Solo travel isn’t for everybody. Picking up, packing and taking yourself off for an adventure alone is both exhilarating and daunting. One woman’s idea of complete freedom can be another’s idea of solitary hell. Yet, just like travelling with friends or family, or a bunch of people you just met on an organised trip, it has its perks and pitfalls.
Solo Travel Discovery
The highlights? Well, the flexibility of course. That, and simply going where you want, when you want, and opening up unexpected opportunities for you as well. Who knows where an invitation to go on an adventure with a new friend might take you, or how a much needed ‘dialling down the pace’ might feel if you’ve been on the road for months?
Taking your time and stopping by the roadside rather than rushing on to the next place could mean the discovery of the most delicious morsel of street food you’ve ever tasted, or a tip from a fellow traveller could give you the chance to see sites you could never have dreamed of. Who knows?
Rocking up and ‘rolling with it’ is an exciting way to travel, but going it alone – especially for the first time – can be a little scary. We’re here with the lowdown on this increasingly popular way to globe trot, and how to make the world a welcoming place when you’re doing it on your own.
The destination has been decided, and you’re all revved up to go it alone. Now, to organise. Argh! Fear not. There’s an app for everything these days, and with Skyscanner and Uber at your fingertips, the essentials can be booked in a matter of minutes.
Where to hang out and the best places to eat calls for more localised knowledge, however. Awesome communities – GoWonder for women or NYC the Place to Be – let you tap into the juicy knowledge that comes from having lived in a place brings, or the brilliant stories from having been there before. Who knows, you might just make a friend to meet up with too?
The world’s a big place, and once you’re on the road, travelling solo can make you feel tiny. The good news is, lots of other people will be moving along the same path as you. Hostels and their organised tours and social sessions are great for meeting people, but if ‘rocking up’ alone isn’t your scene, home sharing is ideal.
Whilst OK for some, not knowing your host might be an issue, so staying with friends and family, or even ‘friends’ of family and friends with myfriendsroom.com allows you to explore freely with the safety net of a friendly face and open door behind you. They know all about those hidden gems too…
Staying with people you know means always having a base, so whilst homesickness can be a factor, knowing you have someone to talk to should you feel the call of home helps hugely. That goes for your follow travellers too. Whether in a ‘home share‘ or a hostel you’ll have people who can relate to your experience in a way the folks back home can’t. It’s always good to talk!
That said, we’re a connected world. Skype, Facebook and Whatsapp means your loved ones are never more than a call (and perhaps a timezone) away. Love, support and reassurance are at your fingertips. Just keep your mobile close.