Taking on the world as a solo female can be something most people think twice about.
But in reality, the hardest part is just buying your plane ticket, and actually going.
When I told my family and friends that I was heading out to go explore other cultures around the world, they all seemed a bit skeptical and had some questions for me.
Who I was going with, Where I was staying, and What I was doing?!
and of course, my answers to these questions sent a few into panic mode.
Traveling ALONE, living in hostels, sharing a room with totally random strangers, and no set plans for what I was actually going to be doing over there...
YES, YES, THATS CORRECT!!
thATS WHAT I aM DOING.
& guess what,
it's beautiful. it's exciting. it's enjoyable.
Knowing I don't have to rely on someone else, or more specifically - a "male" - to travel with me is a very empowering thing.
I've had this mindset for as long as I can remember.
and i've had nothing but amazing experiences along the way.
Solo travel has been one of the most precious gifts I have given to myself, and has completely changed my life and outlook on my abilities and what i'm capable of.
Of course, I don't think my family will ever truly accept the idea of it after all these years, but they're slowly realizing that i've made it this far - coming home with only good stories and memories to share with them.
SO HERE'S HOW YOU CAN LIVE THIS LIFE TOO:
1) Start with small trips if you are doubting yourself.
Let's knock that self doubt first!
If you are going to travel the world, you will need to believe in yourself, before anyone else will. Self doubt will be your biggest enemy in actually following through with the things you truly desire and deserve.
Everyone has to start somewhere. If you feel more comfortable - start small. Take local solo trips to other cities, or states. Places where the culture is going to be much more similar to that of which you know. Places where there will not be a language barrier. Places where you won't be far from home.
You'll learn so much still. You don't need to fly 10 hours across the globe to learn you are capable of traveling solo. Sometimes doing something like going to your favorite bands concert alone because your friends can't come - is a wonderful way to lose that feeling of dependence on others.
Appreciate the journey, you are always evolving.
2) Remind yourself that you are capable.
build SELF CONFIDENCE!
This is the first and most important thing you will need on your travels.
It should be the first thing you pack, and the thing that will never leave you after.
Give yourself pep talks, reflect on past situations, and really start to realize that you can do this. and YOU ARE DOING IT.
Instead of thinking about the future, and questioning everything of what will be; put your attention and energy into the present. Look at how far you've come, admire your power and ability to make your own decisions, and give yourself credit for even thinking about taking on the world as a female!
YOU GOT THIS! You are amazing!
3) Learn to trust your Intuition
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Realize that you are exactly where you need to be, right now. You are here because every other moment in your life lead you to be here. If you weren't supposed to be here - you wouldn't.
With that being said, it is still very important to tune in and trust our gut.
If something is telling you to remove yourself from the situation - learn to acknowledge it for what it actually is.
Is this intuition or self doubt?
Intuition is usually a result of something that is actively making you feel this way.
Self doubt is a story that you have created in your head that might be entirely false.
Intuition is your first thought. It's quick. It's clear. and It's noticeable.
Intuition is a knowing within.
Self doubt comes up at random times. It's secretive. It's complex. and It's emotional.
Self doubt is an emotion within.
learning to recognize the different between these two, will make all the difference on your travels.
4) Find out that the world isn't as scary as people make it
The only way to learn this is to go out there and experience it.
This is where you'll realize that the hardest part of traveling as a solo female is just booking your ticket and actually going...
Once you're there you'll be busy living life, experiencing cultures, and enjoying the new experiences.
The majority of people you meet will be welcoming, easy going, and there to help! Not everyone in the world is out to get you. Unfortunately, the media and press only report on bad things happening in our world so we get the idea in our minds that most people "out there" are dangerous. This couldn't be any further from the truth. In fact, some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life, have been while I was traveling. Seriously. Not to mention some of the travelers, like myself, that I have met while staying in hostels have been some of the most genuine, authentic, and similar minded people.
These connections have truly restored my faith in the good of humanity.
5) Fall in love with Freedom
You have the ability to make your own choices everyday and love every minute.
Want to sleep in until noon? do it. No one's stopping you.
Want to eat Indian food for five days straight? Yeah you do!
Bored with this museum? Leave!
You are living life how you want entirely based on YOUR OWN DESIRES.
Traveling solo means that you do what you want, when you want, and no one has a say or opinion on it - besides YOU.
How amazing is that? Embrace it.
This is one of the main reasons I enjoy traveling solo so much...
i'm very easy going and don't mind following other peoples plans -
BUT the freedom of making entirely my own choices and living life moment by moments is something I truly appreciate.
6) Friends aren't just those back home, they are everywhere
Here's a little something to remember: you might get lonely sometimes.
It depends and changes person to person. Sometimes people start to feel lonely just after a few days of solo travel - and for some they travel years and it never really phases them.
Feeling lonely is normal. Were humans after all, social by our nature.
Thankfully, FRIENDS are everywhere!
Stay in hostels and you'll realize how many similar aged, similar minded, and similar overall people are living a life just like you! You'll also meet a ton of people who are completely different from you in many, many ways! These are amazing potential friends too because you'll connect by sharing stories and differences.
If you are open to meeting new people and creating new connections -
I can guarantee someone else is trying to do the same!
Something as simple as a personal hello to each and every person in your hostel will open many doors!
Make the first initial reach out - don't expect everyone to approach you first.
7) Do your research
Doing research on the places you are going will benefit you in many ways.
It will help build your confidence and drown that doubt.
Knowledge is power.
Doing something as simple as researching public transportation or road maps will help you out in the long run. You don't need to become an expert on what you are researching - but having some general idea will always be beneficial.
Also reading about cultural norms, customs, and values can help you feel more confident if you are going somewhere where you might experience a culture shock.
I like to look up the weather, map, areas to avoid (if any - usually a trip advisor page about this), vegan restaurants, and advice for things to do and see.
I always like to research beforehand on how to get from the airport (or bus/train station) to where I need to be. That way i'm not pressured into overprices shuttle services or end up with no idea on how to get around.
There are tons of forums posted online of people who have traveled to (or live there) and are willing to help.
Do this so when you are in this new area you have some standard, basic knowledge on what to expect.
8) Use common sense
You know - all the stuff your parents would remind you about.
Be mindful of how much alcohol you consume, avoid walking down sketchy alleys or dark roads at night, do not leave your stuff unlocked and unattended.
They do have a point after-all - be smart. be alert. and be aware.
Make sure you are in tune with your surroundings at all times and who is around you. And don't instantly trust everyone you meet.
9) Remember you are never too far from home
No matter how far away you are in this world, you truly are not too far from home.
If you got to where you are right now, there's a way back where you came.
I'm not saying to bail on your plans, but if you're really not feeling it or something is off, remember it's ok to change your plans.
You should be enjoying you travels and having fun - and sometimes things change.
If you get homesick - try facetiming, sending hand written letters, or even a call to your friends and family.
Express to them how you are feeling, and you might be surprised at how much they can help change your outlook on everything.
I'm sure you have amazing people in your life, which is why you might be missing them - and they (being the amazing people that they are!!), will support you and encourage you to follow your heart!
10) Stay connected
Let people know of your travels and where you are going.
I'm not talking just general plans - but day plans.
Your sister might be 5,000 miles away but believe me - if anything was to happen at least someone knows your general where abouts.
I'm not saying you are going to get abducted, but little accidents can happen and it's good for someone to know where you are going to be.
Believe me, this will only take a minute or two - and can really bring a lot of peace to yourself as well as the people who love and care about you.
AND THERE WE GO (LITERALLY, GO!!!)
YOU, MY LOVE, ARE READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD.
You are confident, knowledgable, aware, and capable!
and i'm excited for you!
MUCH L O V E,