Corinne: agency name removed, as my blog is not the place for such clearly "promotional" comments]I loved it.

    The fact of being with people like you allows real exchanges of emotions (especially during all the activities in which we participate together).

    I discovered the Charente between laughs, small cute plans, and a lot of warmth and humanism of the guides.
    France is so beautiful when you discover it zen and surrounded by people who are like us!

    C****** is a simple concept that brings a lot.
    This year I'm trying C****** Djerba, and I hope they'll soon create others to allow me to travel to many places in this way.

    See you soon


  25. @Lorine: Hello and welcome to Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs. I admit it: I was tempted to delete your comment, because your prose is clearly not the one of an ordinary internet user who testifies, but the one of a publicist who promotes her "concept" of travel agency for singles...

    That said, no one had touched on this facet of the travel market, so I'm keeping your post, which can continue the conversation on this topic.

    For my part, I find that organized trips for singles are nothing more than group trips! (Nothing to do with the kind of travel I'm talking about in this article, then.) I'm not saying that it's better or worse (I'm not saying that one way of traveling is better than another), and I'm sure that lots of people are happy with it and find a lot of advantages. But it's not quite the same as traveling solo...

    What would have been more interesting and constructive is if you had explained why you (supposedly) "moderately" enjoyed traveling alone. I also find it interesting that you bring up the idea of French vacations. As a result, I wonder: is it more or less easy to travel solo in France or abroad ❓

  26. Really interesting this article and comments.

    I do not travel solo like Corinne for at least three reasons:

    - I don't have a level of English that allows me to have discussions beyond the stage of banalities. I regret it especially with local people (Bali, Philippines) or divers from Northern Europe. And in some parts of Asia, French speakers are rare.

    - by impatience, I reduce some uncertainties before the departure. For example, in 6 days of diving from Mabul (SMART), I dived 12 times in Sipadan and 8 on Mabul/kapalai. I had taken a package from Paris. Diving in Sipadan is for me too serious a subject to be at the mercy of a random waiting list.

    - Even if diving is not a sport, travel brings up in me a past of team sports. With the necessary openness: the team members and their numbers are not necessarily the same. The rule is that there are not really any.

    Concretely, it happens in the following way. I announce to a dozen of well known divers that I'm going to such place at such date. Each one does what he wants before and after and manages his payments and reservations. If nobody answers, I go alone. But this never happens.

    The advantages of the group:

    - during the dives : I already know that I won't have to watch / wait for a guy I don't know and then go back up with 100 bars.

    & #8211; after the dive:

    & #8211; the environments of the dive sites are conducive to a relaxation that can solicit abdominals for reasons other than sports. And when we already know each other & #8230;

    - the pleasure of meeting foreigners (Swiss, Belgian) with whom I had previously sympathized. When we leave each other, we know without any certainty that we will meet again in 1, 2 or 3 years in Komodo or Raja Ampat. This is a very masculine behavior: a tunnel follows, then a "24 hours on time" meeting in x days in such and such a hotel in such and such an Asian capital. Then it starts again around a Bintang as if we had left the day before.

    & #8211; prices of hotels, transfers and sometimes cruises are reduced

    The disadvantages :

    - organization and anticipation, which requires making an announcement 6-8 months in advance

    - finding the right people and the right fit. I agree with Alimata on 4-6. It allows to have a complementarity (the handyman, the negotiator, the organizer, the photographer ...) while keeping the unity of being able to discuss together.

  27. Hello and congratulations!
    You have erased most of the answers we have to face, but I would make a big remark: if traveling alone can be a real happiness, it is also a real sadness to discover enchanting places and not to be able to share this privileged moment, if only with oneself... There is the limit of the solo travel, of the navel-gazing that I know well, to live it through my travels, which sometimes bothers me now.
    But don't see any bitterness in this, rather an observation. One does not travel in the same way at 20 as at 46.
    Greetings and good road!

  28. @Bertran: Very nice and interesting little rundown on the benefits of the group. Thanks for sharing your point of view!
    As far as diving is concerned, I agree: it is true that it is always more pleasant to have as a buddy someone with whom you are on the same wavelength and who has about the same level. I am finishing my Indo-Malaysian trip, and I must admit that during some of the trips, I would have liked to be with Linda again, the girl I dived with for two days in Mabul and Sipadan. As there are no divers around me, I adapt to those I meet during my trip. There are good and less good surprises...

    @Eric: Ah, I'm not 20 anymore, and not yet 46... But indeed, I don't travel anymore in the same way as I did during my very first trips (which were not solo, by the way).
    For my part, when I travel alone as I do at the moment, I don't feel this melancholy, this sadness that you speak of. On the contrary, I feel like sharing my discoveries with the other travelers I meet along the way. And also here, on this blog, thanks to the magic of the internet. By the way, my moments of solitude have been rather rare these last days. I didn't have to eat alone more than 4 or 5 times, during this month-long journey!
    Tonight, for the first time in a long time, on the eve of my flight back to Kuala Lumpur, I find myself alone... finally!!! It's good, too, to have some moments to myself.

  29. Hello,

    I discover this blog, I poke a little & #8230; It's good to find a travel blog that does not boil down to a stack of travel photos! Just for that, thank you.
    I am still sailing & #8230; and I come across this very interesting discussion.

    Traveling alone... what a pleasure! Time is for oneself (even more than at home), no account to give, we let ourselves be guided by the encounters and the air of time. Like freedom. Or something to do with independence. In this case, solitude is not a lack but a wealth.

    But, but, traveling alone in Asia certainly opens the door to less encounters than when traveling alone. Yes, the white man is often apprehended as a sex consumer, often wrongly... but unfortunately also often rightly.
    If it can encourage women to travel alone in Asia: you will meet more people than men. Because the contact with the young women of the country when you are a man, it is more difficult; it requires more time, that to decline the proposal of massa-massa or boom-boom. It is several days in the same place so that the young woman understands that this one, one can discuss with him. Of course, if you can't say three words in English, whether you're a man or a woman, it's a handicap. But to be told about the country by men AND women who live there, it is still much richer in teaching.
    I remember meeting an Australian woman in Cambodia in July 2008: she was traveling by bike and the locals wanted to help her. I imagine that she was repeatedly invited to stay with the locals. No doubt that a man in such a situation will have much less opportunity to sympathize.
    So you have to travel alone... with your children. In Asia it is the foot, in Cambodia in particular. I recommend it to all the dads with children. People will come to see you and ask you where the mother is. It opens a lot of doors!

    The only drawback to solo travel: we would like to share certain discoveries, certain emotions with people we love. But to share them at the moment! And it is not possible. So we use internet, SMS, we create a blog... But it is not the same. For me, these are the only frustrations I feel when traveling alone (I have never traveled in a group and I don't imagine it for a single moment; the only experience of the group abroad is a two days trek in Chiang Mai, it was very good by the way, I was very pleasantly surprised, but it was only two days). And we can show our travel pictures (personally I don't do it much, the trip alone is also a set of secrets for oneself), it is no longer the emotion of the moment. That's also why you have to go back...

