Not all of us can outdare or even thinking about travelling alone. But sometimes we will find ourselves in a situation in which you really want to go just by yourself. One thing is because you’re single by choice or by chance, or because your travel buddies and friends can’t come with you, while others travel alone for soul searching. Whatever the reasons are, travelling alone can be lonely, boring and terrifying for others.
I like talking and I talk a lot when I’m with somebody; this is something that my friends and co workers can vouch for. So, I couldn’t imagine myself travelling alone. A person who likes a good conversation and always get a load of something to talk about can easily find himself like an outcast when he or she is travelling alone. I was hesitant to do it at first, but then I told myself, how can I do what I like which is travelling if I am worried to go solo? Why would I stop myself from doing what makes me happy just because I’m alone? So I did it for the first time and guess what? I had fun! I eventually held back my worries and now I refused to let my mind come in between me and my desire to wander in a new and exciting way.
With everything getting more and more accessible and affordable, from cheap flights to budget friendly accommodations, many people have started to take a chance in exploring the world alone. Here are some things you can do or try when you start travelling alone and not feel like an outcast.
Always wear your best smile
Yes, because a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. If you smile to people (without looking like a crazy person), chances are other travellers will start approaching you because a smile is the best language of kindness. Things like this happen when you’re waiting at the airport, sitting on a train, eating at a restaurant or drinking in a bar. Try to smile to someone sitting next to you and don’t be shy to initiate a conversation. If you think they will ignore you, smile and try to talk to them anyway. Small talk is a way to pass time and you’ll never know if that person that you start talking to will become your friend or maybe even more.
On the other hand, always consider your safety as well. Be mindful of your surroundings and observe who you are talking to. Be cautious about the information you give away. While it’s a good thing to talk about what you’re doing, try not to give too much personal information. Follow your instinct and as long as you think you’re safe, a conversation with a total stranger can be a good thing.
Chatting up with locals is the best when travelling alone
This is what I like to do when travelling. I like talking to the locals. It’s not just you get to know more about the place, but talking to locals gives you the feeling that you are welcome in that place. Most of them will talk about the positive aspects of their home town and this is what you like to hear. Locals are the first people who can provide you with the best recommendations around the area. Sometimes, they can even use their connections for you to get discounts in some tourist attractions. When you mingle with the locals, you’ll get to experience their traditions and customs.
Speaking about locals, 5 years ago, we met an amazing couple who live and own a resort in Camiguin in the Southern Philippines. They are very accommodating and since then, we keep coming back to their place every year to spend our Christmas break and it became one of my favourite places. Being friends with the locals can be rewarding in so many ways.
Sign up for group tours
If you’re travelling alone, it can be a good idea to sign up for group tours. These pre-arranged tours are usually well organized. There are many travelling agencies that arrange group tours in different travel destinations and most of the time; they can squeeze you in with other groups of travellers. Nearly all of these group tours are usually composed of 12-25 individuals from different walks of life. When you travel with other groups, you won’t feel lonely at all. This is a good opportunity for you to start a conversation and meet new people.
It can also be expensive travelling alone, as you don’t have anyone to share your expenses with. If you can find yourself a group tour, this could be the perfect way to not only gain travel companion or possibly new friends, but ensures that you can save money from not getting a guide just for yourself.
Take advantage of technologies
Take part in the rising online travel community. Many people are starting to embrace their inner wanderlust and online travel community is continuing to grow. In these online travel communities, you’ll meet people who’re into mountaineering, beach hopping and other adventure junkies who arrange trips with budget-friendly itineraries. They are mostly considerate and ready to take you in.
There are readily available travel apps that you can also download and use. You can take advantage of these cool technologies; you’ll get to meet many travellers who can help you with your questions. These apps can also help you to meet other locals who are willing to give you a tour, hang out with you and even let you stay for free at their home in the city, province or country that you’re visiting. Some of them organize parties, get together and other activities that you can enjoy while travelling alone. You can also start your own get together according to your preference and invite people to meet you up in one place where you can hang out with other travellers and locals for coffee, food tripping and booze.
Meet up with someone you know or someone who knows someone you know!
It sounds complicated, but to simplify if you know someone from the area, why not ask them to hang out with you. Tell them in advance that you’re visiting so they can prepare and make time for you. If you don’t know anyone at your travel destination, you can ask your friends and relatives if they know someone who can spend time with you while travelling alone. Easy, right?
Level up your experiences
If you’re not into meeting people and prefer to be alone in your entire trip, why not try the things you haven’t done and level up your experiences. Go zip lining across the mountains or maybe bungee jumping! If you know how to drive a motorbike, rent one and stroll around the area just by yourself. Attend a local art show, visit the museums or go see a live band perform. Try out new food and post something about it on Instagram or go souvenir shopping! Shopping is never boring.
Always get the basic idea of what the destination is like, where you can eat or shop and what other things you can do around the area. Having a plan and information about your travel destination before you get there will ensure that you are not a fish out of water when you arrive.
The best part of travelling alone is that you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want as you please. Don’t think about the loneliness! If you’re contemplating about travelling alone then do it. Stop worrying about travelling alone that you miss out to enjoy the experience. Don’t be afraid to take chances and start your adventure! Going solo can also help you appreciate more of what a travel destination has to offer. If done properly, travelling alone can be one of the most gratifying experiences that you’ll ever have.
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