Michela Shares Her 30+ Years of Solo Travel Experience!
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GAFFL connects solo travelers from with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time with you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

Michela is a +50 Italian woman, who has been travelling alone for the past 35 years.
2nd Mar | 5 min read

Michela is a +50 Italian woman, who has been travelling alone for the past 35 years. 10 years ago she turned her passion into Rocky Travel Blog. As an established travel blogger, her site helps curious solo travellers better plan their trips to Australia and Italy with first-hand tips from an insider. You can also reach out to her Facebook Page, Over 50 Women Travel Solo Group, and you can connect with her on GAFFL.

Why I Travel

I started travelling solo + 30 years ago when I was in my 20's. The main draw was my curiosity for exploring new places. I couldn’t wait for fellow students to join me and started visiting places in the UK, Austria and Germany on my own. I quite enjoyed it and trip after trip, going solo has become my favourite way of travelling for the past 3 and a half decades.

Today I must say that I like to switch from time to time and join a friend or a family member. However, there is nothing that beats the level of freedom and quality of experience that solo travel naturally brings. While in the past the stereotype of being judged as “weird” was quite common, nowadays it is far and wide accepted to venture on a trip on your own. And I can highly recommend it to anyone, no matter what gender, age, it’s never too late to start. BUT, you need to be self-motivated and not see it as something to prove to yourself. Solo travel isn’t for everyone, and if in doubt, start small and see how you go.

I Have Created Long-Lasting Friendships On My Travels

I can tell you that this is one of the perks that we solo travellers get with no effort. As a female solo traveller, you can expect that you get lots of genuine attention and people willing to help you. In my travels I have made countless encounters; some have lasted for a few days or weeks, some have become long-lasting friendships too. But no matter what happens, I have fond memories of all people I meet, and I can tell you that meeting people is one of the most rewarding experiences when travelling alone.

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My Top Solo Travel Destinations

I don’t like to count the number of countries and honestly, I don’t know how many countries I have been to, maybe 40-50 (?). For me countries are like people, I don’t exactly know how many people I have met in person, it makes no difference. There are places where I love to return and also places where I wouldn’t go back. 

My favourite country for solo travel is Australia, where I have been travelling for over 15 years with +24 months on the road, altogether. Malaysia is another country I love, and Italy of course, but that’ another story as Italy is the country where I grew up and currently live. I have been travelling locally since I was a kid, and have seen my country change a lot over the decades, yet It’s difficult to fall out of love with Italy.

How I Choose Where To Travel Next

It depends. Every trip has a different story and it is created differently. I love walking and hiking, so a nature escape with a hike in the nearby Dolomites at home, or wherever else is my top choice. It can be a cultural attraction: I love all kinds of modern art, including street art). It can be a culinary experience: I love Italian food, but also like to try all genuine local food.

I’ve just returned from a trip to Le Marche region in Italy, where my main focus was exploring ancient medieval townships with old castles perched on stunningly beautiful hills and food tastings. When I have my ingredients for my trip, then I let serendipity do the rest. The unexpected is always a surprise that spices the trip up.

I travel as often as I can. Now during COVID, I have only been travelling locally in Italy, between June and July, but I’m pretty sure I will be travelling on full mode soon again. Ideally I prefer short trips of 3-4 days to a maximum of 7 days when I travel locally. When I travel overseas, the length of my trips extends to 1 to 3 months at least. My longest solo trip was in 2015 on 5 months travelling solo around Australia with a 5-day break to Bali.

Some Of My Biggest Challenges To Travelling

While I don’t have any scaring travel moments in my memories, fortunately, I went through challenging moments too. But there is always a silver lining in all challenges and I always welcome them as a gift, an opportunity to learn and grow. And I use the take away to better plan and prepare for future trips. 

Time and money goes hand in hand. I pay for all my travels and now and then I get a sponsorship if I have to review a destination or an event. To have a suitable plan all the time isn’t possible, nor realistic. One of the biggest challenges is flexibility and the skill to quickly adapt to new situations.

Many things don’t work out or work out differently than expected so you need to readjust yourself to the situation and move on. I make sure that I’m well aligned with my purpose, this helps me a lot in all my plans. But challenges arise anyways along your way, so I train to adapt to the worst scenario, keep calm and deal with unexpected situations.

Travel Advice For New Travelers

Work and travel isn’t easy at all and it takes a lot of effort, especially as a newbie. Make sure you have a sustainable plan to start with and pace it to your own skills and strengths. Don’t overdo. I would plan at least the first 3-4 months to make sure you can try out a few months of work & travel experience and see if you like it and how it goes, in the first place. There are endless opportunities for digital nomads out there but living and working on the road isn’t something for everyone.

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    Sheila Ducci
    August 9, 2020 at 11:46 AM

    I love African Safaris. Since I’m 73 I will be looking to book exciting experiences but in comfort. I was in Africa on a trip with other women and I discovered lots of steps