Before we begin… I want to let you in on my ‘Top 10 Tips When Travelling Alone’
— ONE —
Don’t, under any circumstance, go anywhere with random men you do not know. Especially if nobody is aware of where you are.
— TWO —
Say YES to ALL the activities, even if the idea scares you.
— THREE —
Learn the basics of the local language.
— FOUR —
You don’t need to do hours + hours of research before going somewhere (I’m 100% NOT a researcher!) – just make sure you know how to get from the airport to where you are staying at the minimum.
— FIVE —
Online travel blogs are the bomb.com. Listen to those who have been to the location you are travelling to! They usually know some secret hot tips.
— SIX —
As soon as you step on your first flight, shake off the fear of talking to people you don’t know. Go over to those who look interesting, take day trips with groups of fellow hostel-goers + listen to the stories of everybody possible! You’ll learn so much + it will make your experience 100% more memorable, I promise.
— SEVEN —
If you have a strong introverted side (as I do), be sure to plan some ‘rest days’ in between your activities. You’ll be much more appreciative when you’re feeling full of energy!
— EIGHT —
Act confident! Even if you’re feeling scared walking through a dangerous street – hold your head high, don’t look directly at anybody + be sure to stay incredibly aware of who’s around you. Channel your inner badass (+ don’t go back to that neighbourhood again!).
— NINE —
ALWAYS. CARRY. SNACKS.
— TEN —
Don’t risk it with (possibly/probably/definitely sketchy) Thai street food before a 10 hour overnight train journey. There’s always a chance you’ll end up with it coming out of both ends in the train’s bathroom/hole in the floor, whilst cockroaches happily run around your feet and up your legs. Not that I know from experience or anything
I have been on the road (solo) for 2 years now + I have never felt so empowered.
- The Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle
- Favela’s of Rio De Janeiro
- Colombia’s Crocodile Infested Rivers
- Hectic Streets of Delhi
- African Safari’s…
I’ve tackled them all + survived to tell the story!
Truth be told – my first one way ticket was in 2015 to Buenos Aires, Argentina… + I ABSOLUTELY SH*T MY PANTS.
I had just been through a horrible break-up, was in the process of selling my house (with said ex boyfriend of 7 years) + honestly… My emotional state was weak.
But you know what they say…
‘The best way to get over someone, is to…. book a solo trip to a hectic South American city when you can’t speak a word of Spanish‘
Distraction at it’s finest.
On the 14 hour flight over, I just sat in silence. Didn’t even watch a movie or read a book.
I couldn’t quite process what I was doing, or what I ‘should be’ doing.
I was clueless + overwhelmed with emotion.
When I finally arrived in the ‘big scary city‘ everybody screamed at me to avoid, the transfer I pre-booked wasn’t there waiting for me.
I had been told to NEVER hail a random taxi in Buenos Aires, due to most of them not being legit.
So can you guess what I did?
Got a taxi.
My phone didn’t work… I couldn’t speak Spanish/nobody could speak English… Seriously, what other option did I have?!
All turned out fine though, thank goodness.
I finally arrived in my first ever hostel dorm room + couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
- Dirty underwear thrown next to my bed
- Hair filled razors all over the sink/shower
- Girls asleep in bed at 4pm with half empty bottles of cheap wine beside their bed + wearing last night’s clothes…
*WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING HERE*
I wanted nothing more than to be at home in my cosy bed, watching Netflix with a good cup of tea.
I dropped my bags + went downstairs (to get the wifi code – first priority, obviously)
As soon as I saw a message from my mum I started BAWLING.
I was smacked straight in the face with the realisation that I had just set off alone on a 4 month travel trip around the world, starting in South America of all places.
It felt like the worst decision of ALL TIME – so I went to the hostel bar because Tequila fixes everything #AmIRight?
As I sat down at the bar (with my tequila on the rocks + tears streaming down my face), a super kind Brazilian guy came over to me to check I was ok.
He told me I had to make the most of my time in this incredible city + go out to the street festivals.
Remember what we said the #1 biggest rule of being a woman alone in an unfamiliar place was?
‘Don’t, under any circumstance, go anywhere with random men you do not know. Especially if nobody is aware of where you are’
Rule Numero Uno.
NUMERO. F**KING. UNO. LYDIA.
So once again, I took the sensible option of walking straight out of the door on to the scary streets of Buenos Aires with a (barely English speaking) Brazilian man I didn’t know.
Great call babes!
This isn’t something I would recommend as we know it can have bad consequences – but (luckily) it was without a doubt the BEST first night I could have asked for.
He genuinely loved the city + wanted me to experience the same feelings.
We danced in the street with locals, ate the most unbelievable street food, saw the city lights at night from afar + belly laughed until I cried again (this time, with pure happiness).
THIS is freedom.
THIS is why I came on a solo trip.
From that point on, I didn’t feel homesick/confused/lonely.
My love for travelling had officially kicked in + I knew it was the start of epic adventures.
For a bit of #RealTalk… travelling, especially backpacking, can be GRUELLING.
- Moving all of your belongings every few nights
- Never really having a ‘home’
- Having to watch your back 24/7 (because nobody else is gonna do it)
might feel EXHAUSTING
One of my hardest moments (mentally) was in China.
Standing in a lonely street at 2am during a tropical storm, alone with just my backpack, nowhere to stay for the night + nobody willing to help me…
It was horrific, i’m not going to lie.
I felt scared/upset/helpless.
But I survived + learned some major lessons.
I’ve made some dumbass moves, I tell ya!
The stories to come out of these situations are always entertaining + 100% make you appreciate the good times so much more.
Knowing I can travel the world by myself makes me feel powerful + unstoppable.
If little Lydia aged 21 (who had ZERO independence + ZERO travel experience) can do it… so can you!
Here are some of my favourite travel quotes, which might just give you that extra push:
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” – Sue Fitzmaurice
“I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.” – Daphne Du Maurier
“Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.” – Lisa St,Aubin De Teran
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively, unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Adventure should be a part of everyone’s life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.” – Holly Morris
“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt
So… WHAT’S STOPPING YOU GIRL?!
I am unbelievably passionate about helping women find their independence.
Travel is such a magical way to do this + a way which I personally have benefited from.
So please please PLEASE reach out to me, or post a forum topic in our We Got You Boo ‘travel‘ section.
There are plenty of travellers on here who would LOVE to give you advice!
Can’t wait to hear about your next solo travel trip, boo.
Heck… I might even meet you there!
(You won’t need to ask me twice…)
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