Does traveling solo intimidate or invigorate you? It can do both. Some of the women we’ve featured in our Solo Traveler Journals didn’t intend on traveling by themselves. Others have enjoyed traveling solo and making friends along the way. No matter their reasons, their adventures, tips, and “must packs” give us all a bird’s eye view of traveling alone.
1. Trip Of A Lifetime
Deborah I. began her solo traveling adventures after a divorce left her with a pre-planned trip to Borneo. She wasn’t about to give it up just because she was by herself.
“The fantastic and rewarding experiences gave me the confidence to continue my solo travels and to really embrace the freedom and enjoyment that it brings.”
From there, she traveled all over the world with her favorite solo trip to Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka is stunningly beautiful, has the most amazing culture and food, the friendliest people, incredible beaches, wonderful wildlife, and is very safe.”
2. Pouting Was Not An Option
Carol S. loved to travel and chose a familiar place for her first trip, Rome. She had been there with friends but wanted to try it out on her own. She stayed there for three months.
“I was so excited about the opportunity to live in a place I love and have so much time to explore the city and other places in Italy that are easily reached by train. That first solo trip to Rome will always be my favorite because it validated that I could make it work and love it.”
Carol is incredibly practical when it comes to her favorite travel items list. She always brings her tablet, plug-in adapters, and the address of the U.S. Embassy. To learn more about getting started as a solo traveler, check out Carol’s Solo Traveler Journal.
3. Me Time
Bridget H. is a big proponent of some TLC for yourself. As a mom and wife, her trips away help rejuvenate her.
“Traveling alone sounds lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do what you want, when you want, and go wherever you want without having to compromise, make decisions, or wait on anyone. If you want to just sit and read a book, take a nap, or watch your favorite movie; you can without interruption!”
Her favorite solo trip was to St. Augustine, Florida.
“The city is steeped with history, beautiful buildings, and delicious restaurants. Bonus: the beach is just across the bridge!”
The one thing Bridget always packs is her pillow. You can read more about Bridget’s travels and advice in her Solo Traveler Journal.
4. Perpetual Solo Travel
Nora’s solo travel started with disappointment, a breakup. However, she turned it into an adventure of a lifetime. Nora used this opportunity to begin her nomadic lifestyle. So when you ask her about her favorite trip, Nora will tell you she’s currently on it. However, there is one South American country that rises to the top.
“Peru stands out because it was a sharp left turn from life as I knew it when I took up an apprenticeship with a shaman for a few years, working with plant medicine. It was a big leap forward in my self-development and personal growth, and a road that I needed to walk alone (solo).”
In addition to your standard travel gear, Nora always travels with her travel extension/surge protector.
“It helps me keep all my devices charged, protected, and handy, regardless of how awkwardly placed or scarce the outlets are.“
Nora also has some thoughts on group travel and advice for getting started in her journal.
5. Favorite Solo Trip
Usah’s first solo trip was as a physician to Norway. This was quite a contrast from her home country, India.
“I remember it was so discombobulating since I had to get used to everything, from buying a new wardrobe for a cold country to changing planes twice on the way and mastering unknown cuisine terms. However, I survived; mostly thanks to being a comfortable English speaker. With each trip, my confidence grew until it just became a routine.”
When asked about her favorite solo travel trip, she didn’t hesitate. Usah loved Vietnam and her reason may surprise you.
“It seemed that southeast Asian cultures respect and care for their older people. It is part of their cultural makeup. As a solo older woman traveler, I could sense warmth and care from everyone I met. In my hotel in Hanoi, the young woman at the reception volunteered to take me around the night market after her work was done.”
Usah highly recommends solo travel, at least once. You can read more about her travels here.
6. Learning To Travel Solo
Lori’s solo travel started when her travel buddy lost interest in traveling. She didn’t want to stop her adventures so she bravely went on them alone.
“I let fear hold me back for a long time until the longing grew bigger than the fear. I decided if I wanted to fulfill my dream of traveling, I would probably need to do it on my own.”
Lori’s favorite trip was her first solo trip to Paris. She went with a group but didn’t know anyone before she left. Lori said the trip changed her life.
“Being a shy introvert, I have always been afraid to put myself out there. The person I was became different. I gained a confidence I had never had before. I felt more myself walking the streets of Paris by myself than I had ever felt before.”
Lori said the one thing she never leaves home without is a little obvious, her phone. But she relies on it for more than texting and taking pictures. She uses it as her GPS and reading companion. She always purchases an international data sim card through Cellhire if she is traveling internationally.
You can learn more about Lori’s adventures here.
7. Life Is Short
Sometimes life’s hardest moments can change your life in ways you’ve never dreamed of. Tracey suffered many losses from those closest to her. But she used the heartache to propel her into a solo adventure.
“Material things don’t hold much value for me. I’ve realized that I would rather spend my time and money on experiences instead of things.”
Tracey bought a van, renovated it, and hit the open road. You might be surprised by her favorite trip. She was!
“I would probably say visiting a clothes-optional resort in Georgia! I never thought I would go to one but it was something I wanted to try. I thought I would just be sitting inside my van for two nights. It wasn’t at all what I expected and the property was beautiful; 84 acres of trails and beauty.”
Tracey’s favorite travel product is her phone. She especially likes the iOverlander app, which has helped her find a place to sleep overnight. Most of her travel is boondocking and not paying for parking somewhere. You can learn more about her adventures here.
For more information about traveling solo, check out these articles: