For some of us who live in NYC, leaving it every so often is essential to our well-being (not to be dramatic!). There’s only so much a visit to the botanical gardens or the museum will do to clear our heads. Silence can feel like a luxury here, but it’s also surprisingly easy to find if we just hop on a train. Weekend trips, especially solo ones, are also perfect for spending time with a journal or notebook and “checking in” with ourselves. Like essayist Joan Didion wrote in “On Keeping a Notebook,” we are “well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” Sometimes we forget ourselves, but journals are always there to remind us of who and where we were at a certain time. This is especially true when our journal is also our only travel companion.
They say you don’t really get to know someone until you travel with them, so why not take a journal and see if you’re good company? You may be surprised to find that you are. Writing also gives you something to do if you’re not entirely comfortable dining solo, for example, so you can’t go wrong.
A few years back, we published tips on how to get started travel journaling. Here are some general, more planning-focused tips for those interested in traveling alone:
- If it’s your first time, check your city’s official website for quick getaway ideas, or places like Time Out and Patch. The latter are updated frequently with fun and budget-friendly suggestions.
- Have backup plans in case of an accident, lost wallet or phone, etc. Always give a friend back home a general idea of your whereabouts and itinerary.
- Go for walkable destinations where activities and people are within reach. If you need a vehicle to get around, try using public transportation. This will give you the opportunity to sketch, write, relax, or strike up a conversation with a friendly stranger.
- Sometimes it’s OK to use technology, especially if you’re going international—apps like Alix give solo women restaurant recommendations in big cities, for example, and Duolingo can help you order the food in the local language. But make sure to jot down your impressions on your Rhodia pad and tag us on Instagram!
- Buy your tickets two weeks out, on a Tuesday. The cheaper your flight or train ride, the more you can do and see while you’re at your destination.
That being said—we’re bringing Rhodia on the Rhoad back! And we’d love to see where you’re taking your Rhodia this year. Tag @rhodiapads on your travel note/sketchbook pictures to be featured on our Instagram and/or added to our Rhodia on the Road Fan Photo Page. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go far to be featured—writing at your local café or library counts. We’ll also be doing giveaways later in the fall, so watch out for those!
Where are you off to next?