For five years, Kristin Addis, a former investment banker, has been traveling the world. And she does this -- alone.
Addis decided to sell her items and traveled the world where she spent a life in silence at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, trekked to see gorillas in Uganda, and hiked on glaciers in Patagonia.
Addis, who blogs her experiences at bemytravelmuse.com, and authored Conquering Mountains: How to Solo Travel the World Fearlessly, believes that going on a solo flight is easier than meeting with a travel companion.
“You make all the decisions. You get to just wake up that day and say ‘I want to go somewhere.’ Or ‘I really like it here, I think I’ll stay five more days.’ And you don’t need to ask anyone if it’s okay with them,” she says in an article posted in the National Post website.
Addis believes that traveling alone is the best way to learn about yourself and to test your skills.
Here are her five tips to live by when going on a solo flight:
Start small: A small trip that will guarantee your friends that you will be doing fine is one way to test the waters if you can stand alone. “If you’re going to go on a big solo trip, your friends and family might be trying to talk you out of it. [A smaller trip] is a good way to show them, ‘Hey I can do this just fine,’ ” Addis says.
Choose a social (but not romantic) destination. If getting lonely is a problem, Addis recommends to visit a popular place for solo travelers like Southeast Asia, Central America, or South Africa. There, people can interact with a variety of people from different backgrounds who are also looking to connect with others. Addis advises travelers to avoid places that are notorious for being romantic.
Talk to locals. Converse with them so you can find out where the must-see and/or must-eat spots in a town are. Addis recommends travelers to visit a local pub or to get involved in an endeavor, such as rock climbing, scuba diving, surfing or hiking, where you can meet others
Connect using technology. Addis claims that she knows many people who use the Tinder app when they travel and indicate that they are tourists who look for people to hang out with. Accommodations like Airbnb.com and Couchsurfing.com are good ways to meet locals, while sites like Mealsharing.com and Eatwith.com provide the chance to share a meal at a local’s residence. Meetup.com is a site that connects like-minded people in cities around the world for a variety of interests from biking to games and drinks.
Get psyched for dinner. Despite her five years of experience in traveling alone, Addis struggles with dining solo as she sometimes proceeds to a bar at the local hostel and sees if there are other travelers interested in going out to eat together. In some occasions, she’ll feast on street food or get something on the go. Then, there is the bar option within a restaurant where it is easier to initiate conversations with other diners and the bartender. In some cases, other solo travelers spotted her and ask if they could join. Addis commented that “The cool thing is if you’re traveling in a place that attracts a lot of other travelers, there will be other people also by themselves. That’s what really surprised me, how many other solo travelers there are out there?”
|Photo by: Engin_Akyurt/ Pixabay|