I traveled alone for the first time and I don’t understand why people recommend it

Cannes ferris wheel selfie
I went to Cannes to cover this year’s film festival. Jacob Sarkisian
  • I recently went on a work trip to this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
  • While the trip was a lot of fun, I found myself wanting to share the experience with someone else.
  • After a year of lockdown and isolation, I don’t want to solo travel.
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I solo travelled for the first time during a recent work trip to this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

While this four-day trip wasn’t the typical travelling-around-a-continent-for-months-on-end experience that many solo travellers undertake to “find themselves,” it did give me a taste of what it would be like to go away by myself. And while some people rave about its benefits, I won’t be heading to the airport by myself again if I can help it.

Cannes Film Festival red carpet photo Jacob
I covered the Cannes Film Festival for Insider. Jacob Sarkisian

After a year in lockdown, it was so good to get out of the country and explore somewhere else

As many will know, working from home for over a year is a drag. So it was great to have the opportunity to get out of my house and go abroad for the first time in 18 months.

Heading out to the airport, catching a flight, and being in a new city in a different country was thrilling – and I’ve missed it so much.

While I didn’t have much time to explore Cannes and the surrounding areas as a tourist – it was a work trip, after all – it was still so much fun and an absolute privilege to be there for four days. Getting tours around prestigious hotels, having dinner in French restaurants, visiting famous luxurious bars, seeing movies at the festival – it was all a treat and something I am very grateful for.

BFire Cannes club sandwich Jacob selfie
It was pretty difficult to eat. Jacob Sarkisian

But after a year of limited social interaction, I wanted to share the experience with someone

My social circle has been vastly limited over the past year and a half due to the pandemic. I’ve not been able to see as many people as often as I previously have and I’ve spent the majority of the past 18 months inside my house communicating via Zoom.

So, while Cannes was great, I found myself wishing I had someone with me while I was there to share my experiences with. I’m more than happy going to the cinema by myself or eating in a restaurant by myself but after this past year, I would have loved to do these things with someone else – to talk to over dinner, to talk about the movies I’d just seen with, to walk around Cannes with.

While the festival was full of other journalists covering the event, the social distancing guidelines and mask-wearing made starting a conversation with anyone pretty difficult.

Cannes red carpet selfie Jacob
I climbed the Cannes red carpet. Jacob Sarkisian

Going forward, I want to share these experiences with close ones instead of going it alone

I was very busy while working the festival and didn’t have much time where I wasn’t doing something. However, in the times where I was alone, I wanted to talk about my experiences, so I FaceTimed my boyfriend and friends – the very things I’d be doing the entirety of lockdown. I wanted that physical company of a companion to undergo the adventure with. Having a friend or a colleague with me would have made the trip a lot more fun.

A lot of solo travelers tour an entire country or continent by themselves, staying in different places and meeting new people for weeks or months on end.

While I didn’t experience this level of solo travelling on my short trip, it did give me a taste of what it would be like to travel like that alone.

I love traveling, and touring Asia or visiting New Zealand are bucket list items but after this year full of lockdown and isolation, I’ve decided I want to tick these things off with someone else by my side.