Travelling Britain on My Lonesome

Throwback to 2019

I’ve been doing a lot of travelling recently. It all started when I got the opportunity to go to London, on my own, for a work trip.

Six months ago, my anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t go to work on a morning, on the bus, without having a panic attack.

Now, I go on the train across the country alone almost once a month.

I went to London, and it was magnificent. I got to have time alone, which I’m not used to at all. Usually, I always have someone with me, and it’s often the thing that drives me round the bend. I get irritated if people keep speaking at me — not to me, at me.

So, my trip to London was successful. I got to meet colleagues who I’d never met before; I even stood in a very crowded London bar without punching anyone for getting up in my business (though I did get groped — that’s another story).

After London, I decided it was time to take a trip down to Manchester to see a friend and colleague of mine who I’ve never had the chance to meet in person before.

It was a great day. I spent a couple of hours on a train, then a few hours with friends before heading home again. And the thing is, I didn’t panic at all. If anything I was incredibly calm, but usually, I’m always anxious when travelling — especially alone.

I’m taking a few friends down to Manchester next weekend, May 18th, for a meetup that I’m hosting there and I’m excited.

When travelling alone, there are certain things you have to keep in mind:

  • Take your time: don’t go too far out straight away. If you live in Manchester, why not try going to Sheffield or Liverpool. Take it at your pace.
  • Stay aware: keeping an eye on your surroundings is essential, although it’s not something you should have to be wary of, there are still bad people in the world… Keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Don’t go overboard: travelling is great, but you don’t have to spend hundreds to enjoy it. Get something to eat, have a walk around the local area, window shop — but maybe don’t buy anything, and go to local museums. Find some free stuff to do; it will make the trip less daunting in the run up if you’re broke.
  • Take care of yourself: make sure to drink plenty and eat. Don’t go out and not have anything the entire day; especially if you’re going to be using a train as transport — although they’re faster than driving, they can be boiling, and without food and drink, you could pass out. Self-care is important!

If you’re thinking about travelling, whether it be alone or with people, take care but enjoy it. Experience as much of the city’s culture as possible, no matter where you go, there will always be a different culture to your city.



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