We spend so much of our lives marching to the beat of someone else's drum that it's so nice to get away and have some time to ourselves, satisfying our own passions and looking after our own requirements.
Kiara has been running her travel blog, Gallop Around The Globe ('Gallop' is her surname) since October 2013.
When she’s on the road, you can usually find her hiking up mountains, getting lost in the cobblestone streets of her favourite cities, making friends with a furry feline or two, photographing cacti, or grazing on olives and cheese.
At home, when she’s not working on new material for the blog, Kiara enjoys running (she recently completed her first sub-two-hour half marathon), getting lost in a good book, discovering new music, tending to her growing collection of houseplants, learning Spanish (intermittently), and attempting to re-create some of her favourite dishes from around the world, in her own kitchen. You can follow Kiara's adventures on her blog and you can also connect with her on GAFFL!
Why I Solo Travel
I think what initially inspired me to travel alone was the fact that I wanted to have an adventure that was completely outside of my comfort zone.
I prefer solo travel over travelling with a friend or a partner simply because I don't have to consider the needs or preferences of anyone else, I can do what I like on my own schedule. Yes, that may sound selfish and to a degree, it is. But I think we spend so much of our lives marching to the beat of someone else's drum that it's so nice to get away and have some time to ourselves, satisfying our own passions and looking after our own requirements.
On the flip side, I won't bore anyone to death or annoy the hell out of them by spending WAY too long attempting to compose the perfect photograph or waiting for the crowds of people to walk out of my shot 😉
Case in point: I waited almost an hour to capture this shot of Girona’s famous bridge.
I also think that travelling solo really helps you to understand yourself and to grow as a person, and it opens you up to so many more experiences compared to travelling as a couple or in a group. I honestly think that everyone should try solo travel once in their lives!
I've Met Many Incredible, Kind, Fun, & inspiring People On My Travels!
There’s been too many to name here! But the lasting friendships have been those people I met whilst travelling solo.
Two of the most memorable friendships were the Japanese girl who I spent a month travelling through Cambodia with, and the Thai tour guide, who introduced me to the amazing Nan province in northern Thailand and then spent the following week showing me around his hometown, introducing me to his friends and cooking for me at his house.
How I Budget For Solo Trips
One of the main drawbacks of travelling solo is the cost. When you're travelling with friends or a partner, you can split accommodation costs - which is one of the primary expenses on any trip. I kind of feel like I've outgrown dorms now, so when I'm travelling alone, I often find that I've got to pay the entire cost of a double room myself; single rooms (when they are available) are rarely much cheaper.
The only thing I do find I save on is the cost of food and drinks - primarily drinks. If I'm travelling alone, I might have a glass of wine or beer with my meal, but I'm not going to spend all evening in a bar - both for safety reasons and because it's not much fun on your own. I can also quite easily last all day without much sustenance (as long as I've had a fairly decent breakfast), whereas other people I'm travelling with tend to want to stop for lunch and a few drinks along the way.