Traveling solo can seem daunting, especially when going abroad, but it is totally worth it! It allows you to spend time doing what you want to reconnect with you. Ride the ferries between a city’s seaside neighborhoods, sip on a glass of tea or wine, or stroll along the riverbank taking it all in. When you travel alone you can immerse yourself completely into the culture, relax at a spa, or go on a crazy adventurous expedition, and you will probably learn a thing or two about yourself along the way.
One of the hardest things to do – at home and abroad – is solo meals, but you should learn to savor them. Take yourself out in a new city, Paris perhaps, bring a book and prop yourself up at a bistro’s zinc-topped bar, where you’ll dine to the balletic murmur of popped corks, clinking silver, and quiet conversation. Even without the addition of a crème au caramel, that type of night will feel like an over-the-top indulgence.
You will have the world to yourself. Without a companion’s pleasant distraction, new sounds and aromas will recalibrate your senses. We know how sweet a little solitude can be, but often, going abroad alone sparks connection that turn to fast friendships too. Become friends with those sat around you in a bistro or on a ferry – you may spend the following days swapping stories on the Mekong River in a slow wooden boat.
Researchers have found that spending time alone has the potential to increase creativity, self-exploration, and renewal. And traveling alone is trending, with Google searches for “solo travel” having grown steadily in the past five years. Companies are responding to the demand, offering special pricing and trips catered to solo travelers. Some travelers are seeking a grand adventure; others see alone time as a lavish gift to themselves.
For many, seeking that kind of solitude may feel like unfamiliar territory. For the solo-curious, a little might go a long way. Planning an afternoon alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood is a good place to start, while group trips catering to solo travelers offer the best of both worlds.
Wherever you find it, the benefits of such time alone can linger. When you’re by yourself, emotional chatter – what experts call “activation” – begins to ease, leaving space for calm and relaxation. Solo travel can be a reset, or even a kind of chapter break, an unwritten page hinting that your story might soon take an unexpected turn.
Some of AmaWaterways’ ships feature single-occupancy staterooms (with French balconies) for solo travelers. Watch European landscapes unreel aboard the 144-passenger AmaDante as it traverses the Seine River on a seven-night sailing between Paris and Le Havre. Consider pre- or post-trip sojourns in the City of Light, whose spate of recent openings includes the 72-room Cheval Blanc Paris and Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, home to more than 10,000 pieces of contemporary art.
Dozens of single-occupancy ocean-view staterooms, slightly smaller in size, debut this fall aboard four Oceania Cruises ships – the Regatta, Nautica, Insignia, and Sirena – making solo travel at sea more appealing. Settle into one during a ten-night voyage round-trip from Bridgetown, Barbados, on the 648-passenger Sirena.