    I read above that for a woman, traveling alone in a Muslim country gives a feeling of being nothing. But it's the same for a man who travels alone in a Muslim country when he is facing a veiled woman. It makes you feel uncomfortable. For that, Thailand is much nicer, Thais are very open-minded, men and women.

    What I agree with the most in your post, Corinne, is when you write that traveling alone is knowing what to do with yourself, it actually helps in everyday life. A friend of mine used to say that my travels were to escape from myself. No, it's to have a good time and also to get to know yourself better, to meet yourself in short. And it is perhaps this meeting that is the most important.

    That's it, I'm done. I don't know how to make it short, that's how it is.
    Good trips, alone or in groups!


  30. @Romuh: Welcome to Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs, and thank you for this long and interesting contribution.

    I didn't realize that it was perhaps easier to be a traveler than a solo traveler, in some situations... But what you say about children, whether you are alone with them or in a couple, is very true: it opens all doors!

    As for the impossibility of sharing one's emotions at the moment, I must admit that I don't mind. But this is probably a question of temperament. As for the pleasure of sharing afterwards, there are obviously the things I like to show publicly here, on this blog, and the exchanges that ensue, which are very enriching; and then more personal things, which I keep for myself or my close friends.

    Finally, I don't think you can run away from yourself when you travel solo... it's quite the opposite, in fact, you find yourself face to face. One can like or not the experience... There again, it is a question of temperament, I suppose.


  31. Hello Corinne,
    I like your blog, which I discovered through Marie-Julie Gagnon's blog. This post particularly appealed to me because I am also a solo traveler and I appreciate each time more this way of traveling. However, I felt compelled to react to some of the comments I read above about women traveling to Muslim countries and "not existing". In fact, for me, it is totally the opposite! In Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, I did not feel that I did not exist, on the contrary, but that I existed much more than elsewhere! It is impossible for a single Western woman to pass incognito in these countries! A young woman on her own attracts all eyes (from men as well as from women) and is constantly observed, solicited. This is rarely mean, but these are generally cultures where young women are rarely alone and independent, let alone traveling, so it surprises people. If on top of that, the tourist in question is blonde (like me), she must expect to be the center of attention everywhere, all the time. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but you develop certain techniques to attract less attention (wearing loose clothing, a hat) and to keep away the glue pots (pretending to speak only Danish, wearing a fake wedding ring, etc.). In fact, I got so used to being the center of attention on these trips that I was disappointed when I returned to Montreal that no one looked at me or talked to me! I did my first solo trips in the countries I mentioned above, so I learned the hard way! But these are the places in the world where I felt the most that I existed. So there you have it.

  32. @Josianne: Thanks for your testimony, very interesting. I'm not a blonde, but I use the same tricks to keep away possible (and rather rare, in my case) glue pots, I admit... 😆
    What you say is very true: a woman traveling alone arouses much more interest, especially in the most traditional areas, where women's emancipation is not the same as in the West.
    I remember a long conversation I had with a young Malaysian woman, at the consulate in Tawau, Borneo, who asked me a thousand enthusiastic questions, her eyes shining with curiosity and envy, telling me how much she would have liked to be able to do as I did, to travel alone, to see the country, to meet people, in total freedom...
    I measure my luck. And I try not to forget it, when, back in France, I meet only indifferent looks.

  33. hello Corinne I totally agree with you. I traveled alone for a long time as a backpacker, I even spent three months in the jungle of Borneo... All your arguments are right but sometimes being in pairs makes things easier. One keeps the luggage while the other looks for a cheap hotel. Watching over you if you sleep in a station and then in case of big difficulties (it happens in very adventurous trips), two is better. In case of depression too (inevitable with the tiredness of 6 months of travel) And then I also like to share great ecstasies in front of a landscape, people. I've been with a lovely woman for 20 years who likes to travel my way (outside of the tourist circuits) and it's going great and we've had a lot of contact with the population (Tibet, Africa, etc.). And the presence of a woman makes me discover contacts with other women (more difficult for a man alone). The hardest part is to come back...
    good luck to you
    Jean Pierre

  34. @ Zantas51: Oh, but I don't say that it's less good for two people... Especially if you have a great complicity with your travel companion. And it's true that it makes things easier in case of a problem.
    My point is to say that you should not forbid yourself to travel under the pretext that you are alone. It is in fact much easier than we imagine, and often richer in encounters. Thanks a lot for your testimony!

  35. Hello,

    This discussion has not stopped and it is with great pleasure that I note this. The evening that has just taken place is not the only reason.

    zantas51 wrote "And then I also like to share great ecstasies in front of a landscape, of people". This is indeed the only element of frustration I have experienced in traveling alone. Sharing an "ecstatic" moment in one's mother tongue adds an emotional dimension to the trip. I found penelope25 in Cambodia, after various email exchanges during the preparation of our respective trips. I took her to an island that I had discovered 6 months before; the sharing and the sensitivity of the other, whose mother tongue is common, added an undeniable plus.
    Complicity is born from this sharing; we had never met before.

    But of course, traveling alone (if it's so different) brings a lot. And I am not ready to put an end to it. To be unique, to have only the local population to communicate and pursue, forces a very very enriching opening, a sharing not obliged, but necessary. And pleasant.

    The aesthetic side is very important in this solo trip; standing out creates curiosity... and therefore exchange. One can want to hide... or on the contrary to show oneself, it depends.
    In Asia, in Africa, in South America, the blonde traveler will have an additional "difference", which can also become burdensome; my daughter, blonde with blue eyes, 8 years old during her trip to Cambodia told me about it several times ("I was fed up with them looking at me all the time and that Mr. Raga pinched my cheek"). It is up to her to play with this difference or not.

    The language barrier also brings into play spontaneity, which is itself very instructive of the other. The aesthetic difference will favor or not, each situation creating an experience.

    A thought: is the journey of a single woman or a single man so different? Not sure. There is always a relationship of seduction with the other. A single woman will be very pampered here, but despised there. The same goes for a single man, when the image of the European tourist is that of a sex consumer. Money or individual respectful of the other's culture? It is up to the native to ask himself the question, if he wishes.

    The difference in culture will lead to a different adaptation time. If in Cambodia you have to leave time to be offered things to eat (waiting two hours in a crowded minibus), in Bangkok it will only take 5 minutes and a joke to be offered to taste an ice-cream.
    The food example is not exclusive, but it is, from my experience, the most blatant; "I eat like you, I fully accept you as you are."

    Of course, a good stomach plaster is sometimes necessary... thanks B...lix. I'm exaggerating, of course.

