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Category: Solo Female Travel

Tips for solo female travel.

On Dating Myself; or How This Solo Traveler Got Over Dining Alone

When I first went to college, my biggest anxiety was probably dining alone. I had done enough of that in middle school, when the divisions between popular kids and losers started and I wanted nothing more than to wash my hands of the whole manipulative farce. Seriously, dealing with 11-year-old girls is like staring straight into the depths of hell. It was never the solitude that bothered me in those cafeteria days. It was the judgment.

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Flying Alone for the First Time

I like to joke about being a weird enough person that I actually enjoy the more mundane aspects of travel: packing, going to the airport, flying alone for long periods of time… all those tiny pieces of the logistical puzzle that everybody else can’t seem to hate enough. To me it’s all part of the bigger travel picture and that’s enough to make it wonderful in my eyes. As Robert Louis Stevenson says in my favorite travel quote of all time, “The great affair is to move.”

But I all too often forget that the excitement and wonder of travel don’t hit others, especially first-time tourists, until they’re at that perfect postcard view that first inspired them to leave behind the comforts of home. The giddy anticipation of being somewhere new is too clouded by the uncertainty and discomfort of the less fun bits.

And even more often, I forget how lucky I am to have had the luxury of traveling young. My first several plane rides were all taken in high school and college with the safety net of accompanying family and friends, so by the time I started traveling more independently, I knew what I was doing. So having a young friend ask questions about her first time flying alone was just the kick in the pants I needed.

For anyone else embarking on their first solo flight, this is the advice I had for her:

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