Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Due to the overwhelming reaction I received from a previous blog, “All the Single Ladies“ I decided to write a follow up and will be elaborating on the subject more in future blogs but first things first . If you have never traveled, dined, gone to a museum, beach or basically “travelled solo“ in any aspect of life, then we need to talk. People often ask me “ how do you do it“ . My response is “how do you NOT” . Once you get over the initial fear, which I never really experienced, you will find that doing stuff on your own teaches you independence , confidence and how to enjoy your own company . Life becomes an adventure. You will find that you will meet many more people when you are solo than if you travel in packs . You become more approachable and less intimidating. You will no longer waste time waiting for others to create your own experiences. It is quite freeing to do what you want , when you want to. You’re on your own schedule.
My solo escapades really began by accident . I was touring Italy with some girlfriends. The tour was scheduled to go from Rome to Sorrento on Saturday. Because I’m a Sabbath observer, I had to make arrangements to go to Sorrento a day early on my own.
Mind you , this was a foreign country which would make it even more daunting. I had been to Italy the year before and found Italians very warm so I felt comfortable. I did my research before the trip as to places to go. Sorrento is an Island and is easily walkable. I met quite a few people at the hotel and in town who were more than happy to direct me and answer questions. I also enjoyed some relaxing “ me time “ until my friends showed up the next day. That was the beginning .
Now that I had the European bug, next on the agenda was the Greek Islands. Several of my friends expressed interest in going so I started to investigate different options . As the tentative travel dates approached, none of my friends would pull the trigger so I decided to book a Contiki Tour which was 18-35 year olds.
I felt safer traveling around Greece with a group. The beauty of this was that when you want company you have the people in the group. You also have the option to escape and venture out when you feel like it . The group mostly consisted of people from outside of the US including Italy , Malta and Australia. I instantly bonded with a Cuban girl living in Miami . Her name was Lourdes. I wish I had kept in touch because she was crazy AF, and just my speed.
I’ll never forget the amazing time we had . One night she was hanging with one of the Italian Aussies in the group. She left him and grabbed me to dance on the bar with her . Yes, I got on top of the bar and I was not drunk. Just decided to go with it . Why not? #yolo!! I was in my late 20s though , can’t say I’d get on a bar today but you never know. Anyway, we go back to the table and Alberto says “ that guy over there wants to meet you”. My response was “ You mean the one with the girl sitting on his lap”? So he says, no they’re just friends, it’s an Italian thing. He calls Roberto over who turns out to be the most adorable , sweet Italian I had ever met. Not pushy or gropy at all. We sat, talked, drank but I was leaving the island the next day. Lucky for me, because that could have been dangerous. Italians are very romantic but as a NYer I am very cautious and jaded, but I admit I was flattered . We took pictures and exchanged info.
He asked me to mail him the pics . In those days there was no such thing as emailing pics so it was up to me to get to the good old post office . Weeks after I returned to the US, I got my pictures developed, and decided to mail them. I got home that day and there was a letter on my bed from Roberto . The letters back and forth continued for 2 years and I still have them . For many reasons Roberto and I never passed the “pen pal” stage but the memories were priceless and never would have happened if I had been traveling in a pack.
When my buddies saw the pics from my trip , they all said “ that’s it next year we’re going with you” . That’s great , but no.. 🤣
A year later I returned to Greece, this time with AESU. Another 18-35 group. I was on the upper end with of the age range, but I was way more exciting than my fellow tour members. This group was perfectly content buying booze and drinking by the hotel pool. Not me. I needed to escape and explore. We were in Santorini, so I referred to my trusty Frommer's guide book to see options of beaches to hit. I decided to hop on a bus to Golden Beach. I got there and the beach was pretty empty so I walked until I stumbled upon a Greek God. I decided I liked the view so I planted my towel close by. He was with another guy so I assumed he was Gay, since Greece is very Gay friendly . Another reason why it’s such a fun place to go ! I started taking some pictures, and Anastasio ( I think that was his name ) came over and asked if I would like him to take my pic. Next thing I know , he’s sitting on my towel. Turns out the guy with him is his cousin who is boring AF , and didn’t like to go out. Anastasio said he loved to dance. Music to my ears. He asked if I’d like to meet him later at one of the clubs. Since the clubs start getting busy at 1am, I was able to have dinner with the group and meet him after . As I was walking to dinner with the group, we bumped into Adonis, I mean Anastasio, and he wanted to confirm that I’d be meeting up with him. I told him I'd see him at 1am, and nonchalantly continued to walk.
