I have not travelled alone before…

I’m 25 and I’ve never travelled alone, until now.

I arrived in Perth this afternoon, a five-hour flight from Sydney – which is all the way on the other side of Australia. It’s a common joke that no bands like to tour Perth because it is such a long distance away from all the capital cities on the east coast, and it’s funny that people rarely consider travelling to Perth when they can visit other countries much closer.

If I had to think of a flight that has a tolerable, good duration that I like, it would actually probably be this one. I don’t love long-haul flights at all (I don’t think anybody does). The flight I took earlier this year to San Diego sans stopovers was the longest flight I ever took. I spent a lot of time wondering what to do with the time. Should I sleep the entire flight off or just try to stay awake? It was also very uncomfortable and made me decide that if I ever take a long flight, I am definitely going to take premium economy or business class at least part of the way – I believe the comfort for a long flight is worth the money.

On the other hand, I don’t really like short flights either. I’ve been on a few domestic flights that were only an hour or two. They go by so quick and it feels like you’ve spent most of the time taking off and landing. Even seven-hour flights seem too long…

I think my prime reason for not liking long or short flights is that planes really drain me. I don’t know what it is, but no matter how new or comfortable the plane is, I just feel like I’m in some deep dark solitary room and I literally don’t want to do anything but sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep on take-off – which is exactly what I did this time around. It might be the lack of lighting. In my experience, low lighting always feels a little more relaxing to me. It might also explain why I need to wear sunglasses in the late afternoon even when it’s not that bright anymore.

Making my way over (alone)

As I mentioned, this is my first time travelling alone. It’s kind of scary. Just in the way that it’s a new experience and I have never done this before. Many other people travel in their late teens or early twenties, but this is literally the first time for me. I’ve been without my parents several times, but I’ve always been travelling with someone else.

I organised most of this trip myself, and to go it alone is a little bit rewarding. I don’t think I could travel alone a lot though, because I already feel a little lonely. I had a whole row of four seats to myself because the plane was not full. It was comfortable that way, but before taking off, I felt strange and felt like I should have had someone next to me to chat with. Nick and I have travelled together a fair bit, and we don’t talk through the whole flight, but even once I had settled in to the flight, I slightly dreaded having to make my way out of the airport myself. Eek.

The flight was not bad. As I mentioned, I fell asleep on take-off and we departed a little behind schedule. I was wearing a long-sleeve off-shoulder top and felt cold at first, but I really didn’t want to get my jacket out of my suitcase. It got better and actually felt warmer. I could feel the difference when I went to the toilet and came out and it felt really warm in the cabin.

The duration of the flight was comfortable because I got to have a little nap, there was food so I ate a little bit, and I scrolled through the entertainment system but didn’t feel like watching anything. I spent some time writing a blog post (not this one) the old-fashioned way with a pen and notebook, but my pen kept failing on me and the ink stopped flowing. That was amusing, and now there are big scribbles in my notebook where I was trying to bring the pen back to life.

OK, so why am I in Perth anyways (alone)?

I am in Perth for Mixin Conf! It’s its inaugural year and I am really excited about it. The speakers are well-known and people I adore in the web design and development industry, and the conference is focussed on exactly that. There are many conferences that I have been interested in but they were too focussed on design or development. Mixin is a healthy in-between and has a bit of a cool vibe to it – having been initiated when the community in Perth really wanted a conference on their side of Down Under. Their promotional material is so fun and funky, and they make you feel like a part of the action. Some conferences take themselves too seriously. Mixin doesn’t. 🙂

Although the conference is for only one day, I took the opportunity to stay in Perth over the weekend (my company is only paying for the flights and not for accommodation). I will be meeting up with my friend Kim on Saturday where she has a fun day planned. The forecast says rain, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

What have you found?!

This afternoon I walked around and grabbed some sushi. It was expensive and the driver of the Uber that I caught from the airport this afternoon said that it’s a lot more expensive than over on the east coast. Shame! But the good thing is, unlike Sydney, Perth has free transport in the city. Melbourne has free trams. Sydney is appalling, really.

I really wanted to bring my camera but I couldn’t fit it in my suitcase and I really couldn’t be bothered. My phone captured a few nice shots though.

