Why in the world would anyone want to go on vacation by themselves?
Vacations are meant to be spent with friends and family, not by yourself.
For a woman, it sounds very unsafe and you’ll be very lonely.
People that travel by themselves are definitely running away from something.
My friends/family bailed on me so I have to cancel my trip.
At some point in our lives, we said these phrases while planning our next vacation. The first time and only time I tried solo traveling is still one of my best trips till date. I discovered I could make friends in a flash (i’m usually shy and never the one to say the first sentence), I did not need a perfect itinerary to explore a destination (asking locals is sometimes better!) and to capture moments all I need are my eyes and my heart. My phone/camera were just secondary tools.
Lola Obamehinti’s description of solo traveling; an amazing journey of self discovery, reflection and exploration is so apt! She’s traveled to a few destinations by herself and she shared with us some myths and facts about traveling solo as a female. Her journey kicked off after a few attempts at coordinating group trips and her first solo trip was to Belgium.
Her journey has not been totally hitch free but she sees it as a part of the process. Her top tip for people afraid to travel alone is “try it at least once and see how you like it because life is too short!”
IN A FEW SENTENCES, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY SOLO TRAVELING IS?
Solo travel is pretty much venturing on trips, either for business or leisure, by yourself. It is ideal for individuals who are naturally independent, spontaneous or adventurous.
WHERE WAS THE FIRST PLACE YOU VISITED SOLO?
My 1st solo trip was to Bruges, Belgium. Before arriving, I researched attractions and sights to create an itinerary. Initially, I was tentative about going to another country alone, however all the Belgians I encountered were willing to help me find my way around town.
FROM NURSING A BREAK UP TO FAILED GROUP TRIPS, SOLO TRAVELING IS OFTEN TRIGGERED BY SOMETHING. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR FIRST SOLO TRIP?
Honestly, I got tired of postponing experiences as I was continually waiting on other people to accompany me on trips. It can be quite exhausting trying to synchronize multiple schedules and budgets so I decided to just start going places by myself.
I would read travel articles and see photos of exotic locations and began to wonder what was preventing me from visiting those places. Then I discussed it with one of my sisters, Layo, who currently lives in Poland. Since she’s in Europe, she has easy access to many countries and has completed many solo trips. She encouraged me to try solo travel and, since my Belgium trip, I’ve been traveling solo ever since.
RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THERE ARE MORE WOMEN TRAVELERS THAN MEN AND BY DEFAULT, MORE SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS. DO YOU THINK THIS IS TRUE AND WHY?
Hmm, probably because of the sense of freedom and independence that comes with solo travel. Personally, I have found solo travel to be liberating and fulfilling. I get a feeling of accomplishment from planning all activities, being carefree and navigating around in a foreign destination.
ON SOLO TRAVELING BEING JUST FOR SINGLES LOOKING TO MINGLE
Haha! It’s interesting you asked this question, because I was just talking to someone about this. Well, first to answer your question, solo travel is for anyone who wants to embark on adventure. I’ve met individuals who are in relationships and, for various reasons, decide to go on solo trips. As a single lady, I’ve found it incredibly effortless to meet eligible bachelors while on solo travels. Men are more likely to approach a woman who’s by herself rather than one who’s in a group. When a woman is in a group, the risk of embarrassment is higher for a man if she rejects him in front of her friends.
In all my travels so far, I’ve gone out on dinner dates however, I’ve left it at that and not taken it farther simply because the main reason I go on solo travels is not to meet men, but to explore and discover new things. I’m not opposed to long distance relationships however I haven’t met anyone that has caused me to change my mind…but then again, who knows what the future holds!
SOLO TRAVELING IS UNSAFE, MYTH OR FACT?
Myth! Obviously, you should take the same precautions while solo traveling that you would when visiting any unfamiliar place as safety should be top priority. For example, don’t draw unnecessary attention by wearing flashy jewelry or counting cash in public and be cautious at night by remaining in well-lit areas.
HOSTELS VS HOTELS VS COUCH SURFING?
As a female solo traveler, I prefer to stay in hotels and hostels. Hostels are perfect for budget travelers – they usually include breakfast and it’s a communal environment that fosters meeting other travelers. Hotels are great when you’re seeking more privacy or want to pamper yourself.
AS A SOLO TRAVELER, YOU MUST HAVE TRIED GROUP TRAVEL AT SOME POINT, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT COMPARED TO TRAVELING ALONE?
Yes, I have traveled with my family and friends. I enjoy spending time with my loved ones and always look forward to our trips. Compared to traveling solo, when you travel in a group you must consider the interests of your travel companions. So, while you have the advantage of strength in numbers compared to traveling alone, you might not get to do some of the activities you want because other people in the group might have other interests.
SHARE WITH US SOME SOLO TRAVELING PROS.
The greatest advantage of solo travel that I discovered was the flexibility it allows to pursue your passions. Sometimes when you are traveling in an organized group or tour, you don’t have as much flexibility to do activities that peak your interest unless everyone else is on board with the idea. Also, when you solo travel you don’t have to wait to coordinate dates with potential travel partners. Prior to solo traveling, I used to wait for someone else to confirm that they could come with me before I booked my ticket. When you travel solo, you can book flights on a whim and even decide to stay a few extra days in a certain place.
HAVE YOU FACED ANY CHALLENGES TRAVELING ALONE?
Oh yes! I’ve experienced many challenges while traveling alone like my luggage broke in Greece, got food poisoning in Hawaii, my feet blistered open in Cuba, and I’ve had numerous flight delays/cancellations. Despite these happenings, I’m thankful for my travels. Keep in mind that sometimes trips don’t go as planned and that’s part of the process so it’s important to be able to quickly adapt to any circumstance.
YOUR BEST SOLO TRAVEL MOMENTS
My best moment on a solo trip was visiting a tobacco farm in Vinales, Cuba and having the locals show me off-the-beaten-path locations in the countryside. Those memories will last with me forever. My worst moments as a solo traveler were all the numerous times that I’ve gotten sick while abroad.
MY NEXT DESTINATION IS…
London, United Kingdom or Hong Kong.
MOST PEOPLE ARE STILL AFRAID OF TRAVELING ALONE, ANY TIPS OR ADVICE FOR THEM?
I would say try it at least once and see how you like it because life is too short! You don’t want to regret not being able to explore the world because you were waiting on someone to go somewhere with you. Traveling solo can be an amazing journey of self-discovery, reflection and exploration.
Ever solo travelled before? We’ll love you to share some helpful tips with our Nomad family.