Ah, the beauty of solo travel.
There’s the slow walker and the person who sleeps til’ noon. The one who runs the city at 5 am, and the one who stumbles home at 6. The leader and the follower. And so the list goes. Because we are all different and value different experiences, I don’t believe there are specific rules to travel. Through my experiences, I’ve learned the who, what, when, where and how’s that I prefer. Which brings me to numero uno-
1. Your trip. Your terms.
You can do everything you want and nothing you don’t want at the same time. That little word compromise that accompanies so many of our relationships doesn’t exist when you’re on the road alone. So you wanna take the 36 hour bus trip across the border of Vietnam into Laos? Scuba dive at 6 am with the Filipino turtles? Watch Netflix? Drink a glass, or two, or three of wine? You can have it all…or should I say drink it all?
2. You’re braver than you think.
There’s something about waking up in a new place every few days, eating your meals alone, and navigating an entire city, in a new country whose language consists of an entirely different alphabet… and knowing you did it all alone. Now whats that Winnie The Pooh quote about being braver than you may think?!
3. You get to meet new people.
A personal fave from yours truly. I’ve met people while traveling who I swear I’ve known my whole life. This provides the chance to learn new cultures, languages, and step out beyond your comfort zone. Not to mention, who doesn’t like to meet like-minded individuals who value so many of the same things in life as you?! Oh, and you have an excuse to visit places all of the world. Who knows, you may finally get to take that ski-cation in the Swiss Alps that you’ve always talked about.
4. Save the drama for yo’ mama.
Just being realistic here… spending extended periods of time with the same person is bound to bring up a few tiffs here and there. It can be stressful navigating a city with an average of 17 letters per word (cough, Germany, cough). If you know, you know. Throw a few too many jagerbombs in the mix… and who knows what could happen next. Solo Dolo= No problem-o.
5. Love thy self.
“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.”- Unknown. Not everyday is a walk in the park, especially when you’re on the road. Two days alone can feel like two weeks, especially when you part ways with those new friends I mentioned earlier. Being kind and learning to love yourself is a lesson that will benefit you for life.
Your 10 am bus arrives to pick you up at 1 am, you miss your flight from being on the back of a motor bike for too long, or every hostel in the entire Ho Chi Minh City is booked full. Or best of all, you get ripped off in a cab because you failed to look at the exchange rates. Oh, that $45 dollar cab was supposed to be $6? Yes, I am speaking from experience. If you allow it too, adaptation becomes part of your DNA quick. Three deep breathes, Namaste.
7. Ballin’ on a budget.
A two week trip sailing the Caribbean vs. a year in Southeast Asia. Both amazing. Both very different. When you’re alone it becomes much easier to live within your means and plan accordingly. Cha-Ching!
Thanks for reading! Ta Ta for now.