Perth Skyline over the Swan River
Skyline over the Swan River
Perth Tower
Perth Tower. It looked great in the twilight

Have you ever travelled alone? Do you favour short flights? What do you do on long flights? Share your thoughts!

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Comments on this post

Free transport?? That’s amazing. I imagine that it is better for the environment too, since people are more likely to take it since they don’t have to pay for it. Literally mind blown, haha. I wish we had that here!

And I don’t think that it’s unusual that you haven’t traveled alone before! I’m also the same age as you and I haven’t traveled alone either. New experiences tend to be scary, and I can definitely see how traveling alone offers a different experience then traveling with someone else. I want to travel by myself one day! Preferably overseas. Maybe when I’m older.

The photos you took on your phone look great! I wouldn’t have been able to tell if you hadn’t mentioned it.

I wish free transport was in a lot of major cities! And you’re right, people would be more willing to take it if it was free.

Ah, well I am not the only one! 🙂 It was at first scary but I really enjoyed it, you could start out with a small weekend trip like I did, if you’re not sure yet. I don’t know if I could brave going overseas on my own but you seem pretty keen. 😄

Ahhh Perth! I’ve heard all about it and especially how far away it is compared to New Zealand etc, HAHA. It’s similar to my experience here – this summer my family wanted to travel to California but after the flight experience from Las Vegas a few years ago we can’t be bothered to fly that far away for a short trip (it’s the same amount of time from here to California as London). So we decided to go to Mexico instead! 😛 I think I def enjoyed my flight to Mexico, it was only 4 hours long! I can’t imagine my friend flying all the way from Australia to here – 14 hours to Los Angeles, then another 6 to New York. 😧

The longest I’ve flown was 13 hours to China. I sleep. There’s nothing better than sleeping to pass that time.

I’ve also never traveled alone before because I am scared that I would get lot or wouldn’t know what to do. However I have FLOWN alone before to China and back! It wasn’t too bad except for the part where I’m stuck in the window seat and the two people between me and the freedom of the aisle are sleeping. I became claustrophobic. 😧

Aahh… Traveling alone. Nope I haven’t till date… 23 yrs old and never traveled alone. Without parents yes, but all alone, no, unless you count commuting in local trains alone in this!

I have been in a plane once in my life, 3 yrs back, and it was a short flight, 2 hours I think, and honestly I won’t say I enjoyed it. Maybe Cuz I had nothing to do, not even to read.

Perth has been referenced in some of the Australian dramas I’ve watched, but I never actually knew where it was on the map until now. 😅

One contributing factor of my fear of planes is my hypochondria—which, of course, brings up the multitude of worries revolving around what could happen. I feel like having someone to travel with me would help me to have at least one familiarity, which might help with the sensory input of everything. Ugh. I wish I wasn’t so afraid.

OMG. 😍 LOOK WHAT I DISCOVERED EXISTS: AIRPLANE TRAVEL COMPANIONS. Ugh. So sad. I wonder how other autistic adults travel. I should look into this. :/

Were you not allowed to use electronics (e.g. an iPad), or were you trying to conserve the battery? I’m just wondering if things like that may help to pass the time. Or maybe they actually affect the piloting-related stuffs?

I have been writing my blog posts in a notebook lately. 😅 It’s so old school, but it’s more convenient than always trying to type up blog posts on my phone, because small screen isn’t super writing-friendly.

Mixin sounds like a cool conference! I’ve wanted to go to some conferences in the Dallas area—and even considered one in Austin at one point—but the seriousness of them always turns me off. I also despise how they always work in a drinking party, because I can’t drink more than a little bit…and I can’t step foot in bars, because bars here have out bowls full of peanuts in their shells. But the meet-and-greets/orientations are always in the bars, so it’s like attendees have to go, and…thus I don’t. There’s an awesome food conference in Portland every year I’d love to attend, though…just gotta fly there. 😰😒

I’ve yet to gather the confidence (and the ability) to travel alone. I’d like to work up to the ability, though. It’s just…:/ Ugh.

You can use your iPad to read! Most modern planes have a USB port in your seat, where you can actually charge your devices.

I have a greater tendency to write in my notebook these days. 🙂 I really like it and it is definitely a nice change from typing on a little screen.