The girls mouths were agape and they could not resist asking me “WHO was that ??? You didn't tell us you met anyone on the beach” BTW, these girls were younger and more attractive than me, BUT since they traveled in packs , the odds of them meeting an Adonis in Greece were low . We ended up going to a Greek club. Since my background is middle eastern I was familiar with the Greek type of dancing . Before we knew it we were in the middle of a circle dancing, with a bunch of Greek people cheering us on . To this day I have no clue if Anastasio was Gay and to be frank, I really didn’t care . It was a fun night and an experience that never would have happened had I need traveling in a pack.
The next day we headed to Mykonos . I decided to head over to Paradise Beach solo. Some Australian girls noticed I was alone and grabbed me to dance with them. Turns out they had met a bunch of Israeli dudes so I was in my element. We had a blast, although the party did not end til dawn so I missed the next days excursion. Oh well , shit happens .
Without fail , when I separated from the group, I continued to meet cool, fun and exciting people from around the globe.
After those two back to back solo trips , I decided that I really enjoyed traveling solo! And so it continued.
I was at a dance convention in New Orleans with a bunch of buddies I met when I used to go to Dancesport in NYC. They had been to Israel a few months earlier and met an Israeli guy through a mutual friend who offered to show them around . They immediately bonded with Shai and his fiancé Carina. Shai happened to have an opening in his schedule, so he decided to meet up with them in New Orleans. My friend Arte knew that Shai and I would get along since I spoke Hebrew and had been to Israel several times . It only took about an hour of meeting Shai , that I was invited to his wedding in Israel .
The whole dance crew had planned to go so I knew it was going to be a blast, and the timing could not have been better with my work schedule. Since I’m a textbook Capricorn, I’m a planner. I booked a two week trip which included Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Eilat. Even though I originally thought the group would be joining, I planned it as if I’d be traveling alone. Lucky I did, because I ended up being the only one from the crew that got there and Shai was so appreciative that I showed up. The trip was fabulous.
When my friend Dror heard I‘d be traveling to Israel, he suggested I contact my ex who was a mutual friend. I had not spoken to this ex in ten years but decided to call him. We had not ended on bad terms and he was so happy to hear from me. We had a few dinners and he invited me to join him and some buddies for a couple of nights in Sinai. What an experience!
After Sinai, I returned to Tel Aviv and spent some fun days on the beach. Then it was off to Eilat. You could easily book a flight last minute and it about 30 minutes you were there. On the plane, I was seated next to three Israeli soldiers. Before I knew it we were exchanging phone numbers. One of their brothers was already there with his girlfriend. They included me in their plans for the three days I was there. Again, this happened because I was traveling solo.
I spent my last few days in Tel Aviv where I met an Israeli guy. We had a long distance relationship for over 6 months that got to the point of me meeting his parents . While things didn’t work out because of the distance, I’ll never regret the experience.
As the years went on, I began to prefer traveling alone. I had a timeshare in Orlando and I would always get the best value traveling to Mexico. When people see you alone, they automatically invite you to join them . Do not think this is only men trying to pick up. Most of the time it was couples or groups in friendly vacation mode. I remember staying at the Finisterra in Cabo San Lucas. I was at Squid Roe and I bumped into a guy I had seen at the pool. He was with a bunch of guys for a bachelor party. He invited me to join them at a strip club, but heading to a strip club in Mexico WAS NOT on my bucket list, so I respectfully declined. The next day they invited me to hang with them by the pool. They would not let me pay for a thing. I was the token girl in the bachelor party. I have been friends with a few of them since and we try meet up whenever I’m in Los Angeles.
