Solo Travel

You might set off solo but you're never really alone

Discover the real you

Solo Travel

One of the things I’ve learnt in life is that if you wait for someone to come with you you’ll miss so many opportunities in life. Time waits for no one, and now neither do I.

Friends think it’s easy

This is one thing that amuses me and if I’m honest I don’t contest when people say how brave and confident I am to travel alone. We, solo travellers probably only admit it to ourselves or a small few that we are scared and find it daunting. Our friends imagine us to be this super cool person that will walk into a hostel filled with unfamiliar faces and different nationalities, full of confidence and travelling swag. I would love to be this person but, most of us are not, but here’s the thing, you don’t have to be. Is it scary checking into a new hostel, into a new room with people who have been friends for ages (2 days in hostel time) yes of course it is. Trust me though by the time you’ve unpacked and gone to the bar for a drink you’ll have spoken to more new people then you would do in a week in normal life. Obviously, this depends on how busy the hostel is or whether you climb onto your top bunk and watch Netflix. You’ll be surprised at how friendly and welcoming people are. When you’re travelling you become a different person, you speak to people you would never normally have spoken to. In everyday life the last thing you want to do is speak to a stranger on a bus or if someone tried to spark up a conversation on the Monday morning commute we’d all be guilty of not being interested. I don’t want to tell you that I had a far too heavy weekend and now I am wondering how I can possibly make it to 5pm! But when you’re travelling it’s completely different, everyone wants to know everyone’s stories of where they’ve been or where they’re going. Most people you meet are friendly and hopefully you’ll become the yes man when you get invited places. Most importantly you’ll become the yes man for the right reasons, for you, not for anyone else.

What do people think?

Don’t care what people think, don’t worry that you’re alone. Purely because no one is looking at you. Too many people worry how they look and need the stability of a friend or companion. Go and sit in a café solo, go to the cinema and watch whatever the hell you want and eat your popcorn all to yourself. Yes, it’s awesome to share things with other people but there’s also something quite empowering to have experienced things alone. To me it’s like saying, this is me, this is what I want to do, and I will do what I want when I want whether you like it or not! In my experience trust me people are jealous of solo travellers. They envy the freedom, the spontaneity and most of all they envy the choice that you have. Solo travellers can change plans in an instance, do whatever the hell they feel like without worrying about what someone else wants to do.

Do you get lonely?

I would say yes and no. At times yes, it would be good to have a friend to talk to or laugh with someone you’ve got things in common with. Or the days when you’re hungover and just want to go for breakfast with a familiar face that you don’t have to make small talk with. However, these feelings are all normal and like anything these moments pass. You’re never short of someone to go for a beer with or people to go on day trips with. If you book a tour or a trek, you’ll meet so many other solo travellers you’ll feel like you are never alone. Hell, at times you’ll make excuses to go off to be with yourself! The old “just got to make a call back home” or “got to be up early for a trek”. Don’t feel guilty about wanting alone time or bailing on the hostel night out because you’ve been drinking since you arrived. You just must know when to put yourself out there and say yes to meet new people. I say it a lot but, be a yes man!
Making friends

It might feel weird trying to make new friends which you probably haven’t done since secondary school or Uni but everyone’s in the same boat. You’re so much more approachable when you’re alone and you’ll meet so many more people through this. I know myself if someone is on their own I’ll gravitate and talk to them but if they’re with a friend I don’t always bother unless they give off a super sociable vibe.
  • Hostels- The easiest way to meet people is obviously staying in hostels, use Hostel world app to find the most popular places so you know they’ll be busy.
  • Walking Tour- Do a free walking tour, this way you can explore a new place and meet a new group of people.
  • Guided tour or trek- if you book an official tour or trek it’s always in a group so you are guaranteed to meet new people. This is how I’ve met some of my best travelling friends.
  • Tinder- It’s an awesome way to meet locals or other travellers. Even if it’s just to practise a foreign language. Be sensible and tell someone if you’re going on a date though. Watch Berlin syndrome and you will for sure!
  • Meetups- This is a fantastic way to meet people that have similar interests. Check out meetups.com and join anything from book clubs, hiking groups to fitness meetups.
  • Have a drink in a bar- Shock horror having a drink on your own in a bar. I’ve got news for you, it’s a thing now. Go and have a drink in a bar and you’ll be surprised who you end up chatting to.
Spinster? Yes. Tragic? No. I see myself more Bridget Jones than crazy man repelling cat lady, mainly because I’m not fond of cats… Solo travel makes you independent and the qualities and people you would once be happy with are no longer adequate. We seek people with aspirations to travel, people with the freedom and passion that we have. Perhaps once we would be happy with a 1-week resort holiday but once you’ve backpacked or gone off the beaten track you want to live and experience the true beauty and culture of a country. Money doesn’t mean anything to me but someone with passion, ambition and excitement about life means a whole lot more. Is he out there? Well I’m not sure, and if not, there’s plenty more solo adventures to be had yet! 
In a nutshell

I find solo travellers a bit strange, intriguing, like they have a story to tell. A reason why they decided suddenly to jet off and leave. I won’t lie it’s not always the case sometimes they’re weird and you instantly know why they’re alone… but often there’s something interesting and more importantly fun about this person. A light-hearted wandering soul in search of something and nothing.  I for one am happy to call myself one of these crazy solo travellers! Normal is boring right? 
For some of us it’s become the norm to travel solo but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier or less daunting. Don’t waste another weekend waiting for people to be free or plan. Grab life by the balls and do what makes you happy. I am a firm believer in putting yourself out there and doing something that scares you. Get out of your comfort zone because as they say, if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.
Solo traveller 
What're you waiting for? If you need any tips and advice email us at freedom@yugenexplore.com 
Yugen Explore