Why I Started Solo Traveling
I started traveling solo by accident. Ha! My friend moved to London for work and suggested I visit him. And he suggested that I should also see other parts of Europe while I was there. It was a semi-solo trip as I spent the week on my own and had company on the weekends. So that still counts, right? I continue to travel solo because I remember how much fun I had on my first solo trip. I love the freedom to wherever I want, whenever I want. And because I’ve always been a wanderer at heart, solo traveling feels very natural to me.
I Travel Often
I travel about three-quarters of the year. I like to discover new places, whether they are big cities or small towns. I used to be in design, so I enjoy going to art museums and galleries. And because I like nature, I always try to incorporate a hike or two whenever I can. But ultimately, most of my itinerary involves good food. I guess I would consider myself a foodie!
My Travel Bucket List
I’ve been to over 50 countries so far. I used to be the type of traveler who wants to see all the famous places and big cities. But lately, I’ve enjoyed discovering hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path places.
I have a long list of places I want to visit. I get the most of my ideas from scrolling through Instagram and blogs. And I try to go as long as I can (legally). i.e. the maximum amount of time I am allowed in the country. So it could be a month or a few months. I used to be the type of traveler who has very detailed itineraries. But these days, I like to be more spontaneous. Generally, I have a few places that I really want to visit and just go with the flow.
How I Pack For My Trips
I like to travel light, so I only travel with a carry-on backpack. And I try to keep my bags under 7kg for the strict airline baggage regulations. Some of my must-have travel items include packing cubes, a set of utensils, a water bottle, and a hanging toiletry bag.
Travel Safety Precautions
Safety is the top priority for all solo female travelers. For me, I always practice safety precautions wherever I go. That means I don’t wander around at night alone; I try not to look like I am lost even though I might be. I think the best thing a solo female traveler can do is to have confidence. Even if you don’t feel confident, act like it.
I’ve Met Some Great Friends
The first time I traveled solo to South America, I didn’t speak Spanish (well, I still don’t really), but I got by for almost a month without talking a lot of Spanish. I met many travelers during that trip and ended up traveling with a few of them along the way. I think that’s what happens when you travel - you meet like-minded people and good people. I’m still friends with many of them today.
Favorite Travel Apps
Some of my favorite travel apps include Maps, Agoda, Airbnb, Uber/Gojek/Grab (depending on the country), Translate, and Currency. And I like to read other bloggers’ travel experiences because a lot of time they have fantastic recommendations that you can’t find in guide books.
How I Budget
I like to keep a budget while I travel. But if I have a chance to splurge on a nice hotel, I like to do that too. Generally, I have a daily budget because that is easier to manage. I have a set amount that I want to adhere to each day. It helps when I track my expenses by writing down everything in a spreadsheet. The whole process can be tedious, but it has been a game-changer for me to stay within budget.
Challenges With Traveling
I feel like I’m traveling as much as I can. And I don’t want to travel 100% of the time because, honestly, that is a bit tiring. When I don’t travel, I like to be at home and be with my family. I think having downtime is just as important and being on the road. When I first started traveling solo, the biggest challenge was the unknown and unsure how I would handle the unknown. It can be a crippling thought because you can imagine the worst. But I’ve been quite lucky and only have had good experiences so far.
Advice To New Solo Travelers
If there is a place you’ve always wanted to go to, you should just go! Don’t wait for friends who may wish to come along. Don’t say, “one day I’ll go.” If there is something you want to do, just do it. There is no time better than the present. And you don’t have to be afraid of traveling solo. Start small and something easy. Once you realize how much fun you have, you’ll want to keep traveling on your own.
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