Then Leave: How to Travel Single and Solo
As someone who has been single for almost three years now, I am often asked the same question when I’m out, whether by a mutual contact in person or a response to my many Boomerangs posted in my Instagram stories: Who are you with?
This question is then elevated once it is confirmed that I am in fact, alone. “You went to ______ by yourself?” Yes, and lived to tell the tale. While reactions are often those of admirability rather than confusion, I want to make it clear that not only should it not be shocking to go out or travel while single, it should be encouraged. Why? Because if you don’t go because you’re waiting on a friend/associate to go (or even worse, chile, a man), you will never have any new experiences in life and be doomed to die a boring bitch.
Most recently, I decided to take a trip to Houston, TX from my hometown of Detroit, MI for almost two weeks in order to check out the scene. I have been considering moving to Houston for several years and felt that now I was ready to do so; however, I knew I needed to actually see things in person first. So, of course, since I was preparing to move there alone, I knew that going there by myself would be the ultimate test. I have never even lived alone in my 29 years and now have the audacity to want to live alone for the first time in a state 1,000 miles away from everything I knew. It was risky, it was different and yet it sounded like a perfect idea.
In the two weeks that I was in Texas, I’d stayed at a really great hotel in the Downtown area my first two days. After that, I stayed in an Airbnb in another popular area called Upper Kirby within what is called the 610 Loop, which is basically where you’d want to be to stay close to the social scene. The days in the hotel felt like a vacation, but it was at the Airbnb when I really realized what I was doing and some anxiousness began to set in. I spent a lot of time catching up on Girlfriends (which reminded me of my own girlfriends back at home) and applying for countless jobs. After a couple days, the anxiousness went away and I started to feel confident. I encountered a Texas sized bug for the first time that I had to take care of myself. Back at home, my father has killed every bug for me throughout my entire life.
I made decisions on restaurants or bars that I wanted to try on my own, as I had no friends to provide input or the safety net of entering a new place with a crew. This allowed me to figure out how much of a social butterfly I truly am, as I spoke to plenty of new, friendly people and was given lots of advice regarding my future move. Lastly, I had absolutely zero interest in dating back home. But when they say everything is bigger in Texas, they are including the dating pool, okay! The men were gentlemen, gainfully employed (okay!?) and a breath of fresh air compared to the men I was used to in my hometown. Cheers to that!
I say all this to say that doing things on your own is scary. But, you have to choose what you’re more scared of: being seen out alone or being in your home alone, making sad Twitter posts or IG stories with black backgrounds and white text.
You truly do have to practice to be comfortable sometimes, which I have done in my most recent single years.
Some of the things I did to practice being able to comfortably be alone included: - Going to see a movie alone.
- Going to a bar/restaurant alone.
- Going to an event that YOU want to go to, not anyone else.
- Still going out somewhere if a friend blows you off.
- Doing a new hobby alone.
- Working out outdoors.
- For a little razzle dazzle, make sure you’re dressed like a baddie while doing these activities (if you need help there, there’s a chapter in The Baddie Bylaws that can help).
All of these activities will train you to be comfortable with both moving around by yourself as well as not needing external validation for whatever it is that you decide to do. It may seem crazy at first, but I promise that these types of ventures are needed to gain confidence. Then once you work your way up to your first solo trip, it will be easy breezy. Don’t get me wrong, I kept my mace and additional door locks on hand in case I needed them! But, I didn’t. And that just shows you that being prepared beats being complacent any day.
For more of my day-to-day activity and to check my status from D-Girl to H-Town Hottie, feel free to follow me on Instagram: @meanasskie