Travelling solo is hard work, terrifying, lonely and so worth it! Sorry I am not going to tell you it is all roses. It is tough and there will be sometimes when you want to throw it all in and go home or shack up with that guy and settle down. I am here to tell you DON’T DO IT!!!!
I started travelling alone in April 2012. I remember the moment so clearly. I was lucky enough that my dad joined me for the first two weeks so I didn’t have to take that flight alone but when he left me in Bangkok I went back to my hotel room and cried for hours. I manned up and went to a bar by myself and ordered a beer. As I sat people watching a girl at the table next to me asked me if I knew a place she could get a new camera. The rest is history. 4 years later that girl flew to Cambodia to spend 2 weeks travelling with me again. The friendships you make as a solo traveller are often stronger than those you leave behind. None of my friends back home have jumped on a plane to explore a new country with me.
After I left Bangkok I went to a teachers conference in Pattaya. I met a couple of girls that completely shaped my time in Thailand and even my current future. We caused trouble, had fun and went on so many random weekend holiday trips over my 6 months in Thailand. I even travelled to Australia with one of them. If it wasn’t for her I have no idea what I would be doing now.
There are days when you get so crippled with homesickness and the craving for normalcy that you don’t leave your bed all day! You just stay exactly where you are and watch Netflix and read books. These are not the days you should call home! All your friends and family will ever say is come home if you want to, some will even offer to book the flight for you! DONT DO IT!! Embrace the day, cry feel sorry for yourself and in the morning get up early and do something you couldn’t have done at home,
People ask me regularly how do you make friends? Well I have actually used the line please will you be my friend!!! It really is that simple. Just start talking to people. When you work in a job and have a routine you forget how many people you pass on a daily basis.
When you travel solo I can’t guarantee you will “find yourself” but you will learn to be comfortable in your own skin. You will love your own company and you will realise you are so much more capable than you thought. When you travel a country in which no one speaks your language and your still alive you will realise you can survive most things!