Solo Traveler Snapshot
- Name: Janice W.
- Age: 65
- Location: Toronto, Canada
- Marital Status: Married
- Favorite Solo Trip: Too many to select just one
Janice W. has been solo traveling for almost 15 years. Personal loss and grown children changed the way she traveled, but not her love for traveling. She now takes this passion and shares it with other female solo travelers.
Solo Traveler Inspiration
TravelAwaits: What inspired you to travel solo?
Janice: After my husband passed away and my children were grown beyond wanting to travel with me, I realized that I would be traveling solo. I have always traveled more than my friends and in ways that don’t interest them. I like hostels. I like hiking. I enjoy time to myself. It was just natural that I would travel solo.
First Solo Trip
TravelAwaits: What was your first solo trip?
Janice: My first solo trip was to Havana, Cuba. I had limited time but I really felt the need to get away to a different culture. Being in the same time zone and only a few hours away by plane, Havana met my needs for an interesting trip uncomplicated by lengthy travel and jet lag. It was fabulous!
Favorite Aspect Of Solo Travel
TravelAwaits: What is your favorite part of traveling solo?
Janice: I love meeting new people and when I travel solo, I meet more people than when I’m with others. I may spend just a few minutes or a few hours with someone. But, on occasion, it’s been a couple of weeks. It all depends on whether I’m interested in them and what they are doing. These people enrich my travels in so many ways.
Favorite Solo Trip
TravelAwaits: What is your favorite solo trip so far and why?
Janice: This is such a difficult question to answer. Best hiking trip was Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Best European trip was Emilia Romagna, Italy. Best road trip was circumnavigating the Adriatic. Best train trip was through the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. Best cultural trip was India. Travel is wonderful in so many ways that it’s impossible to identify one favorite trip.
Biggest Solo Travel Concern
TravelAwaits: What was your biggest concern before your first solo trip and how did you overcome it?
Janice: Being a widow and sensitive to my sons’ need to keep me, it was definitely safety. My number one rule traveling solo is to stay in a public place with new people I meet. This post has just the fundamentals of what people need to be safe.
Group Or Independent Travel
TravelAwaits: Do you travel with a group or independently and why?
Janice: I do both. If a destination is going to be a challenge, I like to at least start in a group. That way I’m introduced to the country. If it’s not challenging, I’m happy to take off and explore by myself.
Favorite Travel Product
TravelAwaits: What is one product you cannot live without on your trips?
Janice: A powerbank for my technology. Other than that and a converter, there is nothing that I buy exclusively for travel.
I Wish I Would Have Joined A Group For This Trip…
TravelAwaits: Is there a solo location/destination that would have been better in a group and why?
Janice: This will depend on the individual’s sense of adventure. However, when you don’t speak the language and the culture is quite different, it’s really a good idea to go in a group rather than independently — at least for the first week or so. You’ll learn how things work and then be in a better position to travel independently if that’s what you want.
Best Advice For Solo Travelers
TravelAwaits: What advice would you give someone who is considering solo travel?
Janice: Definitely go but do your research on the destination first. Study a map so that you have the lay of the land. Plan to arrive early, well before dusk. Have one or perhaps two things planned for your first days, but take it easy. Sit and watch how the destination functions. Do people line up for things or not? How do they dress? This will not only keep you safe but is an interesting cultural experience as well.
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