What's the first thing you heard when you mentioned to your friend or family member you wanted to travel the world... But going solo? You might have had some disapproving looks, the conversations of 'oh but that's so dangerous, I'd never do that I'd be too scared' Bla Bla Bla, but the reality is solo travel really is life-changing... In a good way. If you're currently in your 20's feeling a little lost, not knowing where your life's going, your careers heading or maybe just your friends seem to be getting married and having kids and you're well.. Just being you. I FEEL YOU. And I have to tell you, travel.. travel! Travel! Travel the world! You're still so young. (Trying not to sound live Gary Vee)
So here I am at the ripe old age of 27, giving you my honest opinion on solo travel. I decided around 5 years ago to take a gap year from my job and travel the world by myself. I was post break up, throwing myself into new things. Was I scared/ nervous on my one way flight to Bangkok? Absolutely. Was it, looking back, the best decision I ever made? 100% so here’s some little thoughts if you’re thinking of taking that leap especially if you're in your twenties.
So.. Where to head too?
So if it’s your first time heading abroad solo it’s a good idea to head to a few countries that are well known to tourists before heading off the beaten path. You'll find a great backpacker, community of like minded, similar aged travellers in the following destinations:
(You’ve probably heard it a 100x but South East Asia is a solo traveller’s dream)
Although over the past years it seems many European destinations have been up and coming for solo travel with funky hostels popping up all over the place. Greece is a perfect place to go island hopping and immerse yourself in rich heritage, or head to Croatia and sail along the scenic Dalmatian coast. Whether you fancy ancient ruins or bar crawls, Greece and Croatia have it all. I visited Greece twice last year during the pandemic and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
Travelling doesn’t have to be strategic planning, deciding 6 months in advance where you’re going and how and when you’re going to get there. The beauty of solo travel is doing exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it. Research the destinations you want to visit and a rough timeline and see where you end up! You may end up meeting the best people in the world on tour in a country you didn’t have on your plan!
Be open minded
Man, this is a big one. Leave any preconcieved ideas at home, least that Insta BS social media tells you every day that you're not enough. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, with different opinions, cultures and beliefs and backgrounds. Learning about the world and how it works will change your perspective on your own life and will ultimately help you find your Tru self. *Soz cringe*
Follow your heart
You might have been told when you were growing up to be a lawyer, a doctor, a world renowned scientist and that’s amazing if that’s your passion but if it’s not, travel will teach you to follow your heart. To work out what your dream is and to work towards that. There’s nothing quite like dipping in a waterfall in the depth of Bali, no phone or social media in sight to have you reevaluating your lifestyle and where you want to go. Hey, even if it doesn't you're in a waterfall in Bali and that's pretty magical in itself.
Social media isn’t real
You may have seen those filtered, super edited instagram pics in hotspots around the world with no one in the background. Well, that might not be what you’ll see. We all love a photo in a new destination but expect to see a fair few other people there. So grab a mate and throw up some peace signs, pose, enjoy and don't take life too seriously. Enjoy the moment and don’t spend too long trying to get photos for the gram. You're there in person and thats more than any photo can do justice for.
You’ll become more positive and find the beauty in the smallest things
That burnt orange sunset, the first cup of coffee in the morning, that bike ride into town, wind in your hair. You’ll notice the small things and how wonderful they are. You’ll realise that living in a big concrete jungle looking into an illuminated phone 24/7 isn’t what lifes about. It’s the small moments that change your life, the ‘you had to be there’ moments are ultimately the times you look back and reminisce on. Not that funny TikTok you sent your mate after 4 hours of excessively scrolling. Travel in your 20's will define your 30's and 40's and 50's. They'll be the stories you'll tell your kids about, or laugh about over FaceTime to your best mate who you met along the way who lives the other side of the world.
Solo travel is liberating and you’ll have the time of your life. Make that first step, find a destination that’s right for you and well.. I’ll see you at the welcome dinner!
Wanna join the TruFam? For exclusive offers, latest travel news, advice and the TruStories from the road, simply fill in your details below and we'll do the rest.