Are you ready to travel solo ?
You are here because you wonder this question : am I ready to travel solo ?
Believe the answer is : YES !
The main reasons that let you think about this option :
– I want to see the world
– I want to
– I want
– I want to know a new culture/learn a new language
– nobody can come with me
But also the reasons that stop you to consider this option :
– I am scared
– I will be so alone
– It is too dangerous
– My friends and family judge and don’t understand me
Know that every solo traveler has gone through the same questions, whether young or older, beginner or … It is simply human !
So you can make your decision, here are 10 facts to consider when you travel solo, all based on my personal experience.
1. PREPARE TO BE ALONE
Yes, it’s true. Travelling solo, it’s clearly being alone. But there a subtil difference to know … « alone » and « lonely » !
Alone is about being physically on your own, during the journey and maybe some activities.
But lonely is about feeling emotionally on your own … like there was nobody to talk to like friends or family.
And sometimes, you will feel alone and lonely … this is a reality !
2. YOU WILL MEET PEOPLE
Depending on your way of travelling. But if you are solitary, forget this point. For the others, hostels are an excellent way to meet people. Everybody starts easily the conversation and you are no exception because everyone has to play the game. It always starts with a smile or simply « Hello ! » ! You will see, you will make new friends who might share activities with you, eat with you or even travel a while with you !
And sometimes … you wish you are alone !!
3. THE WORLD IS NOT AS DANGEROUS AS WE THINK
After loneliness, danger ! We all have in mind that industrialized countries are super safe rather than under-developped ones are more dangerous. We can’t do anything about it, it is part of our culture and medias. It is wrong !!
Right, there are countries where it is not recommended to go, especially war counrties or civil war. For the rest of the world, same as home.
There are some basic rules so you don’t danger yourself :
– be careful of your surroundings (without being obsessive) and your belongings
– don’t wear expensive jewelry
– don’t show your wealth (super high tech phone, super camera, super nice clothing)
– don’t wander at night alone
Beside all these advises, you cannot be completely safe !
4. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
It cannot be more true … By travelling alone, this is getting out of your comfort zone. But you will have to face some little daily problems, whether it is the language barrier, road/cities issues, getting lost or even price negotiations.
There will be no choice, you will be on your own. You have to think that nobody will be there to help you.
5. LOCAL PEOPLE WANT TO HELP YOU
Ok right, I didn’t travel in every country of the world … yet, but with kindness, people will help you without hesitate. This is a common thing of all my trips I have done. There might be some population that might be less open, less expressive than others but this is part of the country’s culture. #exceptparisianssorrysaidnothing
6. YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A STRANGER
All is said ! With your backpacker style, how not to look like a stranger ? Expect to catch the glimpse of local people, which leads to my basic advises that I said in 3. On top of that, expect to pay more than local people. It is well known. There is local people price … and tourist price in activities, entrance fee or on the markets (negotiate !!!!)
But don’t worry, it is not all the countries. But in Asia or Central/South America, you won’t skip it !
7. PREPARE TO LIVE INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES
Everywhere in the world, you will see beautiful landscapes, extraordinary natural spots, incredible places.. But it is the whole process of travelling that is unforgettable, from transportations, local meetings or just simple things in life.
8. MAPS.ME WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Because using your phone abroad, especially Internet, will be a disaster … I advise you to download a free app : Maps.me !! You will have to download before leaving countries/cities maps and then, you will be able to guide yourself precisely into the city with your phone without needing Internet ! Anyway, I love it !
I thing Google Maps offers this kind of service but I didn’t try it.
9. YOU WILL FIGHT BANK FEES
We all know it, currencies are different. You will have to come through this at some point, withdrawals or payments (if allowed). So, hello bank fees ! And it can get high faster and ruins you trip. 1 or 2 $ here and there is low… but multiply by 20 or 30, it can represent a nice amount.
Nowadays, banks offer international services (in France at least), being well used can save you a lot of money.
There is also new alternatives of online bank such as N26 or Revolut, that promise 0 fee, but I didn’t try it yet.
10. YOU JUST WILL HOPE TO LEAVE AGAIN
If you can handle the previous 9 facts, you will realize that travelling alone is just amazing ! By being free of everything, it will be very hard to travel with somebody else again. Solo travel is freedom ! Once you taste it, you just think about leaving again.
It might not be a way of travel that suits everybody. But everyone CAN solo travel. Anyway, I didn’t think that one day, I might be able to go on the other side of the world and just love that !! Every path is different and yet, not as different as we think …
2011 : first big trip with family in Cambodia and the FEAR of the plane
2012 : start of my travel passion by small week ends in France/Europe (yep… not that much money)
2015 : roadtrip in west america
2016 : flying to New York alone
2017 : in love with South America and meeting solo female traveler during this trip
2018 : solo travel in Latin America
You will get it, solo travel didn’t come to me by a snap. I came through several phases before getting at this point. To be able to manage my fear of the plane was essential to allow myself to explore the world.
If you want it, you can !! Believe in yourself even if everybody else want to discourage you to realize all your projects as crazy as they might be.