Traveling solo can be very intimidating, right? So let’s talk a little bit about fears…
Being alone has always been a fear of mine. I feel like I always need to have someone else around in order to be happy. I’ve never traveled alone or Europe before! To say this was a big step for me in my growth process is an understatement.
During my travels to London, I realized that being afraid of something doesn’t meant that it’s actually scary. Once you “take the leap” and face your fears you realize that there really wasn’t anything to be afraid of in the first place.
What you were afraid of might actually be the best experience of your life! Whatever fears you’re having (buying a house or traveling alone, pursuing your dream career or quitting a life sucking job, proposing to your partner or leaving your partner) face them. DO something about it and you’ll realize that they weren’t so scary in the first place.
Traveling Abroad Solo
Just Do It!
Take the leap! Book the flight! Use a little bit of that amazing credit limit you have on your card (okay maybe that one is just me…I’m blessed with amazing credit)!
You can plan all you want, but the reality is that you’re never gonna go anywhere if you don’t take the leap! Don’t get me wrong, planning is important (see below). But it’s not what it’s all about.
Life is about DOING. Do go out and go do! 🙂
There are a few things you need to be prepared for when you are traveling abroad solo. You want your trip to run as smoothly as possible so you can enjoy your time soaking up the food, sights and culture.
- Call your card companies so they know you’ll be out of the country. This way you can move onto step 2 with no problems
- Invest in a pay as you go SIM card in the country or region your traveling to. This can easily be done at most airports, and make sure you get a good data package since that’s all you really need these days.
- Portable chargers! The last thing you want when you’re out exploring is for your phone or camera to die on you! Make sure that they are fully charged before you leave, set them on low power mode (if applicable) and bring your fully charged battery packs & cords as well. (here’s my recommended portable battery pack)
- Plug in converters!! Most foreign countries don’t have the same outlets so you’ll need a converter (here’s the one I used in London)
- Drink plenty of water (and make sure the water is safe to drink!) Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up wherever you can. Most bars or pubs will be happy to fill it for you if you just stop for a beer of course 🙂
Talk to your Uber Drivers
Public transit is amazing and usually your cheapest option, but when you’re looking for convenience, Uber drivers win hands down. They are also local and usually know a lot about the area you’re staying in.
Ask them questions about what their favorite spots are. Obviously this tip only works if your Uber driver and you speak the same language 😉
Keep an Open Mind
Finally, just keep an open mind. We all come from different backgrounds, families and countries, but in the end we are all just human. We all crave the same thing which is to feel connection and to truly be seen as who we are.
London Travel Guide
Use the Underground
The public transportation system in London is really good. You can walk less than 5 minutes in pretty much any direction and find a spot to hop on the train.
The Underground is like the New York Subway system. They also have the Overground (self explanatory), bus systems (including the river bus!), and express trains that can all be accessed super easily.
All you need to do is get yourself an Oyster Card and load money onto it. I put about £30 pounds (equal to about $40 USD) on a card that lasted me all week long. I was able to get anywhere I wanted in London!
PRO TIP: Make sure that before going to the Underground you take a screenshot of the directions you’re following (if needed) because once you’re underground you won’t have any service.
Walk & Explore
Spend more of your time just walking around and exploring! I have found that I find the cutest spots when I don’t have a set plan. It’s also quite meditative wandering around a foreign city.
Just make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes!
What’s worth paying for?
Ultimately this is up to you (obviously). I love finding free things to do. In London all of the museums are free and truly amazing! The architecture itself is breathtaking!
- British Museum: FREE! Takes you through artifacts from all over the world and is definitely a must see.
- The Tower of London: £30 (about $40 USD) and still really cool from the outside.
- Tower Bridge: You can go up and see the view from the top (not sure of the prices) but in my opinion just walking across is was amazing!
- Tate Modern: FREE! If you’re into modern art, this museum is awesome and has tons of really cool peices.
- National Gallery: FREE! I went for an “adult night” where they served beer/wine and some food for £20 (worth the experience!)
- Primrose Hill: FREE! On the North side of Regent’s Park and you can see the whole city skyline from the top!
London Vegan Restaurant Guide
First of all, get yourself an app called Happy Cow! It will literally save you when you are out looking for food and you have no idea where you are.
Here is the easiest way to use Happy Cow:
- Search “everything nearby”
- Hit the map icon in the corner
- Select “load more” until there are tons of little dots on your map
- Find something close to you & plug it into your maps!
Here is a list of restaurants (and my personal review) that I was able to hit up while on London.
These are in no particular order.
- Mildred’s: Vegetarian. MUST TRY if you are in London! Almost everything can be made vegan and their food is to DIE for! I tried the dumplings, the burger, and the soul bowl. 10/10
- The Gate: Vegan (w/ some non-vegan beer & wine on the menu): I LOVED this place so much. They are a fancier restaurant with some really amazing foods. I had the Pad Thai and the Tomato Soup. Both 10/10
- Deliciously Ella: Vegan. Created by one of my FAV bloggers, I had to go check it out. The establishment was adorable with friendly staff. I got one of the smoothies and a brownies to-go which was heavenly! 10/10
- Temple of Seitan (Camden): Vegan. OMG. WOW. This is a vegan chicken joint where pretty much everything is deep fried. I think that I died and went to heaven stuffing my face with the mac & cheese, popcorn chicken, spicy chicken sandwich, and the BBQ chicken wings… I definitely felt it later in my stomach…. still worth it. 11/10
- Purezza: Vegan. I’m a huge pizza fan and this place hit it right on the nose! They make their own vegan cheeses and the crust is perfection! 10/10
- Rudy’s Dirty Vegan: Vegan. Another vegan junk food joint that has all the amazing typical America favs like mac & cheese, burgers, BBQ rib sandwiches, fried chicken, and seasoned garlic fries! I had the BBQ rib burger. 10/10
- Magic Falafel: Vegan. This little falafel shop has the BEST falafel and tahini sauce EVER! All their ingredients are vegan and they even have the option to add grilled eggplant to your pita. 10/10
- V Burger: Vegan. Tons of different vegan burger options and every one has its own twist! I had the asian style burger. 9.5/10
- Half Cup: Vegan Options. This place is a little café with a handful of vegan options for breakfast and lunch. Plus they have every plant milk imaginable. I got an açaí bowl and a coconut milk latte. 9/10
- Byron Burger: Vegan Options. I stumbled along this place on my first night and was desperate for food. That had a sign outside promoting their vegan beet burger and I was sold! I also got a local vegan cider which came in a can but was still bomb. 9/10
My London Adventure: Photo Diary
I hope this travel guide gives you what you’re looking for when you’re staying in London or looking to travel solo!
Remember that we are all human, no matter where on this blue marble we live, we all desire the same thing: to be truly seen as who we are. Take a leap of faith and face your fears! What’s the worst that could happen?