A deafening buzzer jolts me from a sound sleep. Desperate for it to stop, I slam my hand across the bed to hit the green glow of numbers sourcing the shrill alarm. It was still dark out and I was a little disoriented and confused as to why I was waking up so early. Gradually, I begin to remember the reason for my pre-dawn awakening and shoot out of bed. I showered, dressed, packed, and was off faster than a toupee in a hurricane. The drive took about two hours, but I arrived ready to depart for the next leg of my journey with time to spare.
So convenient, isn’t it? The only thing I had to be concerned with was myself. I don’t have to worry about whether someone else gets up on time. I don’t have to worry about how long it’s taking the other person to get ready. I don’t have to worry about whether I’m making too much noise that would wake someone else up. And I don’t have to worry about whether the other person might have left something behind. If something ends up happening, I have no one else to blame but myself. Traveling solo definitely has its perks. There’s a freedom and independence that solo traveling delivers that I really enjoy. However, every now and then there’s this feeling of being left out or excluded.
Many of the activities that I have found while traveling is catered for couples or families. Even eating in select countries, especially in Asia, can bring some issues to solo travelers as some restaurants don’t allow lone customers because they cook their food for two or more and won’t serve just one. Sounds bizarre, but even if offering to pay for two servings, I have been rejected service because I was alone. C'est la vie. Even though I enjoy the logistics part of traveling solo (sleeping, accommodations, transportation, et. al.), there are still times when buddies can make the experience a lasting memory.
So here are three ways I’ve discovered to find and meet people when traveling solo.