Deciding to go on a trip to Dubai, Thailand and Cambodia requires a lot of planning but I was happy that my girlfriend decided to join me on my journey! Unfortunately, a few weeks in to the planning phase, my friend had to cancel and I was faced with a dilemma – “Do I cancel the entire trip or do I go….. Solo?” After contemplating this matter for several days I reached out to a fellow female traveler. I will never forget her most poignant gem of advice to me, “If you keep waiting for someone to go with you to do things, you’ll be waiting forever.” She was absolutely right – it was time to face my fears and do it!
Upon hearing my decision to travel alone, the reception from family and friends were mixed – “That’s so exciting, you’re going to have a great time” and “Wait, why are you going alone? I would never do that.” Initially, the “fear mongering” set of questions made me think that I was in over my head and that I should change my travel plans, but in the end fear didn’t win – courage did! Not only did I go alone, but I had one of THE most amazing experiences of my life. Today, I want to share with you the five reasons why I think that you too should take the leap and consider solo international travel.
Before I jump into my reasons for solo travel, I want to give you some tough love. Will you be nervous and/or afraid – without a doubt! Stepping in to an unknown environment (especially alone) is nerve-wracking, but you shouldn’t be discouraged; you’re probably braver than you give yourself credit for. To help prepare for your solo travels you should:
- Decide where you would like to go – Safety is key; make sure that you thoroughly research the region of the world that you would like to visit. Ask yourself a few questions: is this area female friendly; will I be comfortable; will I be able to use the Internet/phones to communicate with friends/family back home?
- Prepare – Visit your favorite travel blogs (one of my favorites is Wanderlust) or use Google for various tips for solo female travelers. This is important because these tips can be informative, calming, and encouraging; they will put your mind at ease and make you feel capable and confident that you can travel solo and enjoy it.
- Pack – Grab what you think is adequate for your destination of choice (don’t forget your passport and camera) and get ready for the time of your life!
Still unsure if solo travel is for you? Not to worry, I am not done persuading you…
5 Reasons Why You Should Do It:
1. Build Confidence
Once you see that you can successfully navigate in an unfamiliar city/country without anyone by your side, you will feel BAWSE (not boss) and unstoppable! This newfound fearlessness is something that follows you home and stays with you in your everyday life (work, home, in the bedroom, etc.).
2. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Are you one of those women that could never see dining out alone or going to a movie alone or even walking up to a complete stranger to strike up a conversation because of the fear of what others might think? Traveling alone will help you enter in to a whole new zone of comfort.
3. Get to Know Yourself
Who are you? No really – do you even know who you are? I promise you that spending days alone enjoying your own company forces you to scrutinize who you are and give an honest self-assessment. Getting to know oneself is a fun and eye-opening experience. Nothing teaches you more about yourself than stepping outside of your comfort zone in a foreign land.
4. Making New Friends
Traveling alone as a woman is a brave thing and a decision that sparks much conversation. Once fellow travelers (and/or natives) learn that you are traveling alone they ask you what made you do it and the conversation flows from there. During my solo travels to Thailand, I wound up going on an impromptu trip to southern Thailand (not on my itinerary); I had a ball and shared memories with a great woman that I consider to be a very good friend to this day! During your travels, you learn to embrace strangers; you never know how much you may have in common with them and what kind of bonds you may forge.
5. Going at your own Pace
No need to check in with anyone and consider where they’d like to eat or which excursions they’d like to go on. It’s all about you! You can plan an itinerary or throw caution to the wind and simply freestyle your experience. The options are endless because you are in the driver’s seat and control your fun at your leisure.
Solo travel is something that all women should experience because it makes you more well-rounded and it teaches you so much about yourself. I highly recommend it and guarantee that you too will have one of the most amazing experiences of your lifetime.