Traveling Alone

When you start planning your weekend trips don’t let other people’s itinerary affect your plans. Make sure that you see what you want to see—even if it means that you might be by yourself.

Three good reasons to travel by yourself

1)   It may seem scary at first, but when you travel by yourself you get the opportunity to experience new things that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were with a huge group of college students. One of my favorite trips was a solo journey to Krakow. I ended up meeting a lot of nice students from all around the world in my hostel. If I had gone with a bunch of friends and stayed in rooms by ourselves, I never would have met so many amazing people. I feel like I got a much more authentic view of what Poland was about because I had to rely heavily on interaction with the locals instead of other people in my group.

2)   It’s also easier to blend in when you’re in a small group or by yourself. People aren’t going to automatically label you as a crowd of rowdy American tourists if you’re by yourself experiencing a new city.

3)   You get to do exactly what you want to do on your own time. There is absolutely no pressure from other people to do things. You can take your time at attractions, skip things that don’t interest you, and you don’t have to worry about what other people are doing. It seems selfish, but how many times are you going to be in these amazing places? You should be able to see whatever you want to see without having the added drama of getting everyone on the same page.

Now, obviously don’t take off by yourself to Egypt or Istanbul or any place that might not be safe. If you’re uncomfortable at all, go with friends. Just keep an open mind when it comes to traveling in a safe place. A wise person once said, “When you go to Europe, you go to get the European experience. Once you surround yourself with people from back home, it becomes a “Mizzou experience” in Europe.” You can go out drinking with friends any time, how often can you travel through Europe by yourself?

-Emily Herron

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