    To read you!

  36. @Romuh: I am delighted to see this discussion continue. Thank you for sharing your experience here again. Highly Relevant Observations & #8230;

  37. I love traveling alone too. As you say, you can't be alone unless you lock yourself in a hotel... I think it's great!
    On January 15, I also go to Tioman, for the first time in Malaysia, then Australia, and on the way back Bali and Thailand.

  38. After browsing this blog, myself preparing my first solo trip to Thailand, I thought (and that could be another interesting point to address): how resourceful he is to be able to manage everything solo & #8230 ;?
    I'll let those who have been through the experience and have opinions to share... 💡

  39. I had heard the same words before I packed my bags. But I knew I wouldn't be afraid, that I would meet so many people on the road and get a great view.
    The feeling of freedom is exhilarating.

    I feel like I will always need to take solo getaways far, far away.

    It also makes me realize how much I care about some people and that although far away, they are part of my balance.


  40. @EurAsia: Well, in travel, it's like in life... If you are smart at home, you will be smart elsewhere.

    @NowMadNow: I still don't understand what people are afraid of, at the idea of going solo... For me, I find it almost easier and simpler to go alone... 😀
    Yes, the feeling of freedom is exhilarating. And then, we take better measure of what is important, of what we are worth, of who we are, once alone at the end of the world. The experience is insanely enriching.

  41. @Boucline: Yes, for Indonesia, it is better to know a little English, or to learn Bahasa (the basics are easy)! In Indonesia, very few people speak French. Only in the Toraja country, on Sulawesi, did I meet a lot of French speaking guides. And as for the rest of Southeast Asia, even in the former French colonies (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), it is easier to have exchanges in English than in French...

  42. I am so glad I discovered this blog. I'm getting ready to go on a solo trip to Indonesia, and I'm wondering if not speaking English should hold me back from traveling to Southeast Asia. I heard that you can get by in French in this part of the world. What do you think about it?

  43. I too have been traveling solo for a few years now and the only thing I can think of is: why didn't I do it sooner!

    Let's be clear, I don't want to make the apology of individual travel, I have in the past traveled in couple or in group, I don't deny it, but we each have our own story and it happens that from now on I travel alone, sometimes by choice, sometimes by obligation, often both at the same time.

    I have to say that it took me a while to "take the plunge" and this was mainly due to the pressure of people around me whose behavior is often dictated by the herd spirit.

    And when we listen to them, all the reasons are good not to go on an individual trip:

    -you are too young
    -you are too old
    -you are a woman
    -you are a man
    -you are a woman
    in Asia
    -you are French
    -you went
    & etc. #8230; & #8230; ..

    I think the most difficult thing was that very first solo trip that I did where I had so many apprehensions because of the judgment of others, apprehensions that were very quickly dispelled once I got there.
    Now with hindsight I join the people who wrote here before me to say that I have never met as many people as when I travel alone.

    Couples and families on a trip? Well, they first exchange with each other before exchanging with "strangers" and it's normal, I was like them before.

    The groups? Well, that makes me laugh a little bit, I have traveled in a group myself, the group is united at the departure from France, but once there, it breaks up and each one goes his own way, officially because of "free time", unofficially because X does not have any chemistry with Z, and in the end, there is no more difference with the solo traveler (who declares himself as such from the start)
    It is often on these occasions that we measure our degree of affinity with so-and-so: the good room mate or the nice and funny colleague with whom we spend 8 hours a day at the office having fun...but who becomes a completely different person when we have to share the bungalow and the moods 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
    The expression "we wouldn't spend our vacations together" is neither anodyne nor usurped.
    The risk is greater when traveling abroad with compatriots, the fact of speaking the same language immediately establishes privileged links and one often misses many things.

    It's true, I admit it, sometimes during my solo travels I would have liked to be accompanied in certain situations, it's the case at the start of certain excursions or during lunch when everyone is between couples or friends and you find yourself there like an ass without knowing who to talk to, but it has never happened to me, neither very often nor for a very long time.
    Or when you are told "I'm leaving you, I think my husband/wife is waiting for me" and you answer "and I have my nasi goreng waiting for me...".
    There are other purely material inconveniences, as Corinne mentioned, but taken as a whole it is really derisory.

    During my last trip to the Philippines, I went solo, I came back with friends on the spot that I will be happy to see again during a next trip there and I met a couple of Belgians that I see regularly in Paris and Brussels, and we are working on a next trip to make... together.

    1. Hello,

      Congratulations. Finally, a woman who talks about true freedom. The one that consists in being in congruence with yourself. Your last post is a little dated so I hope you continue to enjoy traveling with yourself.
      Good roads & #8230;
      Another aficionado of the solo trip.

  44. Great post! I just discovered it today and I completely recognize myself in what you say. I also find it hard to understand this astonishment about girls who travel alone, so much it seems natural to me to do it. And yet, I don't feel like an adventurer, nor a daredevil, and I even have some shyness tendencies... But what a joy to travel alone! And I was lucky enough to meet some incredible friends on the road. I have traveled a lot alone in Asia and South America, and absolutely recommend it. The only country where I really felt uncomfortable was South Africa. There is way too much insecurity, and it's not a good country for solo travel... But that's true for guys as well as for girls in my opinion.

  45. @Sarah: Yes, I think that mentalities are difficult to change. A lot of people think that a girl should not travel alone. I have a friend who traveled alone in South Africa, and it was fine. She was just a bit more careful in some places.

  46. I found your article very interesting.
    I admit that for me, traveling alone is a pleasure, even if the only problem is the evening when you are alone in front of your plate... but as you said, it doesn't happen very often since you can always find someone.

    For me, the hardest thing was to travel in India alone, not because of the security but because I was always being questioned by the Indians... and in the long run, it was annoying.

    I even went on my own for a year with just 3 months with friends and I must admit that I loved the alternation...

  47. @PEPS: Yes, it's nice to be able to alternate travel modes, too. But frankly, I have never felt lonely on my solo trips. But there is no rule or recipe. It depends on the circumstances, on the temperament. Just a question of balance, of dosage, I guess. For my part, I find that the total freedom of solo travel has something quite exhilarating, that one never finds as completely with a companion.

  48. If you want to do it, Marie-France, I think you can! We often discover afterwards that we have much more courage than we thought. Go on a trip that is not too long, two or three weeks. I really recommend Southeast Asia for a first solo travel experience, because these are countries where it is very easy to travel, with good security conditions, and with a lot of solo travelers. My first solo trip was to Vietnam. I had planned to stay one month, and as a result, I stayed two months and extended it with Thailand, and I was never alone for a second! I loved it!!! An amazing experience! 🙂

  49. @MarieFrance: I agree with what Sarah wrote.

