– by Brendan Reid, Editor –
Please share. It’s good karma 🙂
Traveling alone might seem daunting at first, but it is exceptionally rewarding. By its very nature, the experience puts you outside of your comfort zone, and in these situations we grow the most. Traveling alone is a personal journey that will test your mettle and teach you lessons about yourself and the world that can never be gleaned from textbooks or television. Here are a few tips that will help you get on your feet when you take those first few steps into the unknown.
1. Make a game plan
Pick a place that you have been to in the past, a place that has obscure relatives that you haven’t seen for decades, or somewhere entirely off the beaten path. You can choose to hop between locations, or stay in one place and truly come to understand its nuances. You can choose to get a work permit, or simply explore. Whatever plan you choose, do everything you can to stick to it. This will give you a sense of purpose while on your journey. That being said, don’t be afraid to do something unexpected or go somewhere that wasn’t in the initial script. Some of the best experiences can happen through spontaneity.
It can be tempting to bring outfits for every occasion, a small library of books, and enough toiletries to stock a drugstore. All of these things are fine if you’re staying in a tropical resort for the winter, but for the solo traveler, it is much better to pack light. You can get all you need for your journey in a single hiker’s backpack. I can’t recommend enough that you get one of these. They are remarkably versatile, and many have hip straps that makes carrying them much easier. Bring enough clothes for about a week; it’s incredible how much wear you can get out of a single outfit. One book at a time is always good, as they can constantly be cycled through, and just the necessities for toiletries. Good shoes are essential. The most important thing to keep track of is your passport! Without it you are stranded. Find a safe place for it and never let it leave that spot unless it has to.
3.Don’t stress in the face of adversity
You will face many challenges when traveling alone. You will likely lose some money at some point, become lost, or find yourself in uncomfortable situations. All of these are incredible opportunities to learn and to build your person into something it could never have been if you’d stayed home. The complications of travel become easier to manage as you as you journey progresses, and by the end of it you’ll feel as though you can take on anything, and will become a master of the solo adventure.
4. Just be you
Once you are removed from the places and people you know, your true character is allowed to shine through. There are no longer any filters or expectations, and you can be who you truly choose to be. You will meet countless other travellers and locals on your journey, and each will have a story to tell and something to teach. You will appear the same to them as they are to you, and with the right attitude, a vast network of international friends can be created within a single journey, giving you countless outlets around the world. Get to know somebody well enough, and they could very well become your guide in another country, should you choose to visit. Regardless of what the future holds, modern social media technology makes keeping in touch easier then ever, and even those you connect with briefly can easily reappear later down the road. Traveling is an amazing way to make friends, and by being yourself, you will find people you truly connect with, no matter the culture they are from or language they speak.
Brendan Reid is an avid gamer and music enthusiast. He can often be found hiking through the woods, or looking for reckless adventures to embark on.
Follow Brendan on Twitter @brendanhreid and follow Violet Wave @TheVioletWave