Known as a risk-taking, adventure seeking, travel junkie; Kristen from Hopscotch the Globe knows a thing or two when it comes to travel. Having spent the past few years travelling through more than 25 countries, she believes the best education you can give yourself is through travel. She shares her tips for travelling solo and why you shouldn’t be afraid to try it:
For someone who has never travelled alone before, the idea of ‘solo travel’ may seem terrifying. It used to scare me too.
Travelling solo is not as nearly as scary as it may sound. Before I left for my first trip alone, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and the unknown both frightened and intrigued me. I would hear many negative acquisitions from others who have never actually travelled alone, stating that travelling solo is dangerous. However, instead of listening to others, I booked a plane ticket and went after my travel dreams. Now I can say that I have traveled solo for countless months throughout India, Paraguay, Ghana, England and Iceland, and am a better person for it. I am a strong believer that everyone needs his or her own solo adventure in life.
Travelling solo gives you the freedom to travel exactly the way you want to. You don’t have to make decisions based on other people. Whether you are into site seeing or adventure travel, no one is going to be there to stop you from doing all that you please. This can seem very scary for those who have always had other people make their decisions for them. Yet, it is those who depend the most on others that will feel the most liberated. When you don’t have anyone else to make your decisions for you, you learn a lot about what you truly do and do not like. You may not even realize it, but a lot of the decisions you make may actually be the result of other people’s opinions and input. When you travel solo, you get to choose your own path. This is freedom at it’s best!
I must point out that even if you decide to travel solo, you most likely won’t be alone for the majority of the time. There are so many adventurous souls out exploring the world, and you are guaranteed to run into a few of them. The great thing about this is you can share experiences together and then part ways when the time comes without any hard feelings. The most wonderful people I have met in life have been while travelling solo, and even after years of not seeing one another, I feel closer to them then I do to people I see on a daily basis.
If you are worried about your safety, I can tell you that I have never once felt threatened because I was alone. In fact, I feel even more protected when travelling alone.
Locals and other travels see that you are by yourself and want to reach out and help or protect you. I can’t count the number of times that someone has been so generous to offer me food, a ride or a place to stay, but I can count the times I was in danger…zero. As long as you use common sense and follow your intuition, you will be fine. Just because you’re travelling to another country, doesn’t mean you’re entering a danger zone. What can happen to you abroad can happen in your own backyard.
One of the main reasons why people choose to travel alone is because they can’t find someone else who wants to travel with them. It’s hard to believe, I know! However, travel isn’t everyone’s main priority and if you’re like me, you don’t want to wait around until someone changes his or her mind to join you. Why put your dreams on hold? If this sounds like you, but you still don’t feel like you want to travel solo, another great option is to join a group tour. I have been on a few myself and have always had a blast. In fact, some of my best travel memories have been while I was on a tour.
If you want to skip the planning part of a trip, have no one to travel with, yet want to share your experiences with like-minded individuals, a group tour can be your best option. I’ve been to Morocco with Intrepid Travel and Peru with G Adventures, and both have been fantastic trips. The guides for both companies are very knowledgeable and do their best to make your trip unforgettable.
If you are reading this article, debating whether you should take the chance of your first solo trip, stop thinking and book that flight! I guarantee that you won’t forget it.