A Solo Travel Journal From London to New York to Cairo

Africa

Egypt

Europe

North America

UK

USA

Sit back and enjoy my incoherent thoughts from having to spend time with myself for the first few times:

5:30 p.m. – 13th Jan – Bus from Brighton to London

I’ve been spending a lot of time alone on this trip so far; between airports, planes, and buses. It’s not technically a solo trip because I’m staying with people at every stop, but I’m going to each of these places by myself. I’ve always considered myself someone who loves hanging out alone, journaling, doing all the things but – not having the option to hang out with people is actually giving me a kind of anxiety.

I was relaxed till I realized,

I’m on a 2-hour bus

From a city I don’t know

To another city I don’t know

All alone.

To pro-fesh travelers, this may seem like a piece of cake, especially that I’m heading to London, a big city that’s easy to maneuver, not an island in the middle of nowhere with no cell service. But, something about being stuck with myself and only myself for that long is driving me kinda crazy.

Of course, we’re in this day and age where we have our phones & can have access to our loved ones easily, but something about being physically by yourself, 100% responsible for your own self makes me feel a mix of intense anxiety and surrealism.

Can you tell by my freaking out that I usually live with a big loud family?

Watching my favorite movies or TV shows that I like while on the go like this makes the time fly by more, but the reflective side of us that comes out while alone with no distraction feels like a good way to get to know yourself.

Maybe solo travel isn’t for everyone? I’m not sure if it’s for me or not yet but doing a fraction of it now, I feel how glamorized solo travel is and how it’s not the same for everyone. This video is what inspired me to travel solo. It works so well for some people. It’s inspired me to try for myself, but I’m not so sure yet whether I would go crazy just sitting by myself for more than 2 hours, so maybe it’s worth a shot?

9:45 p.m. – Jan 14th – Holborn Station London

Being on my own feels weird
It feels boring
It didn’t used to feel like this
It used to feel exciting
And an adventure
And an exploration

But it doesn’t anymore
It feels scarier than it did
Is that because I’m in a foreign place?
Maybe
Maybe it’s because the foreign place is my mind (ouch)
Something happened up there that has disconnected me from it a while ago

And now I don’t know who I am anymore

Ok – dramatic much?

But like – I have to play a podcast in my ear so I don’t go crazy riding in the tube. I’ve been feeling better when I’m with people. It feels strange since I’ve always been an introvert. I usually just love chillin’ with myself. It feels weird.


a solo-travel must is an awkward selfie by a monument to send to your mom

1:21 a.m. – March 18th – Flight from NY to Cairo

Yesterday I checked into a hotel in NY for one night before I fly back home today. I was thrilled to be in the city for a night, but the second I checked into my room, I had this weird feeling that something was missing. Maybe that someone was missing? a friend? I don’t know if it’s loneliness, or the social construct that I shouldn’t be doing things alone, whether as a human, woman or human Arab woman. I was completely content with everything going on, but something just felt off when I entered that room and realized it was a place where I’d be all by myself.

My conclusion about solo travel after small snippets of it over the past few months is

if you’re ready.

If you’re mentally in a bad place, maybe solo traveling isn’t the best option. I know we all want our Eat Pray Love moment, but for me, it wasn’t ideal when I was feeling down. I stayed in my hotel half the day spiraling researching plane crashes (I’m afraid of flying). It taught me that I don’t want to live alone, at least for right now.

So,

Try it for a few days, at least you’ll learn.

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