When I first started traveling over ten years ago, I went alone. Not because it was trendy or to “find myself,” but rather because I just didn’t have anyone else to come with me.
Nowadays you only have to scroll through Instagram for a minute before you’re inundated with perfectly posed selfies in the perfect location at the perfect time of day. These are clearly intended to send the message that solo travel is tidy, glitzy, and flawless. But those carefully crafted images aren’t real. From sleeping on airport floors with your arms wrapped around your bags to prevent them from “wandering off” to being sick without anyone to turn to, traveling alone is messy, hard, and often not the least bit glamorous. And that’s something so-called influencers don’t like to talk about. It doesn’t sell.
But every solo adventurer has to deal with these harsh realities, and knowing what to expect is much better preparation than another perfectly styled Instagram post of a first-class flatbed airplane seat the size of a canoe.