    Listen to your desire, it is not a question of courage. In any case, Sarah's advice is very accurate: Southeast Asia is very easy (those who go to difficult places in Southeast Asia are those who decide to do so, either because they refuse to take the easy way out or because they want to know "something else"). The most difficult thing is to decide to buy the plane ticket in accordance with the necessary time off. And don't buy a package tour before leaving. Even if you are "tricked" on the spot, it will cost you less... But it will bring you many more contacts.

    One last thing: making a choice means taking a risk. The risk of regretting this choice because the weather was unfortunately pitiful during the trip, for example (very rare when you know the weather beforehand). Or the risk of regretting all the time that you never dared.

    The choice is yours.

  50. Your post is so right, and motivates me even more to leave alone 🙂
    What you say about meeting new people, the freedom to do what you want without being under the constraint of "the other" and being more sensitive because "cut" from your culture really resonate with me.
    The anecdote where you forget your ATM code already happened to me in France and considering how difficult it is here, I hardly dare to imagine how it was abroad.
    Article put in my bookmarks, direct 😉

    1. When I read your own post, about your desires to leave, I thought that this one could only comfort you in your impulses and your aspirations... Without being a long distance traveler, I manage to organize regular escapades. There is nothing easier, in fact.

  51. Hi Corinne,

    First of all, thank you for your blog that I discovered (almost) by chance: I am starting to take information for my next trip to the Philippines with I hope the Divemaster at the end.

    In reaction to this post I suggest you the book "Théorie du Voyage, poétique de la géographie" by Michel Onfray which impelled my previous journey and of which I reproduced some passages on my own blog. I think you would like it if you haven't already read it 😉

    Maybe see you soon in another comment 🙄

  52. thank you Corinne
    I come from Quebec and I love to make sports trips .. marathon and trecking and of course to see the country.
    I have never traveled alone but maintaining life leads me to be alone and phew !! not easy but I imagine that the little stress of leaving alone is especially for the first trip .. my fears are to lose me and make bad meetings
    The places I would like to go are France and Italy is this good for a first
    thanks to you

    1. @Chantal: I don't know if France and Italy are "good" for a first time alone. It all depends on what you want to do... I think that any destination is "good". Do yourself a favor, go to places that attract you. As for the rest, as I always say, it's a matter of common sense. You are no more likely to have bad encounters than in everyday life... No need to stress!!!

  53. Ah thank you for this article! I stumbled upon it, and it feels good to read all these positive messages about the solo trip!
    I'm off to Scotland (let's not go too far away to begin with 😛 ) for my first solo trip, in a month and... I'm freaking out! I may be 22, but I'm not a very secure person and I hope this trip will cure me of that 😆
    To tell the truth, I'm mostly afraid of eating alone... It's a rather futile fear but I don't know, it's such a moment that we're used to share, or to do in a known place...
    Finally, always is it that this article boosts me to de-stress! Thank you very much !
    And I'm glad to see you write for the newspaper I read every day =D I'll look for your name next time hey 😀
    Good continuation !


    1. @Margot: no need to stress, everything will be fine. Take with you a book, a little notebook to write, or a newspaper, when you go to eat somewhere alone. But if it is, you will not often eat alone, we meet easily when we travel solo & #8230;

      As for Ouest-France, I now work for the website, so I write much less for the paper...

      Good preparations and good trip !!!

  54. Hello Corinne,
    It's a pure delight to read you!
    Well, I know this article is from 2009, but I recently added you on twitter and I just discovered your blog & #8230;
    I must say that going solo is really the best thing to do!
    Well I haven't been to Asia and I haven't done any diving either (since I have a blue fear of fish) 😕 , but I did visit the south of France, last month and I loved it!
    Doing what you want when you want is great!
    No compromise to make, only to please yourself!
    For the next trips, I plan to go back alone! 😀
    All the feelings you describe, I felt them too #8230;
    I live in Montreal and I read your article about the poutine at La Banquise and it is true that it is good! In Nice, there is a restaurant called Quebec and I tasted their poutine, it was different hihi, but still good!
    Good continuation

    1. @Roxanne: thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message, so nice! Yep, it's been three years since I wrote this article, but it's still relevant as far as I'm concerned... Around me, even today, few people share or understand my persistent taste for solo travel. During my last trip (to New Yorkat the end of May), I was not alone, however. I also vary the pleasures.
      The main thing is that everyone finds the way to travel that best suits their temperament!

      As for Montreal, yes, I hope to go back there one day soon to treat myself to a solid, authentic poutine!!!

    2. I just noticed that you had rewritten me... 🙂
      Reading your blog is a journey in itself and I thank you for it! We feel your passion 🙂 I also thank you for taking the time to add lots of links to other blogs 🙂 I feel that I have not finished reading travel stories! Ah and your pictures are sublime! See you soon

  55. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who loves solo trips! 🙂 Thanks for this article 😉
    A few days ago, I went alone for 2 days to Disneyland Paris: it's easier to get a seat in a crowded restaurant when you're alone ^^ And it's too bad if people look at me funny...

  56. Good evening Corinne,

    Thank you for this post, it gives me the push I was missing to go off on my own. By reading this discussion, I was conquered.

    I'd like to go to Asia on my own for the first time in autumn 2013, and I was wondering: which countries should I visit?
    I'd like to start in India, move on to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and finish in Bali.
    I would like to go 2 months, see more & #8230; But my question is how to organize my trip?
    Take a round trip or just a go and then get by?
    Lots of questions go through me and I'm a little lost & #8230;
    If you have any advice to give me, please, they are welcome!

    Thank you again for sharing your experiences


    1. @Ryme: which countries do? How to organize the trip?
      I'm not sure, because when it comes to such broad questions, the answers are different for everyone. It all depends on your budget, your desires... The best thing is to draw up a rough itinerary, but with enough flexibility to be able to change things along the way...
      Good preparations!

  57. Very good article is true that you tell me the problem is that I do not speak at all English and abroad it may complicate no?

    1. English is a false problem,
      All you have to do is do what 3/4 of French people think they speak English: pronounce the vocabulary you lack in French but with an English accent, and as people in Asia are very well behaved, they'll act as if they understand you 😉

      The second trip will be less bad and so desuite!

      ps: I've got my tickets for DPS, thanks (a bit anyway) to Corinne!

    2. @Dubois: English certainly makes it easier to communicate, both with locals and with other travelers. That said, it's never too late to start, as Yannick suggests above...

  58. At solo traveler. I'm also a solo traveler and I had the same concerns and questions about traveling alone.
    I think what is normal for a man and suspect for a woman.
    I think it's these people's beliefs and fears that are part of their cultural upbringing.
    It's okay when they're tolerant, but others are very unpleasant in their comments and attitudes just because you're alone. 🙄
    Sorry for my spelling, I haven't done much
    I will follow you on twiter.

