Why I would be terrible at solo travel

On Friday there was a jazz festival in Basel (honestly, in August you can’t set foot in town without finding some kind of event!). Jan had to work late because of a major problem with one of their projects and of the two people we occasionally hang out with here one was on holiday and the other had originally thought about coming but then emailed me to say she was too tired. Unfortunately I didn’t receive the email before I left the house, so I ended up at jazz festival alone. After waiting around for 15 minutes in the hope that acquaintance might still show up, I headed off to look for some music alone. It wasn’t long before I saw this:


With nobody to turn to and remark that there was no mistaking what that stand was selling, I settled for taking a photo for my blog. Unfortunately, I feel like my comment loses something in the retelling…

I wandered around the old town for a while, following the crowds, until I heard some music that I liked the sound of. This band seemed like they weren’t entirely sure whether they wanted to be a jazz band or a rock band:

Unfortunately I never did catch their name. I stood and watched for a while, all alone, surrounded by people drinking beer, chatting with friends and generally having a good time. The music was certainly different to anything I’d ever heard before, but after a while I lost interest and decided to go and find something to eat. A stall selling a kind of Frikadelle (meat patty, but different to a burger) didn’t have much of a queue, so I bought one and munched on it while walking around the old town some more.

In a kind of courtyard, I found more music –  a trio this time (a third person is hidden behind the sculpture thing) and stopped for a listen.


When the second song they played sounded almost exactly like the first, I decided to move on. It was about to get dark by this time and I didn’t have any money for a drink even if I’d felt like standing around by myself with a beer, so I gave up on a the festival and headed back to the tram stop, passing those same beer-shaped balloons on the way.

Somehow, I had much more fun last year when I attended the jazz festival with Jan and some friends who were visiting.

I admire anyone who can get out and do things or go travelling by themselves, but personally I prefer to have some company! Being all alone while everyone else is with their friends quickly gets boring (and I’m not the type who can go up to an established group and strike up a conversation…)

Nothing against the festival though. Em Bebbi sy Jazz is a fantastic event and the old town is the perfect setting for it!


21 thoughts on “Why I would be terrible at solo travel

    1. Yeah, easy for you – terrifying for me. Why do you think I was there alone in the first place? You would never have been in that situation because you’d have had dozens of friends to drag along by now , not just one acquaintance!

      1. Ha, but people can be shit. Late-minute cancellations, disappointments… I guess I’ve never really had a problem doing stuff by myself though. Sometimes it’s nice to just be around people without actually being with them! At least for me, but I think I’m odd at the best of times 🙂

      2. I don’t mind being alone in some circumstances, but at a festival where everyone else is having fun with their friends just reminds me that I have no friends 😉 And I think if I tried travelling alone I’d be okay for the first few hours then get really bored of my own company!

  1. I’m not a solo person either. I like having someone to natter too, but at the same time, I’m not a group person either. I will travel with Kris and that’s it because we get on so well. If I had to go with other people, I think I’d prefer to go alone or not at all.

    I just don’t enjoy being out and about by myself all that much.

    Although, we’re off to the UK in September and Kris has he three days at a conference so I’m hoping to get out by myself then and maybe I’ll feel differently 🙂

    1. I don’t need a big group… one or two other people is enough. I just felt so awkward standing by myself while everyone else had at least one person to talk to! It’s kind of the same feeling I get when I’m walking around somewhere by myself and want to take photos of the sights (or people’s houses!).

  2. I get it, I love travelling alone but your memories aren’t shared with anyone. When you go away with someone else you can talk about your memories over and over!

  3. I’m a bit like you: I think a jazz festival would be better with friends. Sightseeing or shopping are fine by myself (and even the cinema or theatre), and I am happy to go for a walk toute seule…but I can see how you felt a bit adrift (especially as you were let down at the last minute)

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