I can seriously write a book filled with stories of great times with great people I have met throughout my years traveling solo. I may not be some skinny fashion model, but I am comfortable in my own skin and open to meeting new people . People can sense that which is why it has always been easy for me . It can be easy for anyone you just have to be open to it . I have shared my experiences so you would know I have practiced what I am about to preach. Now I will share some tips on traveling solo.
1. Plan ahead
Before you embark on a solo trip get to know the area. I prefer staying in a centrally located hotel . Invest in travel guides. While you can get any information you need online , it’s always a good idea to have a hard copy in the case that there is no internet. You will feel most comfortable traveling alone when you know your surroundings. You may want to start slow . Travel with a tour group and gradually separate from them during free time. Test the waters . See how you feel. Baby steps. Maybe take a weekend away close to home. After a few times you will be thinking “why have I not done this sooner."
2. Go with a positive state of mind.
Its not about your body but more about body language. I highly recommend reading a book on body language . If your body language reads that you are approachable, trust be you will not be alone for long. Smile, say hello, make eye contact . It’s not that difficult, is it?
3. Bring a book
I learned this one by accident. As I mentioned, I travel to Mexico in June following a ten day trade show in Las Vegas. By the time that work trip is over , the only person I want to talk to is the bartender. One year I brought a couple of books with me. It was hot as hell so I decided to bring the book into the pool with me. Within minutes there was someone asking me about the book. I thought it was a fluke but the same thing happened every single time. Speaking of Vegas, the funniest incident happened in the pool at Caesars. I was reading a book and these three Englishman came over and said “ we noticed you reading and singing at the same time so we were curious as to how you do it?” My response was “that’s why I’m only up to page 30”. The next thing I knew, they were inviting me to join them at a pool party at The Palms. I really thought I was hot stuff until I found out at the end of the day they were gay. Good thing though. I had no clue what Id do with all three of them. The next day, same story different peeps. The book maneuver has never failed me since.
4. Book group excursions
It is virtually impossible to NOT meet someone on one of these activities or tours. Plus it’s fun to get out of the hotel and see different places
5. Safety first
While I can tell you from experience, men are not always chatting you up because they want sex. They may just be nice. They may just be Gay. I have found the people are intrigued when they see someone traveling solo. Having said that, I strongly advise being aware of your surroundings. Do not walk alone in deserted streets no matter how safe you feel in a area. I experienced this when in Jerusalem. A NON Israeli had been hitting on me and no matter what I told him he would not quit . I managed to lose him and then slipped out of the bar. I had a short walk back to my hotel and there were a couple of neighborhood blocks that were not high traffic . Little did I know the sleazebag was following me. He accosted me and proceeded to put his hands on me . It took every ounce of strength to fight him off. Luckily I prevailed, and that little bitch ended up flat on his back. He obviously didn't know he was dealing with a Brooklyn girl. I was lucky and G-d was watching over me that day. It taught me a valuable lesson. If you’re going to meet up with someone , insist on a public place. Never accept a drink from someone unless you watch it being poured. Do not take your eye off the pour. BTW, these safety rules apply to anywhere at anytime . Things can happen so be smart !
6. Leave your fear at home
What is the worst possible thing that can happen? No one talks to you? You’re stuck alone in your own company . Oh boo hoo. You are on vacation, maybe somewhere exotic, enjoying some “me time”. If you cannot enjoy your own company, how can you possibly expect anyone else to! You always have those books I told you to bring. There are gyms available in most hotels and resorts so it could end up being a fitness and mental health vacation. Trust me, unless you spend your time with resting bitch face, the odds of you not meeting people are LOW. A sure fire way to NOT meet anyone is to bury your face in your phone. I know this because I use the "phone maneuver" when I choose to be left alone.
I really hope my words and experiences I have shared, will help some women and even men get out of there comfort zone. Do not let your life pass you by while waiting for someone else to join you . There are so many adventures to experience, so many memories to be made. Do not waste a second. Follow my lead and give “traveling solo” a chance . You will not regret it and you can thank me later ! Feel free to email with any questions or comments. My goal is to change people’s outlook on life. I truly hope my message will go viral !