I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience some fear and insecurities about travelling alone.
Solo travel is a skill, and one I’m constantly trying to master, so I get the very best out of my adventures.
I’ve travelled to FOUR countries solo (first one was by accident, my aunties visa was denied), and it’s taught me so much about myself and the world around me. I highly recommend solo travel to everybody – whether you’re 18 or 65, male or female, introvert or extrovert.
All it takes is a leap of faith and confidence!
1) Follow the crowd, not your guide book!
It’s so easy to get caught up trying to follow
a city’s guidebook. However the trick to solo trips is by interacting with the locals, go to the busy places, coffee shop, bars, hostel bar and restaurants. Here is where you will learn more about the culture, it will teach you to interact with with people. In return they will give you a better guidebook to the city, providing the best of the cities do’s and don’ts.
Through this I’ve been able to make friends, with whom I’m still in contact with. All you have to do is show the world you’re open to new connections
2) Get lost, don’t panic. You never know what hidden gems you might find1
After my aunties visa was denied on entry in Turkey, I was very disoriented. Faced with the fact I will be embarking an involuntary solo trip. The car we hired was waiting outside for me to collect, I was going to be alone in the huge 3 bed apartment we booked, the activities and who was going to take pictures?
Aside from all this mayhem, I came across some wonderful things, that I wouldn’t have discovered had I travelled with her. From the deep conversations with locals in restaurants, free drinks on the house for the lonely lady and - fun road trips to Oludeniz where I reloaded Zim dancehall music.
3) Things work out the way they are meant to be
When my aunties was denied entry into Turkey, I kept thinking that things were going wrong. But they really weren’t. All these unplanned events were occurring so that I could have a deeper, more meaningful experience. I got to travel slower, experience both independent and group travel and learn how to problem solve.
4) SAY YES!
Travel will test you, change you, force you to grow. Be open to trying new food, paraglide, Eat a weird-looking food and learn the local language that you’d feel like a foreigner if you ever went back. The advantage of not being with a group is that you’re more likely to say “yes” to whatever serendipitous encounter that comes your way.
I learned so much about myself and came home with a sense of independence, confidence and personal fulfillment. Both my solo trips have been the best three weeks of my life and helped shape me into the woman I am today.
Any solo travel tips that have helped you over the years?