I've done a lot of travelling by myself and the main thing I learned was that I would have died or got lost if I had to do it before modern technology.
I am hopeless at navigating or eating anywhere without googling, "Is this place yum?" I've learned that's a pretty dangerous place to be, especially if you have to do without it.
I spent three weeks in Los Angeles last year and literally, the moment I walked into LAX airport, my entire bank's computer systems shut down. Classic. Of course, because I'm a modern woman, I didn't carry cash, Uber was a no-go because it was linked to my card, so I just walked around aimlessly texting Mum "HELP" at 10-minute intervals until she finally replied and gave me her credit card details. Sorted! I still use it for expensive purchases now and hope she doesn't notice - perfect outcome.
It was a pretty awesome trip and, while travelling by yourself can be isolating at times, you can still do all the fun stuff. I went to Disneyland by myself for three days and still really enjoyed it. I could do all the rides I wanted to do without consulting another person. The only lowlight was that a lady screamed at me for taking her spot in front of the fireworks. She said very loudly, "There's a reason I have a family and you're by yourself." Truly the happiest place on Earth.
The other thing I learned is that sports are a good way to bring people together. It's sometimes hard to meet people and talk to them in a foreign land but asking "who are you rooting for" is an easy conversation starter. I was in LA during the NBA play-offs last year and made some friends by yelling at the TV at various bars. At least I think they were my friends, they might have just been worried for my mental health. The good thing is that Kiwis seem to be outliers in having conversations with strangers. You might be surprised by how friendly people across the world can be. (Excluding the Disneyland lady.)
Also, don't go on a blind date on the other side of the world. I'm not elaborating on that one.
Mel Bracewell will be one of the comedians joining P&O Cruises for its annual comedy fest at sea, The Kiwi Big Laugh on Pacific Aria, departing Auckland on September 4, 2020. For more information and to book, visit pocruises.co.nz