As you have probably guessed by now, I love traveling. I love seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and making memories. Many times I want to visit places, but can't find any friends who want to come along. Thank god that has never stopped me. So here are some tips for you, if you want to solo travel, but need a little encouragement.
|A picture of my gang of friends from my hostel in Barcelona|
So you're going to have to sleep somewhere, why not make it a place that comes with builtin friends? I love hostels. I've stayed in some all over Europe and Asia, and always had an amazing experience. Not necessarily because of the place but the people. I tend to go for dorm rooms because they are cheap and introduce you to a lot of people. If it makes you feel more comfortable you can always stay in the ones that are gender specific, but so far I have never had an issue with mixed dorms. The easiest way I found is to find a hostel with breakfast, and just share your plans at the table and see if anyone wants to join or join some other people's plans. You don't have to make friends for the rest of the trip, it can be for just one day, but they will be friends none the less.
2, Know your limits
Not everybody is going to be ready to venture as deep as others. Maybe you are not comfortable going to another country or continent by your self, that is fine. Start small, go to the next big city and spend some time there. Then the next time goes a little further. Like this, you will slowly build the confidence in yourself and your ability to handle new situations. Maybe you are not comfortable going alone for a couple of months, that's also fine. So on a short vacation for a weekend or a week. See what the whole solo traveling is about and then slowly see if longer trips would be something for you. Solo traveling is great because you can do everything at your own pace, and nobody is there to rush or slow you down.
3, Be open
It's good to go to a place and know a little what you want to see and where you want to go, but many times plans will change and you'll have to adapt. This may be because something got delayed or didn't work out exactly as you planned. But it could also be, because this person you meet in the morning, said that this waterfall or that temple is worth visiting, so you change your plan and go do that. If you have plans that are too fixed, you might miss out on opportunities to see amazing things or just to enjoy the moment.
4, Don't be afraid of loneliness
|Exploring Doha on my own|
Sometimes you will want to do something nobody else wants to join you with or all the people at your hostel have already seen it. Don't let that discourage you from doing it anyway. Go see that museum you wanted, enjoy that restaurant that looked nice, or whatever else you want to. Don't let loneliness stop you. Maybe one evening you will be sitting in your room alone, instead of going out or you will be on the bus alone going to your next destination. Embrace this feeling. Know that by being alone you will learn more about yourself and who you really are.
5, Don't think about it too much
One of the main things that stops people from traveling alone is overthinking. But is it really safe? Do I really want to go there? Maybe I will find someone to come with me if I go next month. Don't do that! You want to go to Morocco for a long weekend? Book a flight, a room and do it. You want to spend 3 months traveling through Latin America? Do it! Don't let fear and overthinking stop you from doing the things you want to. There are so many opportunities I would have missed out on if I didn't just go and travel when I wanted to.
So there you have it. My 5 tips for traveling alone for the first time. If you are looking for destinations for your first solo trip in Europe, here are five great options by All Other Colours. If you have any tips or comments of your own, I would love to read about them in the comments.
Ps. Check out my Instagram for pictures of my travels @lettersfromatravelinggirl