I always wanted to see more of the world.
Curiosity, a passion for exploring new things, and simply getting very bored very quickly of the same place were mainly my reasons to travel more.
Life had it that until 2019 I didn’t really see much of the world.
Some logistics like getting visas arranged were a big reason in holding me back.
Feeling I needed someone with me not because I couldn’t manage on my own but to feel that I’m within the confines of the social norm, to dodge the ever nonhelpful question of “how come you’re traveling on your own”, to prevent being seen as an easy target were all probably contributing factors.
Also, the deeply ingrained cultural dos and don’ts – even though I don’t agree with nor oblige to them – might have played a part in it.
It’s one of those multifactorial things that start and snowball and then you get to a point where you reflect back and go hmm wonder why I have been doing it for so long.
I reached a point in my life, where burnout from my job, a toxic relationship got me finally seeing that life is too short and I need to get on with what I always have wanted to do. Travel more and see the world!
I rose above my excuses, spread my wings, and flew away.
I came to a point where I faced the cold hard truth that no one was for granted, nothing was for granted, I take care of myself, my happiness is the most important thing and most importantly I need to live my best life now. Not in five years, not when I get round to doing it, not when and if and but and maybe, not anything else other than looking after my soul and doing it well in the present moment.
I rode on the wave of self-love, women empowerment, and solo travel and got myself out there.
As daunting as it can be, I can tell you with utmost certainty it is ever so rewarding. Traveling is truly good for the soul. Even though now I have the best travel buddy I could imagine having, I would still go and explore places solo.
My solo travel destinations in 2019:
- Camino De Santiago, mostly solo hiking
- Hong Kong
- Chaing Mai
- Kuala Lumper
- Taman Negara
- Cameron Highlands
- Bali, Ubud and Manggis
Non-Solo travel destinations in no particular order:
- UAE, multiple Emirates
- Croatia, Split, and the Islands
- Los Angeles
- San Fransisco
- Yellowstone National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
I am yet to beat that personal record of 18 countries, 36 cities in one year.
I did somewhat dive into the solo female traveler adventure without much research, I took it one day at a time and learned on the go.
Here’s some of what I learned from traveling to see more of the world
– I wandered around mostly on my own but when I could I took day trips which were a great way to meet locals and also other solo travelers.
– I rarely took taxis, unless I have booked through a trusted provider. I walked a lot and used the metro and buses.
– I went on the hop-on-hop-off bus if I was too tired to walk or had too little time in the city just to see as much as I could. If you buy the ticket from the bus stand, always negotiate the price.
– I took cooking classes when I was traveling which is a great way to experience the native food and the culture.
– Facebook groups are a good resource to research destinations, to find travel mates, or simply find someone to have dinner with then go separate ways (or not).
– I read a lot of books to keep me occupied. I love reading and it was a great opportunity to catch up on some of my wishlist items. May I suggest ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Single’ as cheesy as it sounds it was a good read and challenges you to think about societal norms in a different way, ‘ Eat, Pray, Love’ the book not the movie and ‘The Garden of Evening Mists’.
– You need to have your wits and common sense switched on when you travel solo, some countries are safer than others but general rules of don’t walk in a dark alley, don’t hand your personal details to anyone who asks, don’t carry too much cash, etc. apply.
What I would do differently next time:
– Take my books on the Kindle/tablet rather than paperback copies
– Use a fitness app/video series or even a meditation app while on the go to help put more structure to my days. They were very busy days during some of the trips but there are always 30 minutes somewhere that you can spare to focus on your wellbeing and create a morning routine.
– Take fewer clothes. Over the year I definitely refined my packing technique and have matured massively in this area.
– Take more steps to be a sustainable tourist. I did my best but there’s always more that we can do for the environment.
– Travel more!
Seeing more of the world, especially solo is about resetting my body and mind.
I have become more open to new ideas, I have taken on more challenges, willing to take more risks, try new things, speak my mind, know what I want, have a different perspective, and getting better at letting go of old ways, old things, toxic environments, and people.
Solo traveling has been a journey for me in itself, a very enjoyable, well worth taking one. If you have ever thought about it and doubted that you could do it, I urge you to take the plunge and go for it, long or short it doesn’t matter, it will be rewarding.
Nowadays we have more time on our hands and what a better way to spend some of it other than setting out your travel wishlist or you planning your bucket list lifetime trip to give you something to look forward to.
I’m working on my own travel wishlist at the moment so I have a bank of travel ideas ready to go post-pandemic.
Life is too short to be lived in one place … Let’s go!
Did you get some value from this post?
I hope you did because each week I put my heart into making sure you get some good tips so you can rock it in your travels while creating a life you love.