Ever since I made the decision to go on a solo trip to Indonesia, people have been asking me questions about the ‘solo traveling’. I will try and give you my perspective and tips on solo travel, based on my experiences in Indonesia. (BTW I did go on solo travels before, so it wasn’t all new to me. But this was my first long, far away trip I did all by myself.).
Didn’t it get lonely?
Honestly, the time you spend by yourself is entirely up to you!
At first, I must admit, there were times where I felt a bit uncomfortable. Arriving in Canggu, hipster town, home to a lot of surfer girls who looked like they had lived there for their entire lives. I felt like a newbie, and my non existing tan gave it away quite quickly 😀 Still getting to know the place I did feel awkward entering a restaurant by myself.
How to meet people?
But I chose my restaurants wisely, and picked those places where I saw other people were eating alone too. And almost évery time I ended up talking to the person sitting next to me. (Also, the ‘entering a restaurant by myself’ didn’t feel awkard AT ALL anymore by the third week. I felt more confident than ever.) If you feel like that’s not the kind of thing you would initiate easily, just stay in hostels. You will meet so many people in a very short time. Whether it is in your dorm room, in the restaurant, in the lobby, it’s just natural to start talking to whoever is in front of you and share your travel experiences. I met some really great people there and I even met with them after I moved to a new location. I even kind of regret not having stayed in hostels more often, cause it’s also MUCH cheaper than staying in resorts.
Off course if you do feel like you need some privacy, it’s better to combine staying in hostels and hotels. Because in a hostel it’s kind of hard to get some alone time. I remember being in the shower like ‘haaa, finally some me-time’ 😀 and even there it was possible that somebody entered. So if your main goal is to meet as many people as possible, stay in hostels, meet people from all over the world, and make connections that feel so real. There’s something about meeting other travellers, I think that’s because they all have so much in common.
Another great tip to meet people on your solo travel is to get to know the locals, cause seriously, isn’t that what travelling is all about? Getting to know how people are living all around the world? A good way to do this, is staying in home-stays, but also taxi-drivers tend to get really talkative! They tend to tell their entire life-story in a 10 minute cab drive!
So no, I did not feel lonely. I was alone from time to time, but that was mostly because I chose to be.
Weren’t you scared? Didn’t you feel unsafe?
Not.at.all. But maybe that’s just me. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t see danger easily. But I think the advice I can give you here is, just use your common sense. Don’t do things on your solo travels that you wouldn’t do at home. If you get a certain unsafe vibe from a neighbourhood, just don’t go walking there on your own at night.
Would it be something I could/should do?
YES! It’s just something you have to experience at least once in your life. YOU get to make all the decisions, this trip is entirely the way you want it to be. You get to do whatever you feel like doing whenever you feel like doing it. I don’t know about you, but that does sound pretty good to me. Off course it also means you are the only one to plan your route, to decide where to stay, to book the flights, the responsibility is all yours. If you feel like you aren’t independent enough to do those things, it might be better not to do it, but I think everyone can. Choose a destination where it’s easy to travel, and where there are a lot of other solo travellers. (Sout-East-Asia is perfect for this!). Traveling alone also means that you have to deal with possible problems and stress by yourself. But by doing this, although it can get hard at times, you learn so much! You will see that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought. You will gain so much confidence, cause yes, you fixed it all by yourself.
Are you convinced yet? 🙂
I hope by reading my tips on solo travel that I have convinced you that it isn’t scary, lonely or unsafe. For me, it’s just the perfect way to step out of my comfort zone, meet so many interesting people in a very short time and embrace being alone from time to time.