Here’s a fact about me – I’ve never travelled abroad alone.
I regularly read posts by other bloggers about why you should travel alone and how it’s an essential thing to do in your twenties. Thing is, I’ve just always had people to come with me whenever I go away, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing as I enjoy the company (Check out my travel posts here).
I do, however, understand where these bloggers are coming from. Sometimes it is nice to have some alone time. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to plan a day only taking into consideration what you want to see and do. And sometimes it’s nice not to have anyone there telling you to hurry up when you’re taking 100 photos of the same view in order to capture the perfect Instagram shot!
But I don’t think you necessarily need to leave the country to be a solo traveller…
No matter how long you’ve lived in London it’s highly unlikely you’ve explored everywhere and seen everything the city has to offer. I’ve been living in and around London my entire life and I still have an endless list of places I haven’t been all the way from zone 1 to 6.
This is why I’ve started taking ‘Me Days’ where I wake up early, pack a bag, grab my camera and head out for the day to a new area of the city… totally alone.
Last Saturday I took a ‘Me Day’ to visit Greenwich, a part of London I am ashamed to say I had never visited before. Being the opposite side of the city to Fulham it took me 1hr15 to get there, making the day feel like an adventure already.
After jumping off of the DLR (yes I sat at the front pretending to drive!) I spent the day trying to cram in everything there is to possibly do in Greenwich. Starting with the Cutty Sark and Greenwich foot tunnel, which goes beneath the River Thames, I then moved on to the Old Royal Naval College and Royal Maritime Museum (which is free FYI).
Next, I took myself for lunch at Greenwich Market and devoured the greasiest and most delicious steak and cheese baguette I have ever eaten, with no-one there to judge me for it.
Finally, I spent the afternoon walking through Greenwich Park up to the Royal Observatory to see the Prime Meridian, where east meets west at Longitude 0° and the reference line for Greenwich mean time.
Once I’d finished in Greenwich I decided to treat myself by getting a boat back down the Thames to Westminster in order to get home. I jumped on an MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus service using my Oyster Card (awesome right!?) and took in the sights of Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, the Shard and finally the London Eye and Houses of Parliament.
I love having a day where I am able to choose exactly where I go and everything I do. I can wander around the museums at my own pace, sit in the sun and admire the view over the city from the top of Greenwich Park for as long as I like, and even pick what I want to eat for lunch. But at the end of the day, I am more than happy to head back home to grab my boyfriend and meet our friends in the pub – there’s only so much time I can spend by myself.
I’m not going to give you the whole ‘finding myself’ rubbish, but I do agree that travelling solo is a fun and liberating experience that everyone should try, even if it’s just for the day and within your own city! Plus, even when you’ve lived in London for a long time it’s important to be a tourist every now and again so you remember not to take its beauty for granted.