At the end of my trip to Nepal, I was faced with two choices of either going home since I had already been away for 7 weeks or exploring Asia. The first option wasn’t very appealing and the second option was quite daunting. I had never taken an international trip completely by myself before. I had read many articles and blogs about the joys of solo travel but I still wasn’t quite sure I was cut out for it because I am very much an introvert. I thought to myself, will I be bored, I’ll be lonely, will I be safe, etc. Well there was only one way to find out so I headed out to Thailand, Indonesia and I managed a long layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which was the icing on the cake.
I think one of the misconceptions about solo traveling especially for women is the concern for safety. I’m sure depending on where you go, safety is definitely a concern. However, in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia I felt completely safe at all times. There were even times when I was out late at night and I didn’t feel the least bit unsafe. I believe the key is to always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and avoid any areas that appear to be sketchy. I also believe you should take the same precautions you would at home while you’re abroad. So if you wouldn’t normally catch a ride from strangers back home then it might not be wise doing that elsewhere.
One of the things that I loved so much about traveling by myself was pure and simple the fact I was able to do as I pleased without consulting anyone. I didn’t have to ask anyone what they wanted to do nor did I have to wait around for anyone. Nope, everyday I did exactly whatever Brittany wanted to do which was quite liberating. I will say that traveling by yourself does require you to do all of the planning and logistics but I enjoyed that aspect too.
Surprising, there was never a moment where I felt lonely. I also believe that I was able to meet much more people than I would have, if I had been traveling with others. My second day in Thailand, I met two really nice girls in my hostel who invited me out that night. Had I been traveling with someone else, it’s more likely I would not have sought out to meet new people. I also met two really cool guys on the plane to Bali which definitely made my trip even more memorable.
Traveling by yourself will also make you a more confident person. As you learn how to navigate a city that in turn can make you feel more comfortable. It also pushes you out of your box and forces you to ask for help from others if you wind up lost. When I was in Malaysia, I was tempted to solely use a taxi because that was the easy thing to do. I admit I did use the taxi once because one of the attractions I went to was outside of the city. However, after I researched how to get a round with a combination of buses and subways, I was on my way. The feeling I had after I managed to get back to the airport on time by subway was truly indescribable.
Due to not having a travel partner, you find you have much more time to reflect on your experiences. Writing in a journal is much more feasible when you’re traveling by yourself because it’s easier to carve out alone time. When you’re by yourself, you tend to be more aware of your surroundings which can truly enrich the overall travel experience. I remember walking along the beach in Bali just being in complete awe of its beauty, being completely present.
Solo travel as a Woman is AMAZING! GO FOR IT!