If I waited for people, I would have never seen or done most of the things I’ve experienced in life. I know so many people who don’t feel comfortable with their own company in public places. They then miss out on experiences because their friends or family or partner didn’t want to go with them. I see that as opportunities wasted.
Here are some amazing life events and some smaller occasions that I would have otherwise missed out on had I chosen not to go alone:
- Moshing with strangers as Madeon performed his epic set at Future Music Festival (Melbourne, 2013) and screaming when he dropped Breakbot’s “Baby I’m Yours”
- Attempting to sing karaoke in Vietnamese in the middle of Halong Bay (I swear this is true!)
- Dancing in the aisle with Joss Stone at the Palais Theatre (St Kilda, 2014) and being washed over with the soulful sounds of both Joss and India.Arie. On top that, being so thrilled I almost went into cardiac arrest when she sung my absolute favourite track of hers called “Drive all night.“
- Living the cinematic experience of various Hollywood blockbusters, including Beauty and the Beast, Hidden Figures, The Intern, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, The Girl On The Train, La La Land and possibly so much more!
- Embracing my inner child in New York City as I watched the spectacular Aladdin on Broadway.
- Hopping on countless flights to Asia, Europe/UK and North America, immersing myself in different cultures, eating exotic food and meeting people from all walks of life.
I would not even be writing this post had I not taken the brave step of going at it alone. Tripping Over Travel probably wouldn’t exist!
I can understand what you might be worried about when it comes to going out alone. People might think you’re a loser, you might feel uncomfortable with no one to chat to, you think you can only have fun with other people… there’s a variety of reasons. But the way I see it, if you really want to do/see something, just do it! At the end of the day, you’re the one missing out. So, instead of sinking into the couch at home sulking and bored out of your brains because no one was free to go to the movies with you, just take yourself to the movies, buy that ticket and popcorn, and make yourself comfortable in those cushy seats. I guarantee no one will notice that you’re alone.
See, that’s the thing about the world. We can be self-conscious and worry about what people think about us. But guess what? No one is watching. Everyone is highly absorbed in their own lives and they are not noticing you eating alone or watching a movie by yourself. Even if they did notice, they wouldn’t care. They would have to be very unkind human beings to make negative comments about how you choose to spend your time. But you can also choose to ignore their negativity.
On top of gaining an experience, another benefit of going solo is meeting new people. Let’s relive my night at India.Arie and Joss Stone’s concert. I’m sitting in the Palais Theatre by myself, singing along to the tunes being performed. “Are you here alone?” asks the woman next to me during intermission, to which I reply “Yes! None of my friends listen to these artists.” Her face lit up! She declared her respect for my decision to attend alone and for the rest of the night; we were friends with a mutual love for the music.
Maybe you’re not sure where to begin with this independent quest. Let me help you out:
- If you’re going to a show that is a ticketed and seated event, like a concert or a musical, buy a seat on the aisle. It’ll give you quick and easy access in and out of the venue and you won’t be sandwiched between people.
- If you’re going to the movies, don’t go immediately after the film is released. Wait for the hype to calm down. Then pick a session and get there early to take the best seat in the house. You might end up having the whole cinema to yourself!
- If you’re a fidgety or restless person, take a book with you to a restaurant or café that you can absorb yourself into while enjoying a warm drink or delicious meal. Or pick a window seat so you can people-watch.
- If you’re thinking about travelling alone, well, this might require a separate blog post. But in a nutshell, all you need is a bit of planning, some money and a strong self-belief that you can do it!
In the words of Tame Impala, “solitude is bliss.” Once you get comfortable with yourself and your own company, you’ll realise that there is so much that you can do, and you will fill your life with even more unique experiences and memories.