Myth-buster as Asian Female Solo Traveler

It sounds dangerous to travel solo.

Someone got kidnapped, someone got murdered, someone got missing. I believe you are familiar with all these phrases. I am not here to magnifying what you already fear. Compared to 10 years ago, we have so much travel information being shared in daily basis. Study about the place, read what people says about the place from different sources. Always say ‘NO’ firmly when you are not comfortable about certain situation. When I travel solo I walk in the public streets, avoid getting intoxicated and always make acquaintance with my roommates in the hostel also the person who take care of the hostel. You never know, in the critical time, they might be the person who can assist you. When I was in Seoul, South Korea, I left my phone in the cab before while transferring to another hostel, it’s the random hotel manager who assist me to get it back. When I was in Jaipur, India, I lost my internet connectivity, I can’t find my way back to my hostel, it is a random kindness from a local cab driver you explained my situation to another cab driver who is available to fetch me back. When I was in Amsterdam, Netherlands, I lost my luggage, it is the random officer who took me to the place where I can claimed a report and get back my luggage. All these happened and turn out great. I am so so so grateful with all these kind soul. If I never met them, my perception about travel solo will never change and I will not be a better person who I am right now.

It sounds lonely to travel solo.

Are you able to eat your meal by yourself, watch a movie by yourself and go shopping by yourself? I actually enjoyed all above and I do it very often.

Always ask yourself what you want out of a trip. There are people from all walks of life with different priorities. Some people prefer visit historical site, some people love the adrenaline rush from natures- go hiking, surfing, and skydiving. Some people prefer shopping and some just want to do cafe hopping and take a lot of pictures. If you can define what you want from your trip, you will be able to connect with the right people.

What I always do? I book a flight ticket then proceed with checking out hostelworld.com. Always read tonnes of reviews and feedback from other solo traveler. You will learn about the environment and to know if it is something that you are looking for. Chances of meeting new people while traveling solo, is 99.9%. If I travel with my friends, I will just stick along my own group of friends. To be honest, most of the quality friendship I had right now, I met them all back in hostel. They host me in their own countries, invited me to attend their birthday and weddings like a long lost siblings I never had. There are time that I did not make any friends at all, and that is OKAY. Move on, life’s good, just mine our own business.

You got no time? You don’t have to quit your job to travel solo.

It doesn’t need to be months long. I always utilize weekends with public holidays to have the 4 days trip to a week. When you come back from the travel, your life still in once piece. Stop worrying, start doing. Life filled with problems and that is reality. You have to disconnect from your work and travel served as a refresh button for me.  I come back much alive and able to solve my problem much better. If you asked one thing that I never regret in my life would be non other than travel solo. You get to observed more and listen more. It’s rather encouraging to see friends around me to take time off and travel. If you want to travel enough you will make it happened. It is like a survival kind of mindset. Just because there won’t be any consequences if you don’t do it. So you are not doing it.

There are people who told me: you should have asked me to come along your trip, let’s go for a trip and months after they tell you they got commitment, have to work, no off days and they would like to wait for certain things to happen such as money, time and energy in line (like how eclipse happened) only they would do it.  Does it sounds familiar to you? Well, f*ck it, I will go myself. You will never be ready, so stop waiting.

You have to be SINGLE to travel solo.

I met all kind of people while staying in hostel. They all have different background and stories to tell. And they are not only made out of SINGLE people, there are people with partners but not traveling together (different priorities, interest and time availability), there are people who got are going to engage after trip and there are people who have family and own kids. It doesn’t mean they are selfish and running away from their responsibility. Studies show it is totally healthy to give each of your partner space and time to do soul searching or just being themselves (inner child). Strong relationship built from the fundamental of trust, respect and there goes the freedom. To me, I travel to somewhere unfamiliar, talk to people that I just get to know in hostel, listen to their stories and they listen to mine. It’s a magical process and it heals me. Travel solo, you get to choose how you want to spend your time, eat what you want and if you feel like staying in not going anywhere, just do it.

It’s expensive to travel solo.

Three years ago people asked where I got all the money to travel. There are two ways: (1) save more (2) earn more. Let’s start with the first one, SAVE MORE. Life is like a financial management game, you get something by losing something. I cut my hair in hair salon once a year, I didn’t own latest iPhone, I don’t own any luxury branded stuffs, I don’t sign up for gym, I don’t drink Starbucks or Bubble Tea.

Travel solo can rather be budget. Always check out the promo prices for flights, I do my own homework, I travel by myself not joining any tour. I stay in hostel rather than a hotel, as we just need a place to rest. Choose to travel to nearby countries rather than long haul. I choose ‘free’ activities such as walking tour, hiking and taking shuttle bus. You might feel that my travel seems to be dull with all these ‘free’ activities. Well, I do spend as well. I allocate money for travel insurances, skydiving, snorkeling, surfing and local experiences.

Secondly, you can choose to earn more by remote working or side hustling. I will talk more about this in my next articles. Here, I just want to show you. It is possible to be done. Always ask yourself why remote working, why side hustling. You want to travel more, and to have the flexibility in your working time rather than 9-5. If the good is more than the bad one. Please proceed. Invest in one skill, go through the online course. You got nothing to lose and be consistent in acquiring the skill. Be discipline, it takes time to be where we are right now. People only look at the overnight success, and no one cares about the hardwork that you put in years after years. Stop label yourself of this is not you, you can’t do it and be comfortable hiding behind the label. Be bad at something to be good at something.

I am introvert, travel is not my thing.

Hello, I am on of them as well. Do you ever thought of overcoming introvert, be better person than who you are yesterday. We all need friends. Saying things like I am introvert, this is not me, travel is not my thing. You are labeling yourself. There are time that I am intimidated in a big group of people and shy to make the first move talking to people sitting across the hostel dining table. Chances of people talking to you are higher than you think. I still remember the Korean, Stella initiate the conversation with me while we are eyeing, petting on the hostel cat. Since then, we go out visit places together, dine together and chill over beers and talk about life. And this doesn’t only happen once, a roommate of mine from Los Angeles who worked in Disney animation started the conversation talking about having jetlag and missing flights to Phuket. Another one that I met from China, we talked about India until 1am. That conversation happened 2 years ago and after a year I made it to India. How inspiring it is, to move me and I decided to go solo.  The stories goes on and on. All I have is tonnes of good memories.

You should try travel solo at least once in your life. It changes my life in a good way. I hope it does for you.

 

 

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