When I first arrived to New Zealand I met a girl from Finland whom I hit it off with immediately. After hanging out for a few hours, she apologized for acting a little weird. “What do you mean”, I asked. “Well I just finished this 10-day silent Vipassana meditation course yesterday and it feels strange to be back in the real world. “10 days of silence, that sounds horrible, I can’t even imagine, tell me more,” I urged. “It’s hard to explain and I can’t even begin to describe it although I will say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but the most rewarding experience of my life, everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime.” She left it at that so I made a mental note to look it up upon my return home.
Last month I had a few days between work trips, and already being in Europe decided to stop for 3 days in Prague for a solo trip. I spent some time researching and put together an itinerary that would hopefully allow me to see and do as much as possible. So lets see how that worked out! Hint: It worked out really well, until my unplanned encounter with the police.
Because I had left Barcelona at 8:30 on Day 1 and didn’t land in Prague until close to 1pm, this is more like 2.5 days in Prague, or even 2.33 days in Prague. But that sounds kind of weird for a title, so lets stick with 3.
The first time that I ever looked for lodging while on the road was in Indonesia. A friend had told me about this perfect, incredible, fabulous, wonderful, amazing, cheap little place she found on this tiny island but there was one problem…..she forgot the name of it! Since it was such a small island, she told me that all I needed to do upon arrival was ask for a man named Ronni, who was the owner, and I would be pointed in the right direction. After walking around for 20 minutes barefoot up and down the beach in 95-degree heat, a 40lb bag on my back and asking about 30 strangers for Ronni, I finally found the man of the hour! And she was right, his bungalows were perfect, incredible, fabulous, wonderful, amazing and cheap!
Finding accommodation mid-travel does not always have to be this hard. Here are 3 easy ways to easily find lodging while on the road.
Traveling alone to a foreign land can sometimes seem daunting. But you’ll find that solo travel will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. Here are the top 10 benefits of traveling alone.
Do What You Want, When You Want
Spontaneity is the spice of life! The freedom to do what you want is much easier when you don’t have to ask for someone else’s input, whether that’s skipping out on the castle tour that sounded like a great idea yesterday or staying a few extra days in your current location. You are in control and can go wherever the wind blows you. One day I arrived to a beautiful city in the Philippines and I was so tired from moving around that I spent 24-hours in my hotel room, watching BBC and surfing the web. It was exactly what I needed!
When I tell people that I traveled alone for 7 months the first question I always get is, “weren’t you lonely?” It’s an honest question but it turns out, I was anything but!
One of the perks of solo travel is that you have the opportunity to meet a ton of people. When I came back from my trip I think I had over 150 new facebook friends (I know it’s such a cliché way of measurement but the easiest way to keep in touch with people from all over the world). Interestingly enough, I think that I met more people while traveling alone than if I had been traveling with a friend. I think this stems from the fact that when you are alone it forces you to be more open, whether that’s reaching out to other people if you have questions or need suggestions or just looking more approachable. This was something that was tough for me at first. After spending 9 years in New York I was never a fan striking up conversations with random strangers. But the beauty of traveling is that there is some unspoken culture between fellow long-term travelers that makes this a little less daunting and almost everyone is out-going and open to meeting people.
If wanderlust is getting the best of you, and you’ve been daydreaming about getting out of a town for a while, it’s time to start thinking practically about planning a trip and the different types of travel you can choose from.
There are so many different ways you can travel, and each of those ways is going to affect almost every aspect of the trip. If you’re traveling with young chidren or your 60-year-old parents, bar hopping is probabbly not in your future. (Unless you have really adventurous parents, in which case, first beer is on dad!)