A free spirit wandering and lusting over spontaneity, highly opinionated about everything , having explored global ends and navigating their way around some of the most unheard of places are laces you can’t tie down to just any shoe .
WHY GOING SOLO?
As daunting as it sounds that could be the best trip you will ever have. Apart from being independent and in control of everything you want and any decision you make Let me bring you in on one or two things about traveling solo and how to triumph over that fear and set you up to planning for your next, before you even wind up your first.
Self-indulgence, control and charge over your triumphs are the pros of wandering solo but with a lot of misgivings on solo travel over time I’d say fear of the unknown is the greatest enemy of roaming alone. Safety, loneliness, stepping out of your comfort zone and expensive single supplements are the main cons of Solo travel.
Solo travel is a skill and having travelled solo most of the time my greatest experience has been knowing how to deal with myself, my wrong decisions, finding my own way and enjoying my own company. In a nutshell Solo travel brings you closer to the universe and yourself as you get to know you, your strengths and weaknesses and how to handle yourself in all situations. Walking confidently down a strange street past some rugged suspicious goons and keeping calm when a stranger makes you so mad.
WHAT YOU NEED
a. Pick a destination
I believe you can go anywhere in the world alone, but the question is can you have maximum fun in that place. What can I do, how many places can I get to visit while there, where can I sleep, eat and how can I move around. All these questions will help you pick a suitable yet fun destination.
b. Budget and save up
Where, When, How and Which will help you decide on everything you want, how much, where , when and how to get it and will enable you to save up for that Bomb trip and trust me when you come back from it you’ll start saving for the next before you even pick a destination.
c. Pack Light
Am yet to do a packing blog post, but whatever happens carry only what I call ‘triple purpose’ and that will be only what you can comfortably put on the overhead compartment in a train, bus or plane and carry for miles without help. Essentials only.
d. Research before Booking.
Book solo friendly accommodation but avoid single supplements (You don’t want to pay extra for not having a partner), join tour groups, check out places with multiple high ratings in terms of good experiences. That way you know what to expect and how to handle it. Choose places that will allow you to meet other tourists and increase your chances of sharing interests with other people.
Meet other travellers and Find your local people in your travel destination. The globe has been made smaller by social media. Connect on your social media platforms; find people you share interests with. You might even get a local tour guide free of charge or a fan club ready to do an activity with you. Couch surfing and Meetup are your best friend on this.
f. Learn Local
Whether you are going to cram those local travel guides or take a few lessons online. Know a few words of the local language, Saying Hello, Saying No Kindly and Thank you are some of your necessities. Know the culture of the place and try to blend in.
HOW TO TRAVEL SOLO
To open up your possibilities and inspiration to go out there see the universe here are some tips:
1. Keep a friend or two in the loop of your itinerary:
Share out where you’ll be and every other detail about your get away. Keep them in touch to enable them get hold of you in case of an emergency (A place with Wi-Fi comes in handy). Have a list of emergency contacts with you including your travel insurance, family and banker.
2.Leave your guidebook in the room and Interact: Meet & engage but stay low-key:
Take more time to Observe people, sit at comfortable counter in a bar, on a window seat in a communal restaurant and watch people walk by, interact with the waiter and just watch locals come in and out and learn how to interact and fit in culture wise. No flashy stuff or attracting much attention to yourself.
3. Have a confident and ready introduction of yourself and show interest:
Put on an approachable friendly smile, know how to confidently say you are visiting town, where you are from, your interests and “yea” you could take up some coffee date, hiking or join in a random walk around town. Don’t forget your identification documents at all times.
4. Get out of your Comfort Zone: Try something new and weird;
You can’t travel miles and just settle for less and your comfort zone. Hop into something new and this could stir up a conversation with someone else already engaging in it. Talk about your experiences and compare notes. Stir up conversations with a simple “Hallo”
5. Create a routine and self-indulge:
Be a regular, relax and Eat at a communal table and sleep in the same place during your trip. That way you are more likely to create friends from strangers you just bump into twice or more. Sit and engage your phone or read, show you are comfortable in your own world and happy and most probably you’ll be friendlier if you keep laughing at your own chats.
Keep everything safe including taking care of you. Health wise be fit, eat in clean places avoid dangerous activities; remember you want fun and not a broken rib alone in a foreign land continents away from home. Trust your instinct and take the next exit when you feel something doesn’t add up. Trust everyone and no one but yourself. Avoid late night drinking beyond your threshold and stick to well-lit streets and open and public spaces even during the day.
7. Take Photos and Revel in it.
Most importantly create as many memories as you can by taking photos and videos and you’ll be surprised at how this can be an ice breaker. Just have fun and indulge fully in everything you decide to do. Post your close circle on your daily day’s activities.
Remember you are the one in charge of what to do, how to do and when to exit. Like am taking the next exit here.