What I learnt from my #NathanGoesSolo trip to Disney World
Back in May 2017, I made the decision to book something I never thought I would do - a solo trip to Walt Disney World. A solo trip to the other side of the world, where I knew nobody, but yet was so familiar. I didn't take the decision lightly, and was inspired by a couple of awesome bloggers/vloggers - Charlotte Ruff and Zoe from TheBritishLife - who both took solo trips in 2017. I've never traveled solo before; i've either gone with family or as a school/college trip, so this was a completely new ball game for me and I was nervous yet very excited! So, what did my solo trip to Walt Disney World teach me....
I'm happy with my own company
One of my biggest worries about going solo was being lonely and having nobody to talk to. I knew that going to Disney would mean a lot of time standing in queues and waiting for shows, and I knew that i'd be on my own. Although this was indeed the case some of the time, I was rather surprised when other guests would involve me in their conversations, ask me in passing how my day was going and even take time out of their day to have a full-on conversation directly with me - if you were one of the wonderful people who said "hi" and happen to be reading this, THANK YOU! I was also very thankful for bumping into a few 'internet friends' whilst I was out there, people who I watch online and "know" through their videos - it was awesome to meet and hang out with Brittani and Vincent from Early Night Live for example.
Now don't get me wrong, there were times when I was alone, when the only interaction I had was with a cast member at a restaurant, attraction or just roaming around (shoutout to Cast Member Mike who took time out of his day to have a chat with me before the parade one day! Thank you!). Despite the fact that thousands of people surrounded me, having a fun time with their families, I didn't feel lonely once. It did help that I was vlogging the entire trip (shameless plug, sorry not sorry), so I had the camera to talk to, as weird as that sounds.
Taking time to myself will develop me into a better, more rounded person
Something i've struggled with in the past few years is keeping some time for myself, after all self-care is vital for both physical and mental health. I know that personally, I will work on something until its done, even if that means giving up my own time. I found that my solo trip really helped me to relax and spend some time in my happy place - in more ways than one! It was wonderful to be able to do everything at my own pace, not worry about anyone else (in a non-selfish way) and just enjoy myself a bit more.
I can be outside of my comfort zone, and still be okay about it
This is definitely something that came with time - for the first few days I felt super awkward sitting alone (in a restaurant for example), and began wondering what people were thinking and saying about me all alone in Disney, the most magical place on earth. By the middle of my trip, I was more than happy to sit anywhere in the parks on my own and not worry what other people thought.
Another big step for me was vlogging: i've never liked being on camera, i've always preferred being behind it! As you can probably see from my vlogs, I was hesitant to talk to the camera for the first few days until I got a little more comfortable with talking to effectively nobody. It was a strange concept at first, but one I quickly picked up (as you'll see in the upcoming vlogs). I was concerned what others thought of me walking around the parks talking to a camera, and did notice a few strange looks from other guests in the first couple of days. After a few days though I was blinkered to those looks, and instead focused on having a great time and filming anything and everything! (as I soon found out when I realised I had filmed 300GB of footage!!). I really enjoyed vlogging the trip in the end and hope you are enjoying watching them too! I will no doubt be vlogging during my trip this Christmas, and of course on future trips too!
I'd 100% recommend a solo trip to Walt Disney World to any Disney Parks fan, and in fact I am currently pricing up another solo trip for 2019 (Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is calling...). You never know how much you'll enjoy it until you're there - I was apprehensive at first but ended up LOVING every single moment, and returning eager to book another solo trip.
Have you ever taken a solo trip to a Disney Park? I'd love to hear your thoughts on solo travel, and if I have somewhat inspired you to take the leap and book a solo trip, i'd love to know too!