How Traveling Solo Helped Me Be More Confident and Fearless

Sunday, September 4, 2022

 “If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.” – Maxwell Maltz

Recently, I checked something off my bucket list. I booked myself a room on the Queen Mary 2 transatlantic cruise liner, going Westbound from Southampton, UK to NYC for next May. It'll be my first time on a cruise and of course, I had to go BIG.

My attitude now - tee from Fashion to Figure (old)

As someone who has spent most of her life more single than boo-ed up, I could never get on a cruise because single supplements were out of my budget. All my friends have significant others and I am always the odd one out. Thankfully Cunard, who owns the QM2, recently added single rooms to the ship and the price is comparable to a double occupancy room. They're also very accommodating to solo travelers and will give you tailored itineraries daily, offering you the choice to go at it alone or mingle with other guests at meals and activities. Go Cunard! Read more here.

The Britannia Single Oceanview Room, which I booked - Photo: Cunard

Traveling solo is actually something that I love doing. It's just something empowering about going somewhere by yourself and having that freedom to do things on your time. You get to do what you want, when you want at where you want. There's places I want to go to that my friends have no interest in visiting such as the Antarctic Peninsula and Easter Island

First time showing off my upper arms in Los Angeles - California Dreaming Mural

But as someone who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, traveling solo has pushed me beyond my self-imposed limits. Sometimes I win and sometimes I don't. But it has not stopped me from traveling. I have learned to not let my anxiety limit me in seeing the world. I also learned that traveling my way may look different but it is still okay.

My first solo trip in 1998 - Martinique

What I mean by that is I travel at my own pace and don't feel like I have to adhere to a certain schedule or see certain places because everyone else has. As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. It's so easy to get caught up in the word of social media and feel that FOMO. But you have to ask yourself, is it what you truly want? Because in all honesty, you don't see the behind the scenes happenings on social media. The true things happening behind the pic or video - are they truly enjoying that moment or just trying to get the perfect pic to pretend they are? We'll never know but that's okay because what matters is what makes YOU happy. And that may look different than what your favorite influencer is doing.


Your life is your life. And you should live every single minute the way you want. This is what traveling has taught me. For me, that also means, not feeling a way about asking for a selt belt extender or having to use a wheelchair at times at the airport if my legs hurt from my lymphedema. I tell myself, I will probably never see these people again so if they want to stare, have at it. If I see someone recording me on their phone, I start recording them and let them know that. I grew tired of feeling like it was my fault and being upset, which affected my trip. It's their problem, not mine. So I refuse to carry their burdens and let it weigh me down and affect my traveling experience.

I remember being in the emergency room last summer for an extreme nose bleed from getting whacked in the face by accident by a flying suitcase falling from my closet (another story, for another day, lol). And as I was getting checked in, the person at the desk yelled out to me, "How much do you weigh?" as I sat in a room full of people. I yelled back to her "That's not appropriate to ask someone that loudly in front of other people because it's my business. If you want to know, you can ask me when I am in a private room, waiting to be seen by a doctor and you can ask me, not yell at me." She actually came out and apologized, saying she didn't realize as she was rushing to check multiple people in. 

Before I climbed 268 steps to touch Big Buddha - Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, China

Sometimes you have to let people know that it's not right to treat people a certain way. Periodt. This is something I think about when I travel and have to deal with rude flight attendants (which I am happy to say has been rare) and people acting funny if they have to sit next to me. Their problem, not mine. And I have learned to not be afraid to speak up and advocate for myself. But it does take time to build up the courage to do, I won't front. One day at a time.


Champ Élysées in Paris

No, not anymore. I learned how to turn on my mental blinders and just be unbothered. It took a long time to make that a habit but being fearless doesn't happen in a day. However, if you commit to it and try one day at a time, it becomes the norm for you. You take your power back and trust me when I say, it feels so good. You feel free. You don't hear the comments or see the stares. You just live in the moment where it's just you enjoying your life. Because at the end of the day, you can't force someone not to stare or change others. But you can change how you react to the situation and how you let it affect you. This is a reminder I tell myself on the daily.

Going out to dinner in Anaheim, California

With this way of thought, I feel like I can do anything and go anywhere. I admit, I may have days where I am anxious about leaving my hotel room by myself but I work on taking that first step out. If I don't, that's okay. I give myself grace and don't beat myself up over it. And sometimes, I may end up leaving the room later in the day or maybe just venturing out into the hotel. Any step out of the room is a win. 

At the Su-Style Expo in San Juan, Puerto Rico

I'm not perfect. No one is perfect. But you are you. And you are worthy of living your best life and that includes traveling and seeing different places. And how that adventure looks to you is for YOU, no one else. If you never want to leave the country, that's okay. Explore your country. Explore your city, your state, your province. You do YOU. 

Grand Canyon SkyWalk

That's what traveling solo has shown me. It has helped me to become a better person, ultimately living a better life where I continue to grow and heal.

Roaming the streets of Paris

Drinking at a tequila farm outside of the pyramids at Teotihuacan  

My QM2 adventure is still 9 months away but I cannot tell you how excited I am. Am I terrified about getting on a cruise liner by myself and being at sea for 8 days straight, crossing the Atlantic. HELL YES. But will I let that stop me from going? HELL NO. Shoot, I'm already planning my outfits. And I plan to live my best life during that trip, one day at a time.

Do you love to travel or want to travel more? Where do you want to go? Let me know in the comments below or on social media. I'd love to chat about it! xo, Marcy

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