How is traveling solo
“Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.”
– Holstee Manifesto
Solo travel is an experience like no other and something we strongly recommend everyone to try at least once in their life. Being able to explore the world distraction free on your own time and own itinerary is truly something special.
Mitch‘s first solo trip was a couple of years prior to traveling South America. He left friends after a surf trip in Bali and boarded a plane by himself on route to Japan. His flight to Tokyo had just been booked only weeks before leaving so it didn’t allow much pre-planning.
Landing in an unfamiliar country is always daunting for the first time. Throw in being on your own makes the realisation raw and exciting. Your first thought may be that perhaps you should have taken up those language speaking lessons before leaving. But in reality that is why we all travel. To soak up the culture, the people, the language, the food, the adventure. This could be your first experience where you could only rely on yourself and no-one else around you that you could trust. Will anything go terribly wrong? No. Could it? Sure. But, that is what real travel is all about.
For Mitch’s first solo travel, nothing too bad happened. He got lost. Plenty of times. He ate stuff that he didn’t even know what it was because he couldn’t understand the menu. He got food poisoning and became ill. It happens. However, the people were super friendly and interesting. The sights were spectacular. The food was out of this world (most of the time). Obviously, traveling is not all roses all the time, but, what you can say and what you may have learnt from travel is that, the good experiences far outweigh the bad ones. And on the plus side, the lessons you learn from making bad choices and being in the wrong situations are totally priceless and give you valuable life lessons.
You might also hear people talk about how they ‘find themselves’ or become ‘enlightened’ through solo travel. We have always been positive people with a good outlook on life, so for us, whenever we hear these terms mentioned we think they sound a little fake and honestly BS. Maybe because we believe that anyone can become whatever they want to be no matter where they are or who surrounds them. But, the difference is you can be surrounded by distractions that don’t allow you to grow to your full potential. We guess in the end these distractions were the case for Mitch. Since traveling on his own he has learnt to appreciate what is important in life. He now sees nature, people, culture, life it self, in a whole other perspective. His paradigm is constantly shifting for the better.
Solo travel shouldn’t only be about staying in all the party hostels and following group tours. Sure, you can party hard during different parts of your trip and get caught up on the gringo trail. It is crazy fun and you meet great friends for life. But, it’s the moments when you venture out on your own that are the most priceless. Hiking through mountain ranges with no-one else in sight. Finding a new town and talking with locals, in their own language. Sitting down and sharing a meal at the public markets. We try not to follow groups and others around too much and we have began to appreciate the smaller things.
Finally, there is nothing truly more exciting and satisfying than getting ready to set off on your own solo experience. You might always think about the idea of traveling alone and what that would be like. How lonely was it going to be? There are so many like minded nomads out there doing the exact same thing as you so you will never really alone. Solo travel can provide the foundations to take you where you need to be. And overall it could be one of the best experiences of your life.
iPhone photos by LovaLinda