Hello my chocolate dipped biscuits,
Today I want to touch on a topic I’ve had some experience in, and think is important- travelling by yourself & how to be kickass at it. These are some of the things I’ve learnt through my experiences.
Perhaps the most crucial element of travelling by yourself is being prepared. I mean this in terms of; having your itinerary printed, having cash, knowing where you’re going exactly, having people’s numbers, sorting out a sim card in the place you’re going (depending on how long you stay), transportation, etc. From a non logistical standpoint, you should also be prepared to experience some nervousness, homesickness, & anxiety depending on the type of person you are and if you’ve travelled alone before. This is completely normal. Do your best to just roll with it so you can enjoy your time there and get the most out of your trip- you’ll feel at ease once you’re settled in.
Do your research:
If the place you are going has a language barrier, get familiar with some of the common phrases before you go so that you aren’t completely lost. If the country has a certain cultural dress code/cultural norms that you have not experienced before, read about them so you know what to expect. Doing research about the country you’re going to is so important in calming your anxiety and helping you feel more secure in your decision to travel. Also, ask your friends/family/anyone else whose had experiences travelling to that particular country. Sometimes, people we know can give us tips about the nuances in a country that are important to know, but you won’t be able to find online or in a travel guide, so ASK AROUND!
I don’t mean that you befriend the man offering candy at the bus stop at 9 PM- that’s how you get murdered. What I do mean is befriending someone, preferably around your age, who seems friendly and is in a similar position to you. This step requires you to use your intuition, and put any naivety to the side since safety is an essential factor to consider when travelling alone. If you are staying in a hotel/hostel/resort, etc. casually observe where people your age are and what they are doing. This will help you get a general idea of who seems approachable, nice and is safe. If you decide you would like to be friends with that person, say hello in a public setting (breakfast for example) and start up a conversation. Usually, you’ll get a good or bad vibe from a person once you start talking to them. Also, go on a day trip or bus tour if you have that option available to you (just make sure it’s a LEGIT company and tour, again, so you don’t DIE). Day trips are usually an easy way to make friends when abroad, because everyone there is in the same position as you- exploring a new country (just maybe not travelling alone).
It’s good to plan and be on your guard- but you should also know when to just calm down and trust that everything will be okay. Depending on your stay, you might have a schedule/planner on the activities you want to do/ places you want to see. While this usually helps you stay on track, it can sometimes make the trip seem like work because you feel like you HAVE to do that certain thing you have planned. If you have anxiety like me, this can sometimes be the case. However, I cannot stress how important it is to go with the flow (as long as it’s safe!). If you meet a lovely family or couple, etc. and they have asked you to do some other activity with them, don’t immediately shoot them down. You may feel some apprehension , but if you trust your gut ( & logic) it’ll let you know if the situation seems safe or not. If it is safe, go and enjoy something new- often times it’ll be an experience you’ll remember forever.
I truly believe travelling alone is something everyone has to experience in their lifetime. It really allows you to learn so much about yourself and what you are capable of. I especially think it’s important for women to travel alone. Often times we are discouraged for that because it is deemed as strange or unsafe- however with the proper precautions and common sense, it is very doable and enjoyable. You will feel invincible once you conquer travelling alone.
I hope this post was enjoyable & helpful !