“Never say NO to a solo adventure”
If you have never solo traveled and are having doubts about doing it……
…..FORGET all the “what ifs” and JUST DO IT!
They say life happens at the end of your comfort zone which I am believer in. I took my first ever solo trip in May 2017. I had already traveled out of the country years before and knew that I could do it but when I booked my ticket I instantly felt waves of anxiety. The mind can take you to dangerous places but any worries I had were completely forgotten while I was there. Here is what traveling solo taught me.
A Life Lesson- There is no better teacher in the world than the world. I have learned to be resourceful because of traveling. I’ve had to find my way around an unfamiliar city by bus, train and feet. I have learned how to use a map, get across town, find places to eat, navigate to my excursions on time, replenish travel supplies and more without internet or assistance. I’ve gotten lost countless times but equally have figured out how to make my way around and back to my hostel. There’s nothing more satisfying than mastering those survival skills!
A Hostel Lesson- Book a hostel with multiple beds. Start a conversation with one or more of your hostel mates. Almost all of my travel friends have been made in a hostel room or lobby area. We’ve stayed connected through WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. I still manage to keep in contact with them and follow their travels.
A Travel Lesson- When you recognize another traveler, Just say “Hi”. You already have travel in common so start a conversation by asking where they are from, how long they are traveling, etc. You can relish in others inspiring stories. I’ve met people who are traveling for months and years, get paid to professionally ski around the world, and are biking all across Europe. It’s such an eye opener.
Perks- Traveling solo means you can wake up whenever you want. Go wherever you want. Eat wherever you want. Sleep whenever you want. You da boss.
I’ve learned to be my own friend and truly be alone. Sat under a tree and read a book. Went alone to a bar. “Yes, I said table for one!”
Tips- Take your own selfies. Perhaps invest in a selfie stick or standing phone holder. You will be forced to get creative with the angles. I’ve used fences, gates, and walls to hold up my phone. If that doesn’t work, ask a stranger. It could lead to a new friend.
Safety- I was constantly asked if I was sure I wanted to go solo. People deem young female travelers as “unsafe” and “unfit” to travel alone. I completely disagree and have never felt unsafe using these basic principles.
- Be cautious, be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.
- Know your limits. You only have yourself to look out for you.
- Check in with a friend or family member daily and send them your itinerary.
- Know exactly where you’re going. Use maps or screenshots of directions.
- Understand the country’s culture and do your best to adapt to it.
- Ask the locals if there are any unsafe area they recommend you avoid.
- Carry only a limited amount of cash on you. Lock up your passport in your room.
Traveling solo was the best gift I ever gave myself. Remember to document your trips, best moments, things you learned, eat and places you explored!