In my younger years, my family always go on road trips at least once per year. I always looked forward to them and did plenty of research, despite the internet search wasn’t as good as 2014. The hours sitting in the car were never boring because of the nature outside the window. I really enjoyed the freedom to be able to stop anywhere we feel worth a second look.
In contrast, I never had a good experience in a group tour due to the enormous shopping stops in the itinerary and the illogical itinerary itself. They are so restricting in terms of where you can stay and for how long.
When I set out to travel on my own last year, many were surprised. I’d love to have a companion too, but there is no one free the same time as I did. Since I’m determined to travel and against tourist agencies, I went on my own. It is inevitable.
Travelling solo means I have to go out there and meet people. After all, nobody can stand not talking to anyone for so long. Every traveller has a story worth sharing. It is such a great way to learn about the world.
I have met other solo travellers along the way and we all can agree that it was very gratifying to have the freedom of a loose itinernary. Let’s be honest, no matter how much research you do, you never know if you will like the place until you are there. I end up enjoying the old city of Ohrid (Macedonia) way more than I expected. So guess what? I stayed longer than I planned.
- Bring an open mind: do not be over skeptical of everything. You might miss out otherwise
- Rest: whether you want to party at night or chill at your hostel, make sure you are well rested. Feeling tired can impair your judgement. You don’t have a friend to knock you into senses at times likes these.
- Passport & wallet are the 2 most important things: keep them with you at all times. Don’t leave them in your backpack. I’d recommend having an anti-theft cross shoulder bag that you don’t take off even when you are sleeping
- Scan your passport and keep it on cloud service such as dropbox in case you ever lose your it and it is easily accessible on any computer
- Pack some pepto bismol and allergy pills: you never know what can happen on the road. Get your over the counter medicine before travelling
- Make new friends at the hostel, they may be your travel partner for a day or two. Or it can extend to a new friendship
- Go at your own pace: the beauty of travelling by yourself is that you have complete freedom. Take some time off to relax. Don’t burn yourself out. I remember people watching at the coffee shop on the shoreline of Fethiye, Turkey. It was a good time to appreciate what I am seeing