1. Start the Conversation
Yes everyone wants there alone time while traveling, obviously or you wouldn't be doing this solo trip in the first place. But don't be that girl hauled up in the hostel for two days straight draining the life out of your phone and Facebook stalking. Hangout in a common area, ask people where they're from, where they're going,how long they've been traveling, what their plans are for the day, etc. Guarantee you they will have some awesome stories to share and will probably be down to have someone join their group and explore the area with them as well.
2. Shit happens
I'm going to be a typical child of the 90's right now and quote a Disney movie as a life reference. But as a wise man (Timon) once said, "Bad things happen and there's nothing you can do about it, right? Wrong. When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world." One thing you have to realize is that there are going to be hiccups in your trip! Whether its missing a flight, getting completely lost in a big city, getting overcharged for a taxi,or getting personal belongings stolen...but when these things happen you have to realize things aren't going to be as easy to fix in a foreign country as they are at home. It's also much more stressful going through this alone.So take a deep breath, relax, and try not to let a small thing ruin the rest of your adventure.
3. Eat local
Not only are you supporting the local economy by doing this but honestly the food is way better. Like I just don't see the point in going to a McDonalds or Subway when right down the sidewalk there is a local market with amazing food stands for a fraction of the price. That's another huge perk of traveling by yourself, you don't have to agree with anyone on somewhere to eat, the world is your oyster:)
4.Saving and splurging
After being by yourself for a month you become very savvy on when and where to save and splurge. I do my best to save as much as possible while I'm traveling; eat street food or find a weekend market to eat at, stay at the cheaper hostels even when they are not always the nicest,and take full advantage of the public transportation wherever you are! Yet there are things to definitely splurge on...When in Thailand get as many massages as you want, for 300 baht ($9) you cant beat it and you probably deserve it haha. Dress up for a night and go for a drink or two at an amazing rooftop bar, whether its a helicopter pad in Kuala Lumpur or the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Even if the drinks are a little pricey you simply just can't beat the views. And lastly, sometimes its worth it to just buy the flight to your next destination. We all hit that point in our trip when another 16 hour overnight train by yourself just isn't worth losing your sanity.
This one is simple, do not be "that American". I am extremely proud of where I come from but it gets to a point where everyone gets pretty sick of hearing how amazing the US is. Have an educated conversation with someone, ask them where they're from, talk politics, but just know where to draw the line.
6.Get a map
Any hostel, hotel, guesthouse, etc. will have maps at the front desk. I'm not saying to walk around the city looking like a complete tourist with your nose glued to the inside of the map but its always good to have one as a back up. There's nothing worse than being lost alone in an area that you don't know. And if you really don't want to be a loser and get a map just ask your front desk for basic directions. You are obviously not the first backpacker they've ever met and any hostel I have ever stayed at has always been able to give awesome advice and directions for the area.
7. Have Fun!
You worked your ass off for this trip, relax and enjoy! Sleep in, get lost in a book, rent a motorbike, drink out of a coconut on the beach, do WHATEVER YOU WANT! When your Monday morning consists of trying to decide whether you want to head to Bali or go explore Northern Thailand for a couple of days then life just isn't that bad:)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad