People are forever asking me why I enjoy travelling alone so much… Is it that I don’t have any friends that want to go with me? Well, yes and no. Am I a loner at heart? Not really. Do I dislike being around others? Absolutely not! One of the reasons I go travelling is actually because I love meeting new people, making new friends and sharing new experiences with them.
So without further ado, here are some of the best friends I have made on my travels so far…
In the summer of 2011 I left my family and friends for the first time to go to the other side of the world where I would meet a bunch of strangers and make dreams come true for a living at Orlando Florida’s Walt Disney World. I had already met Louise at the interviews months earlier, and had befriended Vikki and Karyn online before going. We were all so excited and once we were there we had a blast! Some of my greatest memories were spent shopping at the Prime Outlets, pigging out at Hooters, and exploring the Magic Kingdom with these girls. And although we don’t speak as much anymore, I will never forget the fun we had.
Jayne was one of the first people I met when I travelled the USA in 2012. I had ten days to kill and no written-in-stone schedule to stick too. I remember lying in the hostel bed when I first arrived and thinking, “So, what now.” Then in breezed Jayne carrying the glow of a seasoned traveller and before I knew it, we had planned to go to Venice beach the next day and were heading out for a lunch feast with a hot American at the farmer’s market. Jayne was my first experience of seeing that glow on someone who had pushed herself out of her comfort zone, explored the world and done most of it on her own. Jayne was a real inspiration for me.
When a delicious-looking Australian headed home, leaving me behind ‘heartbroken’ (or Travel Heartbroken…) Alice and Skye were a breath of fresh air for me. I was drowning my sorrows in a pretzel on the Staten Island Ferry, sitting outside even though it was freezing cold and feeling sorry for myself when I heard Skye’s Australian twang, “Oh my God, where did you get that pretzel?” We ended up swapping details and arranging to meet the following day to visit Ground Zero and a couple of other tourist attractions together and just shared a great day. Again, it was so refreshing to meet them and hear all about their glamorous lives back in Oz!
Tess, Lina and Jess were super-supportive when I travelled solo to India just four days after being assaulted in my hometown. They were there for me when I needed to talk but mostly, they helped me to make the most of my adventure when all I wanted to do was stay in dank hotel rooms and cry. We marvelled at the Taj Mahal, shopped the markets in Jaipur and frolicked in the waves in Goa. We made every day count during the month-long trip and although I speak only rarely to them these days I know that I have an awesome friend in Canada, Denmark and Australia (again! Seriously, Australians are like, the best!)
I only spent about one day with Miriam, but she carried such a grace and kindness, a beauty which shone from the inside out, and I knew we would stay in touch after we met at The Yoga Barn in Bali. I offered to walk her to The Monkey Forrest and we stopped for a smoothie on the way. With a gorgeous view of the rice paddies of Ubud, we laughed and thought about how lucky we were to be travelling and free. And ever since we have stayed in touch 🙂
The Samyak Yoga team became my family when I was in India in 2014. There were nearly 20 of us in total studying and five teachers and even though I wasn’t SUPER close with everyone I had a connection to them all. Especially Trupta, Rakesh, Arvind, Lipi, Stephanie, Mariko, Tania, Alan, Liloo, Anne-Laure, Maite and Mirka. During the month of my training I was especially privileged to meet Katrin. The coolest German chick I have ever met, she was like a big sister to me! Whether we were slipping off for a cheeky shrimp dinner, hanging at the beach or spending our rupees on fickle items from local vendors we were always together and when it was my birthday, she made sure that it was special for me. Katrin is probably the best friend I have ever made whilst travelling.
From my ‘big sister’ to my ‘little sisters’, I met Ivy and Elisa in Vietnam and we travelled through Laos and into Thailand together. At just 19 years old, this was their first time away from home and when I met them they were just about to embark on what became an (inevitably, I told you so girls!) incredible few months of travelling around the world. They were apprehensive, as they had never been away from home alone. But while I knew them I watched them transform into confident young women who I am so proud to call my friends. I can’t wait to visit them in Norway in May!
As well as all of these people, I must also offer shout-outs to Kristian from England, Sam from Australia, Cara and Caroline from England, Grace and Sandra from the USA, Josep from Spain, Kenzie from Canada, Danielle from New Zealand, Mien from Vietnam, Jenna from Australia and Nanda from England. All incredible travel buddies who I really enjoyed spending time with ❤
Would you ever go travelling on your own? What is your favorite thing about travelling alone? Who is the best friend you have ever met abroad?