Monday, October 19, 2015

Travel Therapy: My first solo travel experience --Montreal, Quebec

Traveling alone was something I never thought I'd ever do. With my non-existing sense of direction, I always felt that  companionship was absolutely necessary.

However, last thanksgiving, I decided to ditch the usual family gathering and capitalize on the 4-day weekend and go explore the French-speaking city of Montreal. The trip was a last minute plan, and I knew finding a travel buddy would be hard. More so, it was thanksgiving weekend, and most people had already made plans. So there it was, I was traveling solo for the first time. 

Montreal was absolutely amazing, and the trip is my best travel experience yet. Below are pictures with blurbs of my solo adventure in this beautiful city.

Look who found love in Montreal

Travelling alone was more fun than I anticipated. However, I panicked a tad bit when I got to Montreal. 
For some reason I became extremely nervous and couldn’t function for the first 15 minutes after my arrival. I had saved directions from the train station to my hotel, but for some reason, I suddenly became discombobulated and I started to freak out. I sat down for few minutes, calmed myself, took a deep breath, and then found a policeman who gave me clear and concise direction. 
Getting to my hotel was a breeze, and once I checked in and freshened up, I went off to explore Montreal.

Love sculpture in Vieux Montreal

Since I was nervous about embarking on this trip myself, I planned all my activities in advance. I even looked up directions of all the sites I was going to be visiting and printed out and saved screenshots of the said directions. 
Because I was going to be alone, I did not want to appear lost and make it obvious that I was a lone tourist.
Hotel  room selfie
Place Jacques-Cartier Square

Asides from safety, my other concern was finding someone to take pictures of me with my DSLR camera(yes I am that vain). Luckily I own a gorilla pod(tripod), and  I brought it along with me. For the most part, people were nice, and helped out whenever I asked for pictures. However, the gorilla pod gave me the freedom to take as many shots as I wanted.

Montreal Clock Tower (Tour de l'Horloge) in Old Port of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The pros of solo travels are vast, and the no 1 advantage is freedom! The fact that I could do things in my own time and on my terms was extremely liberating. I could visit the sites I wanted, eat in the restaurants of my preference, and chill in my room alone!

Travelling alone also helped me be independent. I was alone and did not have time to second guess myself.
McGill University 

It may sound cheesy, but there was also a level of self discovery that I achieved on this trip. It was calming, peaceful and soothing and this led to me getting to know myself better.

The Illuminated Crowd by Franco-British artist, Raymond Mason. The expressions on the sculptures are extremely life-like!

I was also able to immerse myself in the city. Since I didn't have a companion to talk to nor distract me, the only focus was exploring the city.

Since travelling to Montreal alone, I have done three lone trips and I have two upcoming ones before the year runs out

Olympic Park - Parc olympique de Montréal

Embracing solo travelling means I no longer have to wait on friends who usually say "no" at the last minute. I now have the confidence to just pick up and jet anywhere.
Goofing off at the 1976 Summer Olympics stadium

How gorgeous is the frozen river at Old port of Montreal


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal

With love from Notre-Dame Basillica
Cloudy skies in Vieux Montreal
I love how the tree branches frame the statue
I thought this restaurant was cute
I walked down Saint Paul Street, and took a picture of this signage

China Town gate
Stopped for some spicy prawn soup in China Town

I am obsessed with signage, lamp posts, and, old architecture, and I was excited to capture all three in a single photo
View of Montreal from Mount Royal, Monteregian Hills
Marché Bonsecours

So what do you guys think of solo travelling? Have you ever done it, or do you think you have the courage to embark on one? Please leave your comments below. 

Have a fab week.


Tonka said...

You took so many stunning shots and really captured the heart of Montreal. I have travelled alone I guess for work and school but not for holiday. I am glad you were able to conquer your fear, you did well dear. Please check out my travel post on my blog, xx

Chi-Chi said...

congrats on travelling solo for the first time!

i have flown solo on a few occasions, but usually to places where i know at least one person (i save on accommodation that way!)

i understand it can be a bit nerve racking, but you must have had an adrenaline rush knowing that you were absolutely free to go/eat/stay where you wanted without having to compromise.

may it be the first of many successful solo trips!

Unknown said...

Love the pictures! I have never explored a new city by myself, something to add to my bucket list.

Unknown said...

Looks like you had tons of fun after overcoming the initial fear. Congrats and you look good.

Anonymous said...


Oh! you had a swell time. I love your outfit at the 1976 Summer Olympics stadium. The panda jumper is so cute. ;-)

I've learned that solo travels give one the chance to reflect and truly enjoy those special moments found inside the new experience. Most of my travels have been done solo and I enjoyed my own company immensely doing touristy things.

I once saw a profound quote- "It's never too early to learn to take responsibility for one's one enthusiasm."

xoxo Kellz* said...

great post luv!

Caro * said...

Your photos are amazing ! Lovely post beauty :)

Beauty Follower said...

The city looks amazing!
It is snowing... so strange to see that, since the weather in my city is still very nice!

The White List said...

This looks absolutely amazing! Good on your for travelling solo! :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it,I appreciate it.
Dreaming of traveling solo can really uplift your mind, You can travel solo at these 8 Best places in Himachal Pradesh.