Solo travel is one of my favourite ways to see the world. My first time on my own was scary and intimidating, but also the most incredible journey of self-discovery, new friends, and amazing adventures. Here are the things I wish I knew beforehand.
First time solo travelling? I know the feeling! Excitement, anticipation, sometimes nerves? It’s all part of the fun.
If you’re still a little nervous, these safety tips might help!
Now that I’ve travelled my fair share of solo journeys, I can confidently say that there are a few things I wish I knew before heading off. Here they are.
1) You will doubt yourself.
Solo travel will more often than not put you in an unfamiliar position. You might doubt your abilities to handle a situation or your decisions. I certainly doubted myself, and sometimes, it was a little scary to take the jump and do something, but getting through those moments of doubt were met with so much reward.
2) You will meet people.
And the people you meet will be the most inspirational, incredible people, with the best stories of adventure and mayhem. You’ll spend nights sharing meals with newfound friends, and you’ll even stay in touch with the most special of them.
3) You will probably want to call your mom 129031812 times
Whether food poisoning, homesickness, or just missing your family, you’ll want to call your mother. Trust me on this one.
4) You will have moments that make you question why you were ever nervous about solo travel.
It’s often the nights you spend talking about past travels with newfound friends, the moments spent waiting for the sun to rise, or quiet moments with a cup of tea, that make you look back and realise how great solo travel is.
5) You will get to know yourself better.
Whether that’s a truth you want to acknowledge or not.
6) You might get lonely.
Solo travel is often a mix of hanging out with 10 people and exploring on your own. Sometimes the periods of exploring on your own last days. If you’re especially extroverted, it might be a little tough to adjust to all of the alone time, and you might get lonely. Don’t worry, though, it just makes the time you spend with others that much more rewarding.
7) You will have to learn to trust.
Trust your surroundings, trust the goodness of others, trust the world, trust yourself. You’ll have to open up and trust a whole lot more than you think you will.
8) You will tell a few lies.
I know, I know! Lying is bad! Whether you end up in a sticky situation, just want to get someone off your back, or find yourself in a home trying some very strange food, you’ll end up lying. Of course home cooked mystery meat was delicious…
9) Photos of yourself will not turn out the way you pictured them to.
There are a million photos of me that did not turn out the way I anticipated them to. Backlighting is a thing, as are blurry fingers ruining shots, and cropping disasters.
10) You will either love or hate solo travel- and whatever you choose, it’s okay!
It’s always an adventure.
Got any tips for first-time solo travelers? Let me know in the comments!
Still nervous? Check out my letter to a first time solo traveller, my solo v group travel post, or my post on how to meet people.
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