A solo trip is remembered as a great adventure. The daring scooter rides around rice paddies in Vietnam, or navigating the alleyways of Cuzco, Peru and huffing in the high altitudes. Forgotten are the quiet dinners in the corners of restaurants, where we ate alone, or the frequent checking of Facebook messenger, hoping to find a good friend to soothe our anxieties.
I’d forgotten just how bad the first night of a solo trip is. The culture shock, topped with the extreme exhaustion of many hours of flights and airports, and garnished with a thick dollop of regular but familiar loneliness. Symptoms include but are not limited to: irritability and fatigue, language frustrations, feeling overwhelmed by too much environmental stimuli, or just a general dislike of everything that seems different.
The remedy? A good sleep (all the better if you can fit it to the night time of your new destination), some comfort food - whatever that may be to you, and either some quiet time or a good chat to a fellow backpacker.
The next day you may find you’ve struck up a conversation with another solo traveller, and so begins a few days of shared experiences.
But most importantly, know that you won’t feel homesick and lost for too long. A couple of days ago I set foot in Bali on a solo trip and already wanted to go home. Why did I choose to solo travel again? Wouldn’t rather be at home, in my PJs on the couch with the cat and watching a movie? But a walk to the beach, some good Indonesian food and a mango juice later, I’m glad to be here, solo and all.
Tomorrow, I will be out of Kuta and onto Ubud, and not a moment too soon.
Pin it to your Asia travel board: