Are you going to be travelling solo? Good news, this is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding and self-fulfilling experiences of your life. With the proper mindset it can change your life forever.
1. Open your mind
Leave your problems at home. Travelling solo gives you a rare opportunity, and offers you a brief time in life when you can be completely free. Not only will you be free from your everyday responsibilities, but also from trying to meet everybody else’s expectations and playing your social role.
You can go wherever you want and do whatever things your natural rhythm and desires guide you to do. No matter what activities you decide to pursue, you’ll get to do them however and whenever you like. So go ahead and turn off that phone. Forget about whatever worries you have waiting for you at home. Open your eyes and prepare yourself for a journey that will engage your mind and touch your soul!
2. Go with the flow
When you are alone allow yourself to open up and meet new people. Individuals are more likely to attract people alone than with a group or when paired. After making some new friends, it wouldn’t be surprising if they encouraged you to do something spontaneous and unplanned. Just go with it.
Maybe they’ll tell you about some amazing volcano you should climb or even about some nice town that you’ve never heard of but should really check out. If you feel like doing something, don’t be afraid to follow your intuition and just do it. You may not have another chance.
3. Be a traveler, not a tourist
If you are imagining travelling to remote locations like your Indiana Jones or something, exploring new lands that are exotic and unexplored, then I’m sorry to have to disappoint you—most places are much more touristy than you think.
Try your best to get off of the beaten path and meet some “real” people. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to interact with the locals. Wherever you are, I recommend staying with a family and using local transportation—it’s much cheaper and will give you a unique experience.
4. Safety first
Safety and common sense are the keys to successfully travelling solo. Read and do plenty of research before travelling to any destination. The most valuable feedback comes from other travelers on forums and blogs. When you finally get on the road make sure someone from home knows where you are going. Make sure you let them know the address of the place you are staying.
Let someone know every few days how things are going. Make sure you have received all of the proper vaccinations for your destinations. Don’t forget to take some medications, your phone and credit card, so you can be independent. If people are telling you shouldn’t go somewhere or do something, don’t worry about it too much everything will be fine.
5. Expand your comfort zone
When everything is new, it can be overwhelming. Challenge yourself everyday and don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, visit new places, or eat new things that you wouldn’t be able to at home. It’s a good idea to generally avoid things that you could do at home. Avoid restaurants and stores that are available to you at home.
The point of travelling is adventure; so exposing yourself to new things is of paramount importance. Remember, when you are travelling solo nobody knows you, you are free to be exactly who you want to be.
6. Don’t judge
No culture is superior to another. The differences are what make them valuable. Open your mind and leave your assumptions at home. Many people travel, with set ideas about what they expect to see and experience in different countries. Usually people that travel come from wealthier countries.
When they visit new places they feel superior to other cultures. This attitude and behavior is called ethnocentrism, and is the completely wrong attitude to have when travelling anywhere. Observe other cultures without the usual patterns of thinking and clichés you normally fall back on.
Talk to people and listen to whatever they have to say. Sometimes ordinary people have answers to questions you’ve been thinking about your entire life. Everyone has some story to tell. If you’re patient enough to dig a little, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to hear something that will change your way of thinking for a lifetime.
8. Say “Yes” more often
Saying, “Yes” takes you much further than saying “no.” If you don’t know whether or not to do something but have no serious objections – just do it. This advice applies to life in general, but particularly while travelling, when opportunities come up unexpectedly. You’ll only have a short time in most places, so it’s “now or never.”
9. Don’t acquire things, acquire experiences
In most places, even the most underdeveloped ones (or especially those) you’ll be treated as a walking ATM machine. There will be people trying to sell you trips, and all sorts of unnecessary things.
Don’t waste your time collecting plastic souvenirs. Collect experiences—smell, taste, listen, look and touch. That’s the only way you’ll be inspired to change your life forever.