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Tips for traveling solo

Traveling alone is something that many people find daunting. And yet, ultimately, they're often the trips that people tend to remember most fondly: after all, the place where you leave your comfort zone is the place where you experience the most growth. For all those who would like to try it sometime, we have put together some tips to help make your first solo trip a success!

Be alone with yourself

It may sound easy, but how often have you been out all on your own—without music, without Whatsapp etc., really alone with your own thoughts? Most people are hesitant to do this for fear of what (negative?) thoughts might come up. With this in mind, my first tip is to go somewhere with as little distraction as possible (a walk in nature, for example) and get to know yourself. Learn to enjoy being alone with your thoughts and yourself and feeling OK with it. And start doing this long before you think about going on a solo trip.

Rediscover the familiar

You’ve taken the first step and are happy to spend time by yourself? Great! Now try something new in your usual surroundings—grab lunch on your own or head to a bar in the evening. Or try exploring a new area and see where you end up. The idea is to change your usual perspective. You can also plan a solo hike, sign up for an event and meet some new people, or try a new hobby, as long as you're doing it alone. It doesn’t really matter what you do, but the more comfortable you feel doing solo activities like this in familiar surroundings, the easier it will be to do them when you are traveling!

In or out? It’s all down to preference

So, you've finally taken the plunge and headed off on your solo trip—yay! Depending on what type of person you are and what you want to experience on your trip, staying in a hostel or shared accommodation can help you to meet other travellers quickly—it’s usually easier in this type of place than in more anonymous hotels. However, if you prefer to have a quiet safe haven all to yourself, that is also an option; you can always meet new people on an excursion during the day or at a bar in the evening. Don't try to do too many new things at once though, as that can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating.

Research is essential, especially when you’re traveling. What kind of events are available at the moment? Are there any local city tours or day trips that you can join? What bars and restaurants offer the best night life? All of these options offer plenty of potential for getting to know your new surroundings and fellow travelers. And if you have a sporting hobby, you can also check to see where the hangouts for the local community are—what beach is best for surfing, where can you go dancing, are there any climbing walls in the area?

Ask questions … and listen!

When you meet new people, try to be as open as possible. Ask questions and listen to the answers—this will allow you to find out as much as possible about the new people you are meeting and the place you are in. You can also note down some ice-breaker questions in advance, to help get the conversation going. Feel free to google some but here are a couple of ideas to give you some inspiration: What do you do when it’s raining but you still want to go out? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? What is your favourite place in the region? Another piece of good news to finish on is that you will find it much easier to strike up a conversation with people as a solo traveler!

Bonus tip: Take your passion with you

And another final tip: Take something with you that brings you joy and you can carry with you every day, such as a sports item or your camera if your passion is photography. That way, you will have something to give you a feeling of familiarity and fun, even far away from home.

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