The stigma attached to travelling alone is slowly fading, as more youngsters are taking the plunge. Being pushed out of your comfort zone only leaves you stronger and wiser. Moreover, it’s an experience that takes you closer to yourself and leaves you with a bagful of memories.
However, before you jump the bandwagon and take your first-ever solo trip, here are things that you must keep in mind.
1. Test the Waters
They say all those who wander are not lost – but not always. Sure, you don’t want a boring, pre-planned itinerary for your first solo escapade, but you must not take the plunge without testing the waters. Read about the place you want to travel, get familiar with the local culture, weather forecast, things to carry, and the overall vibe.
Pack essentials, but still travel light, so that you aren’t in for a rude shock when you arrive.
When travelling out of India, keep an electronic copy of essential documents such as passport. Don’t carry all your money all the time. Have some emergency cash stashed away – perhaps also a credit card. Have fun, but not at the expense of safety.
2. Blend In
Solo travelling is about putting yourself out there. It is the experience that counts – meeting people, sharing stories, and making new friends.
The moment you step out, be amicable to people you meet. Shed your inhibitions and try to imbibe the local culture – from learning the local language to imitating the sartorial style of the commoners. If possible, stay with a local family. Many are hospitable and will give you an insight into their world.
Most importantly, don’t restrict yourself to touristy things. Explore, because that’s what solo travel is meant for.
3. Enjoy Your Company
We have grown up in a culture that loathes spending time alone. We pity those who eat at restaurants alone, watch a movie in a theatre alone, or those who travel solo. It is often equated with being lonely or not having friends. Solo travel debunks this myth.
You will be surprised how much fun you can have all by yourself. It could be a little daunting initially, but eventually you’ll get comfortable with it. These are the times you’ll discover new things about yourself which will make for great stories later.
4. Don’t Become a Camera Ninja
Photographs capture priceless moments. They are a medium through which we can relive the sweet memories. But, does that mean you should go on a clicking spree? Photographs should never take away the joy of exploring new places. Enjoy the moment and don’t fret about updating the world about your trip.
5. Keep Expectations Low
Don’t let the pressure of expectations dampen your spirit. Sometimes, things may not work the way you planned and that’s okay. You never know, you may get to see something else or have another experience. Give life a chance.
Most importantly, though, don’t try to emulate the experiences others have had on their solo trip, because not everything you see or read on social media is true. We have different stories to tell and that’s a great thing.
Take it one trip at a time!