The Joys of Solo Travel

solo travelTravel alone? Why?  Ever find yourself alone and the holidays are approaching? You may be thinking that you are going to have a sad old time staying at home or pining for the gorgeous ex who used to rub the suntan onto your back, or the days when you had a bunch of mates on tap to arrange a city break .  Think again – solo holidays are to be relished! Here are some ideas to help you seize the opportunity.

It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by whom we are with, we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others... Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
  • You can make a lemonade out of  a lemon. Put a positive spin on the fact that you are planning a holiday alone. In a few months time you may have a partner, or no money, or a health issue, or work commitments. Any change of circumstances may rob you of what you should see as an opportunity for solo travel.
  • Learn something new. Ever fancied learning how to canoe, or brew beer, or write, or orienteer around a mountain range, or gulley scramble, or cook, or play guitar? I could go on, but let’s face it you might never have a better chance to kick start a new interest.
  • Take on a new persona. Travel alone and no one will have any preconceptions or expectations.  Maybe you are sick of being constrained by your circumstances or by people taking the p*** out of your trilby hat. Maybe you want to be the extrovert or the introvert for a change. Pretend to be a travel writer instead of a wages clerk (no insult intended to wages clerks!). You get the idea.
  • Make new friends. Nature abhors a vacuum! If you are alone, you create a space for new friends (or even potential partners) to enter. If you are on an activity holiday you have the bonus of a shared interest from the start!
  • Choose your own pace or itinerary. Want to spend another hour in the bar watching the world (or the hot girls) go by, or take some time to lake photographs, or read a chapter of the book you are getting into. There will be no one there to  pressure you to the next ‘appointment’ with the next bar, or market stall full or tourist souvenirs tat!
  • Become a more interesting and confident person. It takes an independent soul to arrange solo travel and getting more involved with the local culture of a destination, or more far flung places, or a learning new skills is a good opportunity for self improvement!
  • You get time to think. How often in life do you get real ‘me time’ to consider your options? Solo travel gives you that time, and of course should you want it, you may be able to get some objective advice for strangers!
I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more. Thomas Jefferson

solo travel

 

Stop Being Miserable – Be Happy

Happiness and wellbeing. 

Lots of things can put a smile on your face in the short term without giving you any lasting happiness. Getting a wage rise , seeing your team win the local derby, a good night out with your mates, the Friday before breaking  for your holiday, and whatever else floats your boat.

Trouble is but most pleasure is short-term and often you return to feeling as you did before. Some people seem to have everything; plenty of money, stunning girl,  maybe great and a  the family, cool friends,  exotic holidays,  great home, but still have a face like a slapped a***.

Then you get others maybe working crap jobs on crap wages on a supermarket checkout who always have a smile on their face and never a bad word to say about anyone. So yeah some people are natural bright,  breezy and upbeat whilst others are miserable bastards, and that might be down to what psychologists call the happiness set point.  But beyond that set point there is a lot you can do to put a kick in your step.

Blokesnet is here  to give practical advice based on research to give us a better life. Happiness might be more useful thought of the general feeling of well-being fulfilment and contentment, even if life is always going to have there may be some tricky parts, some boring bits and some hard work along the way. So let’s look at some things that really make us feel that life is worth living.

  • A sense of purpose
  • A sense of achievement
  • Being really absorbed in some worthwhile activity
  • Exercise
  • Healthy personal relationships
  • Being around family or friends

For a great resource on the subject you cant’s go far wrong with the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky, a Professor of Psychology at the University of California. Her book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want is a no nonsense approach based on research rather than some of the airy fairy, wishful thinking garbage that’s out there.

Check out her website and blog here.