10 ways to stay happy when travelling solo

8. Bring a journal.

My notebook is where I record and observe what’s happened, and consolidate thoughts that have had the space to arise since I’ve been on my own. It’s a valuable practice in itself, but it’s also wonderful to read back later: the written-down inner workings of my mind capture and revive individual moments so much more fully than the sunset photos that I mindlessly snapped.

I often take my journal when eating alone at restaurants — a scenario oft-dreaded by prospective (or seasoned) solo travellers. It’s my mini-me companion, that I can share reflections and ideas with. Plus it seems there’s something disarming about someone who’s scribbling in a notebook — I tend to make new friends when I get my pen and paper out in public. Whether it’s Cusco, Krakow, Melbourne or Berlin, “what are you writing about?” has proved to be an unexpected icebreaker. Journalling is a great way to connect with yourself — with the added bonus that you might end up connecting with someone else as well.