The Joy Of Travelling Alone
If I had a dollar (or a fiver) for every time I’ve had said to me -
“You’re so brave travelling on your own, I could never do that!” -
I’d be a rich woman!
My answer is always the same -
“There’s nothing brave about it, and why can’t you?”
Let’s get one thing clear – I’m not some big, burly woman that makes children cry and men quake in their boots, I’m not outspoken, overbearing or overly adventurous – qualities that seem to be applied to the female solo traveller.
What I am though is confidant, independent, self-assured, like my own company and see every opportunity as an adventure.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal” is one of my favourite motto’s, and I try and live by that – we only get one chance at this thing called life.
So, here’s my list of ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ for travelling solo:
- Believe in yourself – you got this far in life didn’t you?
- Have a strong desire to see those places you’ve been dreaming of
- Create a ‘Bucket List’ and start crossing it off
- Take little steps if you’re not confidant – a weekend away to start
- Research, research, research! Can’t stress this enough. Loads of good sites on the internet – one I like is Women On The Road – www.womenontheroad.com – not just for backpackers
- Be mindful of the countries you are visiting, and dress appropriately
- Be sensible when out alone at night – just as you would at home
- Ask for help if you need it – you don’t need to be independent all the time
- Learn a few basic local phrases – the locals will love you for it
- Take your sense of humour with you! It’s all about the adventure
- Leave home without your sense of humour!
- Stress the small stuff – unless you’re going to miss a connection, it doesn’t matter if that bus/train/ferry is late, does it?
- Panic if you get lost! Just ask someone for directions
- Look like an obvious tourist – you’ll be a target for pickpockets
- Constantly worry about being pickpocketed – remember the law of attraction – what you put out, you get back!
- Dress for attention – leave the stilletos, gold jewellery, designer label clothes for special nights out
- Worry about eating alone, and be sure to let the waiter know – you may just get special attention. Take a book to browse through
- Pack more than you can comfortably carry/drag along – you are going to be doing a lot of walking between airports/stations/hotels
- Take consumables that are heavy (shampoos, conditioners etc) – unless you are heading to a Third World country, you are going to be able to buy it there! Believe me! Tim Tams excluded
- Complain to locals about how different (better) things are back home – you are a guest in their country and they didn’t invite you
So, if you envy those men and women who gallivant all over the globe alone, remember they had to brave it once too. Oh, and here’s a tip I’d really like to pass on:
Don’t assume these people travel solo because they don’t have anyone to go with and invite yourself along – save both of you the discomfort of them turning down your kind offer and explaining that it’s their choice to travel alone. If they want company, they’ll certainly mention it somewhere in the conversation.
If I had waited for a friend or relative to have the time/holidays/funds to travel with me, I would not have been to anywhere near the places I’ve been.
Nor would I have experienced some of the amazing adventures I’ve had – it really can be a life-changing experience – Going Solo!