5 Women Share Their Solo Travel Stories. Will You Be Next?
The overwhelming sense of freedom probably comes with its own set of fears and insecurities. But there is no better way to rediscover yourself and be who you really want to be than by walking alone on a path unknown. Albert Einstein once said, “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
These 5 women got their feet sore while walking by themselves to create memories of a lifetime, and came home with a heart full of aims, realisations, and revelations.
Where: New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, Hamilton Islands (Great Barrier Reef), Thailand, and Bali
“I feel empowered and find a sense of freedom with each solo trip I take. It gives me more time to engage with the locals and talk to other tourists about their travels — which may not happen when you travel in groups.
“I would suggest not to book a family resort — you’ll probably be asked how many kids you have. Three of my best experiences have been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Blackwater Rafting (abseiling and cave tubing) in the North Island of New Zealand, and Glacier Hiking in the South Island of New Zealand. I know how to tie a climbing knot, abseil, and scuba dive. I can windsurf, paddleboard, kayak, and shoot, although my aim is questionable. I can drive for 9 hours a day… and the list goes on. I find my joy and thrill in these little things.”
“Solo travelling has been an eye-opener for me in more ways than one. In fact, it had a therapeutic effect on me, as every day would unfold a new experience filled with spectral variants and a bittersweet lesson.
“Making friends through the journey gave me some amazing moments and a new sense of belonging. I particularly remember one incident when one evening, at McLeodganj, going through the pages of The Unposted Letters and sipping on the best hazelnut hot chocolate, I had found a quiet place to snuggle, and I loved that. When suddenly I opened my eyes and looked up, I found a guy standing in front of me, who I had been admiring for a while. He was an Instagram-famous photographer and writer. Later that night, we ended up having deep conversations about our lives. It was indeed the kind of day I want to relive over and over again.”
Where: Singapore and Goa
“I am a silent soul with a heart that craves adventure. I travelled solo only to realise that I am not meant for it. I am a people’s person.
“I had taken 10 days off from work and was desperate for a break. Since I had no company, I booked myself a solo trip to Goa. Although I came back with a bagful of memories and experiences, I also realised how I enjoy being around my family and friends.
“I was too cautious and constantly taking care of myself. One such instance was when the hotel manager told me that my booking was cancelled, even though I had my booking confirmation. I think he was just trying to act smart because I was alone, and it really ticked me off. I learnt that each experience comes with a different lesson and it’s up to us how we deal with it.”
Where: Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America
“Solo travelling is one of the best ways of self-discovery. We are all so alike, even if we belong to completely different cultures. Due to my conflicting beliefs, I could not acknowledge this earlier, but now I can say I am a changed person.
“My travel experiences have gives me different perspectives of life. Being robbed multiple times in various parts of Europe not only changed my perspective about developed countries, but also made me realise few things — such as, if I can do so much with just little money and an open mind, anyone can. We just need to learn to prioritise and go about the whole process wholeheartedly.”
Where: Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh
“Meeting absolutely wonderful people along the journey, I feel fortunate to be guided by the Universe. Even though it was intimidating in the beginning, I felt liberated and came home full of gratitude and love for myself.
“Some of the people I met during my travels were kind and helpful. I remember one incident when I ran out of money and missed my bus. Also, due to some reason, I wasn’t carrying my debit/credit card with me. That experience and what followed changed my entire perspective about people and life. I learnt to enjoy my own company and, I must admit, I am my best companion.