I remember sitting in my room at my mum’s house scrolling through #Wanderlust on Instagram, watching travel vlogs like Fun For Louis and Hey Nadine on YouTube and spying on my Facebook friends travelling the world. Thinking, why can’t that be me.
Now, I’m a travel blogger. How did that happen?
It all started with the moment when I was fed up of watching other people have these amazing adventures and wanted to do them myself. It really has to hit you hard in order to get the gut to get plans in action. When you stop saying “One day” and start saying “next year/month/week“. Putting a time frame on when the best time will be for you to start your dream adventure.
I was a late travel bloomer. I have anxiety, so I had additional obstacles to face before feeling I was ready to get on a plane alone. If you feel like you’re not ready yet, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be ready. You’ll appreciate the experience a lot more when your not forcing yourself to do something your not ready to do yet.
After my first time travelling alone, I learnt so much about myself and started a bit of an obsession. I love travelling and I like travelling alone but I now know how I like to travel and when.
In 2017, I attempted my Travel Challenge to try and visit a different country every month really taught me a lot. Yes, it was fun but it was expensive too and I was burnt out around half way. I don’t want to travel all the time but I do want to travel as much as I physically and mentally can.
Travelling alone is fun but I know how scary it was to get the courage to do it for the first time. So how do you do it….?
CHOOSING TO TRAVEL ALONE
Why do you want to travel alone? There can be several reasons for this but whatever the reason, let it be your motivation.
You can look at any of these reasons to give you a kick start in the travel game, but each reason will bring you something valuable to take away when you eventually return home or start a new adventure of your own.
FRIENDS ARE ALL SETTLING DOWN
All of my best friends are properly settled. I am the last single girl *violins*. As you get older, you’ll see this more and more. Engagements, Weddings, Babies, repeat….one after the other. This can make you feel really lonely and/or make you want to run away from impending responsibilities.
I’m a bit of both. Yes, I’m annoyed I’ve not found someone yet but I’m not settling for just anyone. Secondly, I’m just not ready for that path just yet. Any comments about my “ticking biological clock” will be instantly removed and blocked!
Going travelling will make you miss your friends a lot but absence will make the heart grow fonder and all that crap. There maybe times of loneliness but remember your friends and family are only a phone call / facetime / facebook message away. Wow how times have changed! I remember having to buy an international calling card to phone home!?
You’ll also make a lot of new friends. I’ve been very lucky to make so many new friends on the road that I still talk to and meet up with today.
You never know…you might meet someone whilst exploring the world. There’s more chance of me meeting someone out on the road than at home which is probably why my family don’t mind me travelling so much.
I’ve met so many people who have quit their jobs to go travelling. There’s loads of different reasons people opt for this. You might be in an awful job which you loath, which makes this an easy choice to leave. A dead end job with no prospects. You might be between jobs or want to do something else but can’t quite make up your mind yet? There’s not right or wrong reason, it’s just your decision if you want to quite your job. It’s your life!
Do you want to quit your job to be a travel vlogger/blogger. FYI, It’s not as easy as you think. I’m still in a full time job and do it on the side. To be a full time traveler, you need to be traveling continuously and uploading AMAZING content typically daily. It’s mentally and physically draining. Don’t think you’ll get loads of sponsors, free press trips after a few weeks/months because that’s very unrealistic. Be prepared to pay for everything out your own pocket for at least a year.
Travelling will give you that time to think about what you want to do next. What you want to do or choosing a different career path completely? Time on the road really gives you a lot of time and space to think.
So corny I know but it’s true. Before I went travelling, I didn’t really know my full potential. I just based it off other peoples perspectives of myself and when I came back, people said I had changed. I didn’t change, I just knew who I was and embracing it more.
By hitting the road, you get a fresh start. Meet new people who don’t know you and have a clean slate. You can be whoever you want to be and think about what you want. What do you want to do and who do you want to be?
Your leaving everything behind. Mentally and physically. Even if your going away for a few days or weeks. It’s amazing how much can change in such a short space of time, even yourself.
Your about to experience a new place, new people, new food, new everything and this can really have an effect on you. It’ll make you see everything differently and can make you have a massive reality check.
You’ll talk about your dreams and ambitions with strangers but then think about how you can actually make them happen. If you’ve managed to travel solo by yourself, you can do anything after that.
When you get home, you’ll remember about these experiences and your attitudes towards certain situations can change. You’ll become a better version of yourself.
DECIDING HOW TO TRAVEL ALONE
Now you’ve decided that you want to go travelling, how do you prepare for it? For some people it’s easy, they just get up and go. For others, you need a bit more planning and preparing. That’s OK too. We’re all different and you need to do things your way, at your pace.
What type of traveler do you think you are? What makes you feel more comfortable or will give you the most excitement? How do you imagine your first travel experience to be like? Do you like things planned, or the unexpected adventure?
TAKING A BACK PACK AND GO
I know a lot of people who saved, saved and saved, then one day just bought a ticket online and left, with only an Instagram photo at the airport to say goodbye. Personally, I could never do this, but I love the idea of it and good on anyone who can or wants to.
Having your whole life in a back pack and setting off into the unknown is exciting. Usually with a one way ticket or open flexi ticket so you don’t know when you’ll be back or where you’ll be going next? Do what you want, go where you want, be who you want. The world really is your oyster.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you can do this. For some people it’s the unknown which scares them. Not knowing what you’ll expect or who you’ll meet or where you’ll be sleeping that night. Your safety is priority over the fun and excitement of it all. There are other options for travellers who think like this so don’t write it off.
SHORT SOLO TRIPS
Maybe one big first adventure isn’t for you. Quitting your job and just leaving for the other side of the world just doesn’t sound doable or logical for you right now? Maybe you like your job, have a house and just want to travel a bit and want to find some more confidence travelling alone. Then short solo trips might be the ticket.
I did quite a few solo trips over the last 2 years and they are a great way to get use to being by yourself in a new situation. Weekend trips away in Europe are cheap, affordable, there’s loads of options available and you can do it an a weekend.
If your Europe based already, then you have tons of different countries to explore right on your door step. With cheap tickets with Ryanair or Easy jet and other low budget carriers who are constantly having sales for your perfect getaway.
Best locations I found for solo travel where Amsterdam, Barcelona and Dublin. Fun, friendly and culturally interesting to explore.
I’m a huge advocate for group travel. Group travel is my favourite type of travel because it suits my personality and anxiety levels.
There are lots of different companies out there with tours all over the world for you to enjoy a great group tour and explore different countries. They have planned itineraries, with included and options activities. Nothing like your standard bucket and spade holidays. These tours are usually action packed so you get your moneys worth.
You’ll have an experienced group tour leaders who know the areas, best places to eat and where not to go. You’ll also be travelling with other like mind people who love to travel. It’s very rare I’ve met anyone on a group tour who I didn’t like and I’ve met some great friends who I still talk to from all over the world.
One of my biggest accomplishments last year was finally going to Morocco which I was previously put off by because I’ve been told it wasn’t a “safe place” for a “solo female“. By travelling in a group tour, I found myself a lot more comfortable, safer and was able to enjoy the experience more with people from various other countries.
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WHERE DID YOU TRAVEL TO ALONE FOR THE FIRST TIME OR WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO FIRST? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.