How to do solo travel
I regularly travel solo. Not always out of choice, it’s true. It’s at times out of necessity.
Pros and Cons
As you’ve learnt from my video, the main advantages of solo travel that I highlight are independence, freedom to live in the moment, grow as a person and to take a trip that you would have never done if you were to let yourself be held back by a group.
Traveling solo basically allows you to do what you want, when you want and how you want. So basically it’s a license to indulge yourself.
The main downside is losing out on dividing the travel costs amongst a group and you should definitely pay more attention to your safety and planning.
Being on my own gives me an extra incentive to be open to new experiences and new people, especially locals, when traveling. This has opened so many doors.
For example, going surfing and being a guest of honor in the Sicilian town of Carlentini for Easter (I even got to watch a procession from a balcony with the town’s mayor).
And this all happened because I decided to take the last few days of the trip to travel alone (and had been learning the beautiful Italian language as well ).
The view from the balcony of the Easter Sunday pageant in Carlentini, Sicily, Italy
HOW TECHNOLOGY HELPS
With technology (local SIM card), I can remain in constant contact with people from all over the world. I have scores of conversations every day.
This also helps logistically with navigating my way through unfamiliar cities with maps and others apps for cafes/restaurants or to find the city’s monuments.
Moreover, this means that I am never really ‘alone’ thanks to the umbilical cord of my iPhone.
Smartphones and tablets also allow me to share my experiences in real time with friends and family, as well as, my followers on social media.
Now there are also apps for meeting people, some for dating (like Tinder and Happn) and others like CouchSurfing which allows you not just to stay at someone’s place for free but also to meet a local person and perhaps take a tour of the town with them … but be warned!
An article in Business Insider in 2013 claimed that Couchsurfing is the ‘best hookup app ever devised’ and it’s officially not even a dating site. A friend of mine who was a heavy user once quipped to me: “Couchsurfing: they’re already at your place”!
Solo travel doesn’t mean staying alone for long! Here I am at the Festa Pomerana in Pomerode, Brazil
Both solo and group travel have their respective advantages and disadvantages but if you don’t have anyone to travel with then I encourage to go and do it alone rather than holding yourself back waiting on others to come with you.
Alas, all too often that day may never come!
Have you tried solo traveling? Loved it or loathed it? Or are you too scared to try? I’d love to hear about your adventures and experiences. Write them in the comments section below this article!
*Featured image courtesy of Giammetti Foundation