Travel Tips and Advice
Deciding to go on a solo backpacking trip to Europe a few years ago was the best decision I have ever made.
I learned so much about myself, pushed my limits, and gained a new sense of confidence I didn't have before.
Here's my story, and I hope that after reading this you drop whatever you're doing and plan a solo travel trip.
As a small, 20 something female, I was nervous to go on a solo trip to Europe, especially because it was a three-week trip. It also didn't help that when I told my friends and family about it, they thought that I was crazy: Is that safe? Aren't you nervous about going alone?
But one thing I've learned is to be confident in yourself; don't let others talk you out of goals and aspirations you set for your life. Despite my reservations, I went on the trip and had an amazing time.
I've been on both solo trips and trips with other people. One thing I noticed about solo travel was how much easier it was to meet new people.
When you're traveling with a partner or friend, it can be easy to keep to yourselves. But when you're by yourself, it forces you to meet and interact with other people.
Meeting different people while traveling is truly an amazing experience, and it exposes you to a wealth of perspectives, cultures, and stories. It changes your perspective on life for the better and opens your eyes to possibilities you never even dreamed of. I know so much more about the world and myself from interactions with fellow travelers.
Traveling solo taught me how to travel smarter, both in the sense of being safe and how to do it effectively and stress-free.
As a young female, I'm used to being aware of my surroundings and keeping an eye out for danger. While traveling in different countries isn't any less safe than living in the city in America, I noticed that I was on much higher alert on my trip; I was in an unfamiliar place without cell service and no one to look out for me.
I didn't carry much with me during the day, tried to appear confident in my demeanor and stride, avoided areas that gave me a bad feeling, acted as if I knew where I was going, and researched what areas were unsafe before arriving at my destination. All of these precautions helped keep me safe, and have influenced both how I travel now and how I am in my home city.
Additionally, traveling by myself taught me how to effectively plan out all the necessary logistics. I planned the entire three weeks by myself; plane tickets, how to get from one place to the other, what to pack, where to find bus tickets, how to use the local metro, how to navigate without cell service, booking hostels, and more. After my solo trip, planning my other trips was a breeze; I can do it in my sleep now.
By far, the most valuable thing I gained from my solo travel was a newfound self-confidence and appreciation.
It felt so accomplishing to plan out my trip, go to Europe by myself, and experience the world by myself. I am infinitely more confident after my trip and realized so much about me as a person and what I want from life.
I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't gone on that trip. My solo trip is an experience I will cherish forever and has shaped my life in ways that no other encounter could. I had to rely on only myself for three weeks, and have become more confident and independent than I thought possible.
So get out there and plan a solo trip for yourself; you won't regret it.