So, I’ve only traveled alone abroad once (although I’ve traveled a bit in the US by myself as well), but I plan on doing it again in a few months. While, I’m a relatively new solo female traveler, I feel like there are a few tips that might inspire you to do the same. It can be an incredibly amazing learning experience.
First, a few tips:
1. Plan (but not too much). Of course, you want to have some sort of a plan; an outline of what places or things you want to see. Especially if you are traveling to another country, you want to have a general idea of where you are going to stay (whether that’s couch surfing, hostels, or friends). But, the great thing about traveling alone, is that you have the freedom to change plans in an instant. You are not dependent on others’ plans.
2. Be completely aware of your surroundings. This is more on the safety side of things. I usually do this regardless on where I am at, but it’s especially important when you are alone. If you know exactly what is going on around you, you can more easily get out of sticky situations if you should find yourself in one. If you feel at all uncomfortable, just simply get yourself out of there. If you are constantly evaluating this, it’s a lot easier to get yourself out at the beginning of a situation that could turn out badly.
3. Talk to people. Don’t be shy. It can be really intimidating to be alone on somewhere that is so foreign to you, but if you choose to step outside that for a minute, you will realize it’s completely freeing. Most of the time, people love sharing their city with you and will give you great tips on what to see and do. But, of course, only talk with those people you feel comfortable (aka not that creeper stroking his moustache gazing at you).
Why traveling alone is so great:
1. Learning about yourself. Being put way outside your comfort zone alone can be a life shaping experience. It’s hard to explain exactly how this happens unless you experience it for yourself. Personally, I have learned to be more independent. I don’t have to always rely on others to make decisions or work through problems. It’s quite freeing.
2. Being selfish. Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not condoning selfishness year-round. One of the great things about a vacation by yourself is that you can be selfish and no one will ever know! You can do exactly what you want and it’s completely wonderful.
3. Meeting people. When you travel alone, you are 83.4% less likely to meet local people (statistic yet to be proven…). When you have a traveling companion, you don’t necessarily feel the need to meet and connect with new people because you already have someone to talk to and be with. One of my favorite things about traveling anywhere is meeting new people and hearing their stories. I am so much more likely to find those stories when I am alone.
These are just a few of the things that I have found about traveling alone and I’m sure there are many more tips and tricks out there, but I wanted to share some that were personal to me.