I can't think of a better example of a life-changing experience than solo travel. This is my all-time favorite type of travel. I started down this path more out of necessity than choice. Friends and family were not always available or willing to travel when I was, and my bucket list wasn't getting any shorter waiting around for a companion. So with a good deal of self-pity and resistance, I booked my first solo trip.
What I anticipated would be a barrage of embarrassment, sadness, and amplified feelings of loneliness, turned into a fantastic journey of self-discovery. I gained stronger self-confidence, learned to enjoy my own company, defined how I like to spend my time and at what pace, made peace with quiet and uncomplicated thoughts, realized what I wanted most out of my life, and independence. I learned to be my own best friend.
Another perk is that you get to indulge in experiences that are truly authentic to you and your liking. You are in complete control of your budget also.
Something else I discovered is that ironically, it's a great way to make new friends because you're not focused on only your group of companions.
Additionally, it shines a light on just how many kind, compassionate people there are in the world. Anytime I've met someone my instinct tells me it's ok to tell that I'm traveling alone (you learn to rely heavily upon that instinct), they have offered to go out of their way to help in any way possible should I ever need it and look after my safety.
The owner of the B&B I stayed at in Bogata, Colombia told me she would look after me as if I was "her own," and boy did she! No matter what time I got back in the evenings, she was up waiting for me in her robe and slippers, with a warm plate of delicious home-cooked food. She hand-picked the drivers she put me with and mapped out all the must-sees. I came home from that Colombia trip with a small stack of business cards and pieces of paper with numbers scribbled on them from the people who offered to look after me and follow up with when I got home.
If someone would have told me in my earlier years that one day I'd be traveling alone and to places like Colombia and Africa and that furthermore, they'd be some of the greatest experiences of my life, I would have been in complete disbelief!
If this is something you've been considering, please do contact me. I can help create a safe, authentic solo experience for you too. Also know that just because you're traveling solo, doesn't mean you have to be "alone." There are a few different ways to link up with other independent travelers for activities, meals, and more. Fill out an Inquiry Form for a free consultation and for fun, take the "What's your Solo Style?" test below.
ARE YOU A MS. GUIDED SOLO TRAVELER AT HEART?
Me too! Solo traveling, particularly for females, is a personal passion, and I endorse it at every available opportunity. It's a terrific way to get to know your strengths on a totally different level, and the liberated feeling that accompanies it is like no other. No matter what degree or type of solo traveler you are, I can expertly craft an ideal itinerary, custom fit for your comfort and experience level. Find your individual solo style below and then contact me for inspirations. Chances are you'll identify with more than one!
MS. GUIDED SOPHISTICATE
Your travel style is aloof, you want an engaging itinerary, but one that's fairly open and allows freedom to explore at your own will (although a local spa experience is a must!). Your chic, weekend carry-on bag has your go-to jeans, a blazer and a sensible, yet stylish pair of shoes - you tend to do a lot of walking when you travel. In the afternoons you can be found at a local cafe watching the world go by or perusing the latest Vogue Italia over a cup of espresso and a croissant. In the evenings you retire to your swanky hotel or that boutique B&B you read about in Condé Nast Traveler a few months ago. Your favorite drink is usually something with a sparkling wine and served in a flute glass.
You put the "extra" in extravert! You're rarely alone but very independent. Coordinating travel with others has proven to be difficult, but you want to start tackling your ever-growing bucket list, so it's time to get going! Just because you're traveling solo doesn't mean you have to be alone, so your itinerary is planned with plenty of fun, interactive activities, leaving room for spontaneity with new friends. Your suitcase overfloweth with the packing philosophy, "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it". You're most comfortable in sundresses, shorts, tanks and flip-flops. Your cell phone is on and never leaves your side (#fomo), so a strong wifi signal is essential. You enjoy mixed, fruity drinks and the more Instagramable your meals, the better they taste. Your ideal accommodations are beach-front properties or over-water bungalows.
MS. GUIDED SOLITAIRE
Introverted is an understatement. You're happy as a clam when you're alone, quietly observing the world you're so very curious about. Your itinerary needs to be a balance of intentional, explorative experiences and quiet reflection. Your minimalist, no-frills carry on has a few of your favorite tee's, jeans and practical shoes with plenty of room for your techy items, a book, a journal and camera lenses. You prefer fresh, local, Fair Trade meals and drink whatever the locals are having. You like to start your days with an early morning hike or yoga at sunrise. Ideal accommodations would be a private yurt or that treehouse hotel you saw in a National Geographic post.
MS. GUIDED VIRTUOSO
Your only solo travel fear is boredom, so your travel days are filled with action-packed, intense activities. If it doesn't require an off-road vehicle, icebreaker ship, helicopter, or beast of burden to get there, it's probably not a destination you're interested in. Your oversized, rugged backpack is carrying clothes you won't mind getting dirty and likely has an anti-venom kit in it. You left your cell phone at home because chances are, it won't work where you're going anyway - this trip is off the grid! There's a rickshaw ride to the street vendors for deep-fried scorpions, washed down with local craft beer in your near future. You're probably carrying your accommodations on your back, or planning to stay at a luxury safari lodge in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Big Five game animals.