  59. Hello,
    i'm charlotte, i'm 23. I finished my studies this year and decided to leave alone for 7 months in South America (costa rica, ecuador, peru, bolivia, argentina)... I combine social volunteering missions and travel...
    I'm worried because, although I've already been alone on a trip, I've never been so far away on my own and especially without a secure environment (internship,...).
    I'm currently making my final preparations, as my departure date is September 20. I'm really finding it hard to be zen... Even though I'm sure I'll meet lots of people, I'm apprehensive about being alone for site visits, for example, because I appreciate being alone, but I also like to share...
    In fact, I love travelling alone for all the positive aspects mentioned above, but I'm afraid of travelling alone... I know it sounds a bit strange, but I'm very apprehensive and it makes me feel good to say it... Also, I'll be travelling alone during the holidays (Christmas and New Year's Day) and that worries me too... Being alone for these moments... I don't really know how it's going to work out... I imagine that once I get to San José (CR) it'll get better... thank you for reading and if you have a little word of energy for me that I'd take with me I'd love it. 🙄

    1. @Charlotte: I don't know Latin America at all, but your project sounds enticing!!!! You're fixated on being alone, but I'm sure you'll find yourself much less alone than you imagine... You never stop meeting and befriending people, when traveling.
      Good preparations !!! 8)

  60. Hello everyone, and congratulations for this blog very well done.
    Ladies, you say that what is normal for a man is not normal for a woman. Well, no, for a man too, travelling alone sometimes brings suspicion, even mistrust... Not to mention the number of "marriage proposals" after an hour's discussion! But that's nothing compared to the real and powerful moments of humanity shared.

    1. @serge: thank you for sharing your experience here! And for marriage proposals, we are also well served as solo travellers... 😆

  61. Hello everyone, Corinne,
    Having followed Romain's link, which I was enjoying on his TDM, I'm going to follow yours, and thus add my contribution to the edifice of solo, and sometimes solitary, travel.
    Because without philosophizing, being alone sometimes means being alone in your head...
    So I left on a whim on January 1st, having woken up my future wife the day I bought the ticket, the previous October, at 1am 🙂 to Brazil and Argentina.
    It's worth noting that this moment of unbearable blues gave me the strength to realize my dream of visiting the Iguaçu Falls located between these two countries. So, during this stay, which I had left bruised and battered, I was, if not with the others, in harmony with the nature of this corner of the world and, more generally, with the environment.
    Armed with a notebook, I compensated for my pains with these words that replaced the others (pains for those who are a little lost...:) )

    I'm not saying that I'm cured, I'm saying that crossing the threshold of reasonableness to access pleasure, the ultimate wish, whatever that may be, is really only tangible in solitude.

  62. Hello Corinne,

    Great blog, I'm taking advantage of my week's vacation to find out about my next destination... After reading these exchanges, I'd like to share my experience with you. Like you, I've visited most of Asia on my own, and for the past 2/3 years I've been heading for new horizons. It's great to discover a country completely independently, to learn about yourself and to live with others.

    The only problem is that the "security" aspect you develop in this post doesn't really reflect my experience. In fact, in Asia, there isn't much risk for a woman traveling alone, in fact no more than for a man. Losing your credit card or stealing your backpack are situations that can happen in France, so we all know how to react.

    Far more traumatic experiences have happened to me in South America and the Middle East. I don't want to name the countries in question, as they are very touristy and don't reflect the totality of my experience or the memories I want to keep.

    For people like me who find it difficult to take the plunge (or can no longer do so), last summer I discovered a travel agency offering an alternative between the freedom of solo travel and the security of "group" travel. I don't know if it's possible to put a commercial link, but the site is called I find the concept and spirit of solidarity tourism appealing and the co-traveler spirit interesting...

  63. Hello,

    your text is really great! I'm getting ready to leave in 2 weeks on my own for 7 months and reading you reassured me a lot. People around me often try to discourage me out of fear, but I'm hanging in there! I wanted to know where you took the last photo, the one of the two faces!

    Thank you

    1. Marie-Eve: Yeah, don't get discouraged and do your own thing. You will surely be enriched by this experience... 😉

      The faces you're talking about are actually four (from this angle, you can only see two). This is in Cambodia, near Siem Reap, on each of the entrance gates to the Angkor site. The faces face four points of the compass.

      At the end of the links below, you'll find more photos taken during my various trips there:

      In 2011 :

      In 2003 :

      In 2001 :


  64. Great article! I've traveled a lot with foreign friends since I've been living in Finland, but I'm thirsty to travel alone in my cities of heart (Liverpool and Stockholm) because I'd like to put myself to the test, a kind of initiatory journey in itself 🙂 People already think it's brave that I went abroad for a year for my studies, but for me the real courage would be to go alone. I could do it, I'm just waiting for the right timing. Thanks for this article once again 😉 😉

    1. @Ydie: You just have to take the plunge once. It's a good way of finding out if you're comfortable or not, just with yourself... 😉

  65. I'm going to have to start traveling solo: by waiting for my friends to be available, to want to go to the same place as me and/or to have the same budget, I'm not doing at all what I'd like to do!
    And yet, how scared I am! As someone who's afraid of everything, going off on my own terrifies me... Because I'm afraid of coming face to face with myself and my emotions if I let go!
    Still, I'm seriously thinking about Thailand for March, a week to start slowly... So I'm going to browse your blog to see if I can catch some good advice 🙂
    Thank you

  66. Hello Corinne,

    I'm a new celibate and I've always traveled with a partner...However, when I read this chronicle - Traveling solo, I thought that it must be a fascinating experience to travel alone and discover all that a new country has to offer in terms of richness and culture... however, I was as certain... fearful of not being able to enjoy these beautiful things. Anyway, this text has just reassured me and I've decided that I'm going to leave for the first time alone...this summer or next winter (to be seen and planned)....Thank you Corinne, your article was an inspiration and came up with what I was looking for... Who knows, maybe I'll become a fan of this kind of trip!
    Have a good day
    Henri B

    1. @Henri B: Yes, you just have to take the plunge once, and you'll realize that traveling alone isn't all that difficult... I love traveling solo, but I also enjoy traveling with a partner. They're not quite the same pleasures.

      Having said that, when you're on your own, I find there's a kind of exhilaration and freedom that's very pleasant, and that transforms and amplifies the sensations of the trip... Then again, maybe it's a question of temperament.

      In any case, I'm delighted to have inspired you to try a departure!

  67. I'm in Korea as an exchange student and I'm planning to use the end of the semester to do some sightseeing in Southeast Asia. I'm thinking of going on my own because no one here seems like a "suitable travel companion" (no desire to ruin my escapades because of people wanting to do this or that, being too tired to walk, not getting up too early, etc...) and your article reassures me about going on my own 🙂
    Thank you !

    1. @Céline: but yes, there's nothing nicer than Southeast Asia for a single girl... You should come back enchanted!!!!