Ah man. I dislike when meetups are in bars or in an environment that I am not comfortable with. I don’t like socialising in a bar. It’s just too noisy and there is no way you can have a serious conversation or ‘bond’ properly with people.

It’s already a step that you are working on being able to travel alone. 💖 For some people they just feel like throwing themselves straight in, and making themselves deal with it. You may not be that kind of person but I just thought it’s worth pointing out that some people need a little push to achieve what they want to achieve. 🙂

There’s always a first time for everything! Glad to hear that you liked this flight. I am wondering the same too; I try to sleep but end up getting bored and buying wifi on the plane 😦. There were times when I would fall sleep during takeoff and wake up with a really sore neck @__@. I feel yah!

It’s good that your flight went well. I’m sure you’ll be going on some more flights on your own in the future. Aha, I did the same thing on my last flight where I brainstormed a blog post by pen 😆. Great inspiration can come out of looking out the window 😉.

Have fun at Mixin Conference! From the Tweets I’ve seen, you are making the most out of the experience (especially with them being super accommodating to you). Have fun out there 🙂.

Those pictures from your new iPhone look legit! I love short flights. I have a hard time falling asleep on long flights @__@… I would need some alcohol to help me out 😆.

you’re so lucky! I’d love to travel alone (or with the special someone, of course – that’d be such a cool experience hehe) and traveling is definitely one of my life goals. it’s definitely scary though and i might opt to travel with ze boyfriend instead if there’s a chance (because being alone in a foreign place is definitely gonna give me panic attacks haha)

is it surprising that i actually like plane rides? well, not for hours of course (though i can still deal with 3-5 hours flight) but i like the experience of going to an airport, checking in and entering a plane. my favorite bit is definitely when it’s time for flight attendants to offer food and beverage HAHAHAHA

whoa free plane tickets from the company woohoo! double luck you got there hahaha at least that’s how i see it. i also see your tweets about mixin conf and i can tell you enjoyed the conference. glad you did 😄
to be honest, i never heard of mixin conf before and i’m not really exposed to conferences and whatnot so 😊;;

FREE TRANSPORT!!! wow. that’s amazing. there’s no such thing in indonesia (duh, obviously you’d know 😆)

well, like i have said above, i have never traveled alone. i wish i can accomplish that someday. i also hate short 1-2 hours flights (like, a trip from indonesia to bali; it’s so short!) and i usually sleep, watch movies and listen to music during long flights. the longest flights i have ever been to is probably…around 5 hours which was a trip to china.

I travel alone constantly, and it is definitely less fun than travelling with other people. And I haaaate long flights. I love short flights. The shorter the better. The flight to Qatar from Abu Dhabi is like an hour, which is perfect, haha. (Except that I have no desire to go to Qatar. But I have layovers there often. If you fly Qatar airways, they make you stop there.) The flight from Istanbul to Ercan (the airport in Northern Cyprus) is only like an hour and a half, which is also pretty manageable. (Except that Istanbul was usually a layover to get here, rather than a destination and the Istanbul airport is pretty much the worst. Layovers in general are pretty much the worst too.) I usually sleep as much as possible on planes because it’s the quickest way to pass the time, haha. Planes overall just make me feel gross. Dirty and tired and hungry and bloated and nauseous and headachey. Although the headache is usually from the airport. Airports are lame.

Truly, I wish someone would just invent teleportation already and travel didn’t have to be such an ordeal.

I really hate flying full stop. I get badly travel sick so I can’t sleep, can’t eat and can’t relax. Long haul flights are the worse. I remember travelling short distance for the first time and it was quite novel,but I agree it’s no fun either cos it’s so disjointed (with my family in south Africa , I have travelled long distance much more than short, wierdly) premium economy is nice but far too expensive. 😞 I remember the first time I flew alone – 13 hours to Japan! It really was scary. Even now, although I’m more comfortable alone, it does get a bit lonely… Journeys feel a lot longer it seems when you can’t pass them with someone else. Hope you have fun in Perth with your friend 🙂

I’ve traveled alone and while it’s exciting and scary, I had fun. I’m glad you had fun at your event. The photos are quite beautiful!