Myth Busters for Traveling Solo


I had been on a few solo trips. Below are my stories that I hope can inspire some of you to go travel solo soon!

Why do I travel solo?

No offense to the girl friend who struck me on this.
Many years ago, I tried traveling with a close girlfriend of mine to Bangkok, Thailand. Although we were close friends, we were also pretty competitive with each other since our school days.

Back then, I was an amateur traveller and she was like a professional traveller. She travelled a lot for work, whereas I’m just a “travel once a while Singaporean”. The trip didn’t go as well as I thought it would be. I felt pressured to pack my luggage like she does. She packs her luggage very professionally. All her belonging were tugged neatly in traveling bags. Whereas, all my stuffs were packed in supermarket plastic bags (looks really hideous!).  And then during our trip, we were shopping “separately” in the big malls. It was totally different from what I had visualized. Before our trip, I had “expectation” of us shopping happily together as crazy girlfriends, kind of like “sex and the city”. Like what people says – the more expectation you have, the more disappointment you might face. Was disappointed that it didn’t turned out to be what I expected.

And so I decided to travel on my own! I figured this is the best way for me to measure myself as a person, according to my standards. I do not want competition or stress when I’m traveling. I want to be able to do what I want to do and see the things I want to see.  I’m glad I started this and had been on a few solo trip now. (kind of like a mini trophy for myself)

So far I have been to Taiwan, India and Spain on my own.
My Spanish trip is definitely the biggest highlight and challenge of all my trips.

Why? Because the only sentence I could make out back then was “Uno mas cerveza por favour”. So there’s really a lot of FIRST TRY for me in this interesting country.

I will share my Spanish trip in the next few posts.

Before my solo trip, I have many concern friends who gave me advise

Why are you going alone? Get a friend to go with you!
There’s a lot of pickpockets, you need to be very careful!
You don’t know what you are getting into!
Sign up for a tour package! It’s safer!
It’s not safe for a girl to go Spain alone. They might sell you away!

And when I’m back, my friends started commenting these

Oh you are so brave!
I wish I have the courage to travel alone like you!
Oh my god! You did skydiving!
You did the tour all on your own?! Amazing!
I love the pictures you took for your trip. I so wanna go for a trip too!

Like many of my friends, I have many self-questioning thoughts prior to me traveling alone. I now call them the traveling MYTHS.

I’m afraid of the world judging me.
I’m shy to have my meal alone in a restaurant, bar or café.
What if I lost my way?
I’m worried of my safety? What if there’s pick pockets?
What if I make no friends?

End of my trips, I realized the world is not what I thought it is.
My fearful thoughts were all created by me, which limit my beliefs. That limit my ability to break free from the cage I put myself into.

So now, let me share with you, what I think are the MYTHS BUSTERS.

I’m afraid of the world judging me. 

Everyone – TRUST ME, everyone are so busy with themselves, they have no time to be bothered with you! Everyone have their own lives to live. Things they want to do. Places they want to see. So unless you are doing abnormal stuffs, like, biting your toe nails in the restaurant, spitting while walking (I really hate this one), no one is REALLY going to judge you.

I’m shy to have my meal alone in a restaurant, bar or café.

Shy to have your meal alone? Try a quiet restaurant or café. Worried that since it’s a quiet place, the food or drinks might not be good? Try sitting at a corner or near a window in a restaurant or café. People watching can be a really fun thing to do. If you are in a bar alone, sit at the bar counter. Chat with the bartender. They will definitely chat you up if they want you to spend more moolah. See, you’re not alone anymore! Maybe you might have a cute guy checking you out. Never know!

What if I lost my way?

With the advancement of technology, tell me you didn’t think of getting a pre-paid card with data in a new country. I get a pre-paid card the very next day I landed.
With the help of GPS, now tell me how you are going to be lost in all these first world countries. Of course you might say, I want to try interesting places I have never been, like trekking in the mountains, go skydiving etc. These are great ideas! And you know the places you going to go will be kind of deserted. Then do your part for your safety! Do enough research to know where you are going and the credibility of people you going to be with.. My best bet is always Tripadvisor. Never failed me.

I’m worried of my safety? What if there’s pick pockets?

The world is wide. Any kind of scams, cheats and pickpockets are everywhere.
When you travel, bring your money, and bring your brain with you too. When you are on your own, it’s your duty to take care of yourself. We are all adults, so be one and take responsibility of it. Take care of your own belongings. Be mindful of people around. And be smart enough to walk away from anything you are not comfortable with.
It’s good to be kind but it’s better to be careful.

What if I make no friends?

Traveling alone is probably one of the best way to make friends around the world.
Because when you are alone, you are “forced” to open up your mind to people around you. You will learn new things, and you will experience new culture. With all my trips, I have made friends from around the world. And then you realized all of us are not so different after all. It change your perspective of life. You learned to be more thankful (no matter what’s your past).

Oh, try joining Meetups events. It’s a great way to make new friends.

With Friends in Madrid
With Friends in Madrid

So you want to travel on your own and have been too afraid to do so? I hope the myth busters do let you know that the world is not as scary as you think it is.

My wish for all today – “Don’t listen to what they say it is. Go and see for yourself. “

Love,
Jaye

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