  68. Thank you for this article. 😉
    I've been wanting to visit Sweden and see the midnight sun in June for two years. However, none of my friends are up for it (they're all couples...). So this year, I decided to go off on my own and discover the big cities. But when I told my family, who more or less knew that I wanted to go to Sweden, that I wanted to go alone, here are the reactions I got:
    "but you're going on your own? But it's dangerous. And where are you going to sleep? ... In a youth hostel, but that's no good!"
    (and when my mother asks my older sister, who's an avid traveler - with friends or as a couple - what she thinks of my plan to travel alone, here's her answer: "ah, well, even I wouldn't do it; and besides, it's boring to travel alone...". )
    So here I am, feeling a bit helpless. I really want to discover the south coast of Sweden. But I don't know if I'll be able to face my family's criticism... Maybe, like last year, I'll postpone the project for a year and go in a group, in France, (because group trips abroad are too expensive for the student that I am). Besides, I'd got used to the idea of traveling alone...

    1. @Sosso: Sweden, dangerous ???? Let's go good & #8230; You would go to Syria, I do not say. But in Sweden ???
      If I may, do not let yourself be influenced by what others think and do the right thing.

      Try the solo travel experience, and then you'll really know whether or not "traveling alone sucks" or if it's great, and whether or not it suits your temperament... In short. The best thing is to try it out so you can make up your own mind. No ?

  69. Hello Corinne. What a pleasure to read you this morning by typing "solo trip to Thailand"...For 30 years I've never travelled alone and last February I decided to go alone to India, a country I've already been to 6 times.... It was my most beautiful trip, what beautiful much so that I've taken a liking to it, encouraged by this beautiful experience and I'd like to go solo to Thailand this autumn...I've discovered much more about myself than in all the years I've spent here with my family, as a couple...Thank you for your so positive words!

    1. @Bapouji: that, I must say that me too, my solo trips were the most beautiful, the strongest, the richest, the most outstanding & #8230;

      Yet I'm well aware that solo travel isn't for everyone. I have a friend who often travels, sometimes alone, sometimes with another person. But she, who has experienced all these different types of travel, prefers to be with two people. She finds it better. I don't. And she has a hard time grasping what it is about solo travel that makes me tick... A question of temperament, no doubt.

      In fact, like you, ever since I tasted the pleasures of solo travel, I've found them far superior to those of travelling with a partner or in a group... But this idea isn't easy to get people to admit or understand.

      So I've tried to capture my feelings, my experiences, in this article. And given the number of comments it has received since it went online, I can see that I'm not an alien and that I'm not as "weird" as all that! Many of us have traveled solo and found the experience so much stronger, more interesting, and richer in encounters...

  70. Hello,
    Super article, I think more and more to go on a trip alone!
    For the moment, I'm planning to spend ten days or so in Ireland, so as not to go too far right away, but my family doesn't really like the idea of me going off on my own - they think it's too dangerous - and I have to admit I'm not too reassured myself. And above all I'm afraid I won't be able to meet people, I'm naturally rather shy and I find it very hard to reach out to others, so I'm afraid I won't see the "nice to meet", new friends side of solo travel ... 😳

    1. Hi Lou, I've just read all these great testimonials, and yours in which I find myself a bit, torn between the desire to launch myself into this challenge, and fear because shy too ... 🙁
      I see that your message dates back to June. Have you made any progress with your idea? Would you be tempted by the idea of leaving 2 "alone" rather than in an organized group?

  71. Hello Lou.
    I understand your apprehensions all the more because your family is not reassured. So her fear and your fear make a lot of fears.....I don't know your age, but if deep down you really want to travel solo, to discover many things for yourself, take a deep breath, try to let go of your mind and the fears that wander there, and set off on a journey, open to what comes your way, without being naive, and choose destinations that attract you... Dare and you'll tell us about your experiences!... Bon voyage!

  72. Hi! I don't know if this forum is still active, but I found it very interesting.
    I've decided to go alone to South India and with 2 weeks to go, I'm completely freaking out, my stomach is in knots, it's hard to eat... and I'm a man! this will be my first solo trip and my first trip this far. The farthest I've been was to Turkey with 2 friends.

    At the start of the project I had nothing but positive thoughts, then inde began to scare me and now I almost want to turn back. I'd really like to try it, but I'm afraid of how I might react and I'm very doubtful! I'm afraid of not having the basics of travel and of inflicting myself on something too big, too exotic and that I wouldn't be able to manage on my own. At the same time, I'm naturally anxious, but I've always wanted to do this, firstly because on paper it sounds like a dream, and secondly because I want to overcome my anxiety and prove to myself that I can do it.

    1. Nico....If you're apprehensive about going to India for the first time, and you're on your own, that's normal... So don't worry! .....I've been there 7 times and I'll be going back... My 2 solo trips were the most beautiful, because I went there open-minded and welcomed whatever came my way.The south is gentler than the north and the landscapes are magnificent....How long do you plan to go there?....have you considered other destinations?......You'll see a lot of smiles, colors, sunshine and the Indians are beautiful! Have a nice trip

    2. I have 5 months available but I don't know if I'll stay that long. I've just arrived in Cochin, where I was planning to stay for a while because it looks peaceful, and then I wanted to go to Munar, Madurai, maybe Goa and Pondicherry.
      But I started to get scared when I decided to watch reports. I began to be afraid of getting lost, of not finding my way around, of not knowing how to find a cybert café etc.... I then imagined myself alone with no bearings, arriving in an environment that was beyond me. I wonder what I'll be able to hold on to once I'm there, how to get out of a city that oppresses me... for example, after a report on tiruvannaralai, in the south, I said to myself, if this is India, I don't think I'll be able to. The problem is that everyone around me knows I'm going, that I've already booked my plane ticket, vaccinations, insurance, etc. I oscillate between relaxation and stress, but I have to admit that after watching the reports, my plan to visit India on my own seems surreal.
      What do you think? Which places would be more suitable for me?

    3. It's true that 5 months for a first stay, alone and not knowing you're reassured, seems a long time to me.....Please consider a shorter stay. If you're interested, stay in some ashrams (I know the beautiful Anandashram north of Cochin - there's a good video there, and Amma's ashram in southern Kerala), where you'll meet nice people, then go to Pondicherry in Auroville... By giving yourself a few travel goals, you'll find more meaning and less apprehension......

  73. Thanks for your advice! I had reassured myself a little by wanting to actually do Cochin then Pondicherry, set myself goals, with shorter trip, but even with that the pressure was too much! So I decided to change my destination.

