Solo travel to Brisbane
Sean is a 20-something American living in China who will sometimes solo travel.
You can read more about his travels at World Resolution.
Solo travel is often an eye-opening experience. It is interesting because each time you do it the circumstances are different and so is your experience. When I went by myself to Shanghai I had a blast and met some really amazing people. But this trip to Brisbane was a much different story.
Alone in the hostel, I tried to make friends with other people staying there. I met Germans, Israelis, Aussies, Brits, and Americans, yet none of them seemed interested in going out to do things together. I was annoyed by this because I expected it to be the same as in Shanghai. I was wrong.
At first I adapted to their way of thinking; I turned to my books. I read about 200 pages a day in an attempt to pass the time. Then I realized I was wasting my time in Australia (although I did have 20 days), so I got up off the bed and made a plan.
Solo travel is not reading in a hostel.
First I went to Fortitude Valley, which is basically Chinatown. I walked around and ate while still feeling quite angry at the situation. So I tried to turn it around. I took the train down three stations to the Museum, then walked to the CityCat, which is a ferry. While on the ferry, I met three people from Hong Kong, one of whom lives here with her husband. They were very nice and helped me out a lot. I was happy to meet them!
After the ferry ride, I walked back to Fortitude Valley and went rock climbing. From there I went back to shower, only to find those same people from earlier sitting around doing nothing. I laughed in my head at how dumb they were for wasting their time.
That night after almost 2 years, I went out to dance Salsa at the local club and had an amazing time! I even befriended a girl from Canberra, Australia’s capitol city.
The rest of my trip was like this. I was continually surrounded by passive foreigners who called themselves travelers yet refused to leave the hostel during the daytime. I avoided them and only thought about the good time I was having doing such activities as climbing the Story Bridge, going bungee jumping for the first time, and talking to the locals!
I learned an important lesson about solo travel: your experience will always be different.
Don’t expect to always find people who share your interests and want to spend time with you. Be prepared to go it alone, and enjoy yourself while doing it! Those who are afraid to reach their goals will never even reach the edge, while those who strive to push themselves are constantly walking a tightrope across the canyon towards the other side.