The scent of solo travelling is just like durian. It’s either you love it or hate it. There’s no so-so or in between and without a doubt, it leaves you in a dilemma whether to try it or not.
For some, the thought of travelling can suddenly hit you like a bolt of lightning and instantly you want to visit your dream city so badly. You start planning and researching, foreseeing how beautiful this trip will be. Looking for support, you share the itinerary with your pals and ask if they would like to join you on this trip. The replies you get are excuses like “I’ve got no money now, maybe give me some time to save up” or “Heck, I’m not interested in that kind of place” or “No time! I got something on”.
Reality hits, waking you up from your self-made beautiful travel dream and you tell yourself “well, I think I should postpone it and wait for my friends to tag along maybe”. Total discouragement rises up your spine and your spirit lays demoralised as it procrastinates over everything else. I could definitely understand your feeling. I have felt the same way before.
After graduating from college, I wanted to take a break and travel to Moscow, Russia, to visit the all famous Red Square. Imagining myself dancing in the middle of the square recording a fantastically choreographed video, this dream went to the drain when my best friend ‘flies her big kite’ and pulled out in the last minute. I pushed this thought away and for the next few years of my life, I worked and hoped to travel there one day. Hoping doesn’t help in any way because I cannot find anyone to travel with me. And working only kept me busy and pre-occupied with other job related stuff and worries.
Then Barcelona kicked in. This was the moment where I’ve made a firm decision not to wait any longer. I booked my flight and planned my trip. I did not invite any of my friends this time knowing their likely excuses. Taking this first bold step has changed my life tremendously and to date, I have travelled to so many awesome places and the list still continues on!
The freedom of travel is borne within oneself. It is Now or Never. You will never get to travel anywhere if you were to sit around waiting for people to travel with you. You have to create it and decide on it all by yourself. Yes, it is scary and maybe dangerous to travel alone, especially for a single lady. But with the help of the internet today, you can gain a lot of travel tips and information to help you plan smart, travel smart and be safe.
To get started, you can try out a mini trip like a two days one night or three days two nights trip somewhere within a 400km radius from where you are. Then as confidence builds, increase the range gradually and before you know it, you are going places that maybe even your family has not been before! I strongly believe everybody should try this at least once in their lifetime. Solo travelling is not made for everyone but if you never try, you never know.
Solo traveling has not only moulded and strengthened my character, but has also built up my self-confidence, allowing me to see how far my capabilities can stretch and discovering what I can truly achieve by myself. Being independent on the road also means I get to make all the big and small decisions by myself and it helps me think more logically, strategically and efficiently. No one is there to object or disagree with me. I get to do whatever I like, eat whatever I like, party till whatever time I like. I even get to meet other solo travellers along my journey and mingle with different people in my hotels’ lounges, restaurants or bars. Honestly, I never feel lonely when travelling.
With all the excitement from the rural village of Kampong Phluk in Siem Reap to the cobblestoned roads of Lijiang, it’s all about writing your own memorable chapters in life. Experience your life the way you want it to be. Don’t allow others to live your life for you!
To me, solo travel has aided in my personal growth and unleashing my abilities to their fullest potential. What about you? Have you ever thought of travelling solo?