    At first, I couldn't tell the difference between fear, which is normal, provoked by the imminence of a first solo trip, and the fear of finding myself in a fast-moving country, on the other hand. But I finally realized that I'd chosen India on the basis of "hearsay", dreamy tales but without doing any research myself before deciding! I simply realized that for my first solo trip, India was too much. I hadn't found a single forum where anyone had told me they'd gone to India for a real first solo trip (the furthest I'd ever been was Turkey!), and I couldn't put myself through that for so long. I'd been trying too hard to convince myself by putting myself in the shoes of the super adventurer, but reality got the better of me (probably for the better). Adventurer, yes I am, yes I want to be and I can be. But not in India for the first time. But I'll go one day, that's for sure!

    So I started looking for new "low-budget" destinations, and decided to
    to go to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia What good reviews, beautiful landscapes (I love them) and recommended for 1st solo trips, obviously quite safe too. It gave me back the excitement of the trip, which had completely evaporated in favor of fear of India (so something was wrong!).
    I still have my apprehensions, but this time they seem normal again, and manageable on the spot. Less fear of being completely disturbed by the noise, the dirt, the poverty, the crowds, and of not finding my way around! all while retaining the change of scenery!
    I really should have chosen my destination more carefully, I was a bit too much into my adventure trip, not enough into the reality of the country I was going to!

    So everything has to do again, but it seems to me playable if I leave a month.
    I would have bought a plane ticket for nothing! too bad, it's only 400e and the rest of my steps are still useful (vaccine, insurance and company).
    That's how we get to know each other!

    I'll stop my novel there! If this experience can be useful to some people, so much the better, if not, it will still have done me good to talk about it on a great forum!

    In any case, thank you Joseph for having had the patience to take an interest in the state of mind of a future traveler a little lost! Don't hesitate to give me advice if you have any!

    1. Nico..I think your decision is wise & #8230; .Give yourself some highlights of your planned itinerary, trust yourself and discover for yourself and do not let yourself be influenced by the experiences of others.

  74. A lot of girls don't have your courage, bravo! I totally share your point of view, but I think it's a shame that so many girls are afraid to do it. I hope your article will help many of them, and even some boys too, because there are some who don't dare either!

  75. Hello everyone, and thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Even though this article is dated (2009!), I can't resist leaving a little note... Many thanks to Corinne for this very reassuring information, which reinforces my belief that I've certainly made the right choice. I'm leaving alone at the end of March for almost four months between Laos and Thailand, my first solo trip, my first trip outside Europe and my first trip for such a long time (which is, paradoxically, so short at the same time...!).

    I'm 22, and I'll be spending my 23rd birthday in Laos, normally. I'm a little anxious, but I think excitement, curiosity and joy are getting the better of me. In any case, if you have any doubts, articles like this one are the best remedy. Thanks again, and I wish all travelers, solo or otherwise, a wonderful time!


  76. Hello Corinne. I read your article with interest, but I can't seem to get over my apprehensions about a possible 6-month trip to Asia on my own. First of all, because I'd like to start in India (I'm very keen on it) and it seems to me that it's still a bit dangerous? Secondly, because even in Malaysia, during a trip as a couple, I felt a bit uncomfortable being stared at all the time wherever I went (certainly because I'm tall, blonde and fair-skinned). I'm thinking it's going to be hell in India... Do you think it's really possible, even in India, to travel alone?
    Thank you for your help, and congratulations for your blog!

    1. Hi Claire! I've just returned from a 4-month solo trip to Asia.
      I asked myself a lot of questions before I left (too many) and I also wanted to start with India! My advice, if you have the time and the money, is to start with Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) (personally, I've fallen in love with Laos) and see how you feel. You'll have the opportunity to meet people who have been to India, who can tell you all about it, you'll be "briefed" and then you'll have time to put yourself at ease travel-wise and acclimatize to Asia (the people are adorable, they delighted me)! You'll soon realize that all your fears are just projections in your mind and have no value in reality. CA never turns out the way you imagine, and I'm in a good position to know that! I used to stress a lot at the idea of going off on my own, and now when I think about it I laugh, and all I want to do is go off again, and on my own!

      According to all the people who told me about it, you have to be prepared and know what you're getting into, because India is more of an experience than a trip, according to all the travellers. Now I want to go (I would have gone if I'd had more money for the plane), but I'm happy to have started my experience in South-East Asia.
      So if it's possible for you, you might as well start in Thailand and then do India once you've immersed yourself in the trip! I haven't actually been there, but some of the things people say about India are true. The noise, the crowds, the smells, the poverty, the beggars, the thefts, the inappropriate looks towards blond, blue-eyed Western women. But it's not hell, you just have to be able to deal with it and let go. And not be stupid and wear sexy mini-skirts and tank tops! Apart from that, it sounds magical! Safety-wise, it's not dangerous, just don't be naive, like everywhere else, but if you're asking yourself these questions, it's because you're not, so everything's fine! After that, if you've done your homework, talked to people who've been there, and really want to go first, then go for it, even if you're bound to be a bit apprehensive! Then, if you don't like it, fly to Laos!!.. that's what's good, you don't have to listen to your feelings! It's up to you!
      Enjoy it, travel is real life! And once you've taken the plunge, you'll realize that you're much stronger than you think!

  77. Hello, it's been a while since I read you regularly!
    I often go off on my own and I encourage all your readers not to hesitate! It's always great!
    Last summer in Nusa penida, early in the morning I was walking on the beach and 😉 talking a little indo with a fisherman's wife, she finally handed me her cake when she heard my tummy rumbling!
    I'm flying to Thailand in 2 weeks and I got a little inspiration from your last trip for my scouting :-) Thanks

  78. Hello,
    Finally, I feel less alone & #8230; !
    Yes, if we have to wait until we have a partner, or until we're married, etc., we'll never get anything done...
    Myself, despite my handicap, (low
    vision) I go alone regularly and I do not
    all the better for it...
    I went to Montreal three times and I
    still remember my apprehension when
    I had to withdraw money from a dab...
    Today, when I go to Montreal, I'm
    like at home & #8230;
    I'd have a hard time traveling any other way...
    It's true that you meet a lot more people, especially since I use carpooling a lot these days...
    Thank you all for your comments and Corrine for this blog & #8230;
    Indeed, as Corrine must say, these taxes on solo travelers are a real pain ....

  79. Hi, I read your story and I find you courageous, independent ... And reading you, I tell myself why not me.
    I've been wanting to take the plunge and travel on my own for a long time now, but seriously, I'm afraid and lacking the courage to do it. I'm shy by nature, which doesn't help me.

    What advice do you have for me? I want to go off on my own, so I'd like to start off gently. Even for a weekend. There are many things to discover in this world. 😆 8)

    1. @Orlimurphy: well, you've already got your answer, start with a weekend, not too far away, to see. Like a nice city like Barcelona, or London, or any other city or place not too far away that appeals to you. Try to get a better idea of what you're afraid of, so you can play it all down.

