Early this year I had the opportunity to write an article for DailyHive about my personal experience of traveling to Thailand all on my own. As I continue to share travel tips, I feel that this is an important one to pass along because this was honestly one of the most life changing experiences.
So why did I decide to pack my bags and travel half way across the world all by myself? Well in all honesty it was a last minute decision. After making a career as one of the youngest national news anchors in Canada, my station shut down and less than 24 hours alter I was dumped. So I did what any logical single and recently unemployed girl would do, I booked a solo trip to Thailand.
I regretted the decision the moment the ticket was booked. Nerves took over and I called my dad in tears. He reassured me that everything was going to be ok and that this would be the trip of a life time.
I regretted the decision again after 20 hours on an airplane when I arrived in this foreign land with no luggage (Thankfully 7-Eleven’s carry every thing you could ever need or want).
As soon as I woke up the next morning to the beauty of the mountains and the white sand beaches, the regret washed away with the tide and I was ready for whatever adventure was waiting for me.
My ten-day trip included stops in Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi. I visited the incredibly beautiful Ao Phang Ngo (aka James Bond Island). I partied at a ladyboy cabaret show. I fed wild monkeys. I swam with sharks. I visited the beach from the movie the Beach (even more beautiful in person). I overcame my fears and rode an elephant. I danced my butt off at a full moon party. I prayed for the first time at the Big Buddha. I ate my weight in Thai food.
But the most important thing I did was find myself again.
Travelling by myself was truly the best thing I ever did. And here are five reasons I think everyone should travel by themselves at some point in their life.
You are the master of your itinerary
Sure, traveling with a group can be a blast, but it can also be a pain because you all have to agree on what to do and when. Traveling solo you can do whatever you want whenever you want no permission or compromise needed. I am a morning person, so I could wake up at the crack of dawn and see the sunrise, and I didn’t have to party until 3 am because of peer pressure. You truly get to do you.
You have chance to connect with yourself
Maybe this is the trip to the big Buddha talking, but traveling on your own allows you plenty of you time. During that time you can dig deep and figure out what makes you really happy and what you want out of life. There are no distractions. It is an amazing opportunity to connect with the most important person, you.
You become more independent
I found myself constantly singing that really catchy tune from Kelly Clarkson, you know “Ms. Independent” because that is how I felt. You have to make your own decisions, you have to solve your own problems, you have to learn how to use a real map, you know, that’s made from paper and you can’t update with every new destination (yes, they still exist and are hella useful when data is like $100/GB). You only have one person to rely on and that person is yourself.
You feel more satisfied at the end of the trip
It seems that whenever you travel with a group no matter how close you are there is always some drama, some fights. When you are on your own it is just peace and quiet. The only thing you have to worry about is if your margarita is near the bottom.
You make a ton of new friends
Traveling on your own can be scary. Will you be lonely and miserable the whole time? Only if you want to be. You have the choice to connect with other people, get tips from the locals or learn from like-minded travellers. You may even find a travel buddy for your next adventure!
I know, traveling on your own can seem pretty scary, so I also have a few tips for planing that solo vacation.
Tips for traveling on your own:
- Plan ahead of time. I felt pretty safe on this trip because I had my hotels and transportation booked ahead of time instead of worrying last minute and putting myself in a potential unsafe environment
- Always carry good identification on you
- Don’t draw attention to yourself with flashy clothes or jewellery, don’t make yourself a target
- leave a copy of your itinerary and contact info with a friend so someone knows where you are at all times
- keep to open and public places especially at night time
So what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and go explore the world. It is your oyster after all.