  80. hello. I posted two years ago, it's nice to see that this thread is still going... I'm off, alone, to the Philippines in February and March, and I promise to get back to you.
    She is not beautiful life?

  81. Hello,

    I'm not afraid to travel alone because you're never alone for long 😉
    The only question I have is: When you're alone, especially when you do a lot of water sports, go out to sea a lot, etc., where do you leave your important things (credit card, passport, etc.)? Obviously not on the beach, but in the guesthouses it scares me a bit (theft). So there's no one to look after it. I thought about a safe, but not everyone has one, especially when it's really cheap.

  82. Thank you for this post & #8230;
    I think more and more to leave alone because to travel even with girlfriends poses many constraints & #8230;
    and for this first solo trip (well, if I make up my mind, because I'm still a bit scared....) I've chosen South Africa....On the menu: national parks and diving for 3 weeks... In fact, what bothers me most is driving alone. I know that at the campsites etc. there won't be any worries, but it's getting from point A to point B that bothers me... I do it in France without any worries, but at each point I meet up with friends... I'm a little afraid of getting lost, of being bored on the road... etc.
    Anyway thank you, I will follow your blog with great attention now 🙂.

  83. Simply THANK YOU for this great article !!

    I discover your blog totally by chance because I'm about to create mine before I go to Indonesia in a little less than 2 months and I'm looking to make a nice blog like yours.

    Like you, I'm a woman and I've decided to set off alone to discover Indonesia and Thailand for 6 months. It's with a broad smile that I read what you've written, because the people around me and the people I talk to about my trip clearly think I'm an unconscious madwoman!

    Your article makes me feel good and gives me even more courage and the desire to be there. It would be a real pleasure for me to exchange with you and benefit from your experience before leaving. It's my first big trip, I'm 25 and don't speak English fluently... I'm getting by but I lack vocabulary... The travellers I've spoken to have told me it wouldn't be a problem, but I don't really know what to expect.

    I'll arrive in Jakarta on May 1 and stay overnight, then head for Bali, where I'll spend a few days, before going on to Flores and staying there for at least a month or more... I'm planning to do it all by land and by boat, and hope I won't have too many problems. For the moment I haven't planned my trip any further than that, but I've still got a bit of time to organize everything.

    Well, here I am not going to tell my life either, but I wanted to ask you two questions:
    - What did you use to make your site? WordPress? And is it within the reach of someone like me who doesn't have "big" computer skills?

    - In your articles I've seen that you often have a driver? Is that the easiest way to get around? If so, how do you go about it? (I mean, where do you get your drivers... I've got a driver's license, or else maybe I could rent a car!)

    Well it's true that's a lot more than 2 questions but the others came in the wake 🙂 Thanks in advance for your answers and thanks again for this article, I stumble upon it by chance but I'm sure it's not a coincidence 😉

  84. it "s encouraging because i "ve made a reservation to go to malaysia for 10 days solo that i hesitate to start especially as i haven "t found any friends willing to go on the adventure thank you

  85. Hello,

    A great site that I just discovered preparing my world tour alone (land not sailing).

    Paul Valérie was wrong: a man alone is not a man in bad company.
    Travelling solo, whether you're a man or a woman, always surprises others. In fact, when you're single and announce your departure for a destination, the question that often comes up is: "Who are you going with?"

    "Well, all alone why?" We're not going to stop traveling because we don't have anyone on hand. I understand that some people don't like to go off on their own, bringing your loneliness with you is a burden you shouldn't carry around. However, I'd tell everyone to take the burden anyway, because the regrets could be worse.

    I'm a man and traveling alone in certain places can sometimes be the cause of irrational fears or real worries. Just like everywhere else. Like everywhere because you expose yourself more than usual.

    But to all those who don't dare go off on their own, I'd say that we're born and die alone anyway. And yes, we were generally all alone in our mother's womb, we're alone on the throne, alone in bed for most of our lives, alone in front of our copy at school, alone in the shower. We do thousands of things alone.

    Involuntary loners, whether unsociable or not, those who can't force themselves to meet other people will inevitably find themselves quite alone on vacation or on the other side of the world, but it's fairly certain that they'll meet more people than they do in their everyday lives.

    So go ahead, go see the world if you can, this world can be at your door here in France, elsewhere in Europe or on another continent, but go for it and come back such Ulysses, happy after a nice trip.

  86. Hello, I've just discovered your site. I've never been on a real trip outside France. But I wanted to share my little experience with you.
    Mom of two big boys, I always left with my little family on vacation, never far, just on the small coast of the Vendée, we had 2 hours of road only.
    Now that my situation has changed and my two grown-up children have taken off, I've decided to think a lot more about myself.
    I amazed my little family, I went on vacation alone to Cassis in the lower part of France, alone I drove 16 hours, I took my time, I saw beautiful scenery. In Cassis to see the calanques, I enjoyed hiking with people I didn't know, but we made friends and ended up in a restaurant (although I'm a shy person). True, it's not a big trip, but for me it's huge. Solo vacations are great. I think it's a shame that hotels don't think about their rates for solo travelers. Lodging alone is the most difficult thing financially, and that's a shame. It's been a great adventure for me and I have very fond memories of it.

    1. @Sophie: Thank you for your very interesting testimonial. The pleasure of solo travel applies to destinations near and far... I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the experience! It sounds like you've taken the first step. And you'll no doubt feel less apprehensive now about going off on your own, in France or elsewhere... 8)

  87. A very nice article.
    I haven't yet had the opportunity to go on a trip completely alone, but I've been thinking about it for some time now. It certainly can't be the same for a man as for a woman, but after all, the idea of total freedom is so appealing that this article made me feel better about going off on my own.
    It's a new vision of travel that appeals to me. 🙄

  88. Hi Corinne,
    Very good article that really sums up solo travel, it's great to be able to motivate people to travel alone more often, especially women. I've also been through the stage where people tried to discourage me because a young woman in a backpack is supposedly risking a lot, but you just end up facing yourself again and again when you find the time among all those encounters. Now I'm faced with a different set of questions: How do you travel with a baby? Isn't it dangerous? I think everyone should try this at least once in their life! Thanks for your article!

  89. Super article which I hope will give ideas to many.
    I too travel alone, and even if I'm a man, I can have the same problems as you, but with less of an advantage, because people tend to go for a single woman more than a man.

    1. @Emilyz: yes, everything is stronger, more vivid, more striking. At least, that's how I feel, personally. But not everyone shares this point of view. Other people tell me that the trip is blander and less interesting if there's no one to share it with... We're all different! 🙂

  90. As a girl and an adventurer, I'm happy to follow a like-minded blogger. Listening to those around me, my last 5 years would sound so monotonous. Going off on my own, far away, to discover others and myself was my teenage dream. Since then, I've been living the dream. No day is dull, so many encounters and exchanges! Keep going Corinne.