In my list for “Top Ten most essential things to do before your 30s”, traveling solo would be my numero uno. Now, that’s a list for another day but here’s why it should be on your list too.
So why the hell should you?
“I still remember how daunting it felt the first time I went traveling solo”, my mother said to me when inquired about her ventures into the great and vast “Bidesh.” Granted she traveled for educational purposes rather than for pleasure. But, ask anyone who has ever traveled by themselves and they will tell you each trip was unique and of its own accord. Most people have described their first solo trip as almost transcendent.
- Growth: When you step out of your little-filtered bubble, your tastes and prejudices are no longer as significant. The goggles of your social norms have to come off. When a situation presents itself, you will need to follow up rather than react. Therefore, accepting things as they are without changing them but adjusting minor details for yourself. This can cause a huge shift in one’s perspective.
- Self-discovery: No longer being caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of routine life gives you the time and the space to discover yourself, test your limits, expands your palate and broaden your horizons. Traveling with others may help you find great friends but traveling alone will help you find yourself.
- Confidence: Being by your lonesome without backup may seem intimidating but when you’re in a pickle, being able to get yourself out of that jam can give you a new sense of confidence and faith in your inner problem solver.
- Job recruitment: You may be going, “Enough of your new age psychobabble. I could ‘find myself’ with a hot cup of tea and a copy of The Alchemist.” Well to those people I’d like to say your experience with different cultures increases the probability of an experience with a second language. More than your grade sheets or previous places of work, the employers want to know more about what you learned, how you’ve changed, skills you’ve obtained, and your ability to adapt and overcome hurdles.
Things to keep in mind
- Planning: Before you rush off to buy a plane ticket from the first gate you see, settle down and plan out where it is you’d like to go and when.
- Passport validity: Make sure your passport has a validity of at least 6 months beyond your planned stay. This is where you might want to put on your thinking hat and put the brakes on spontaneity for a second. While the aspect of validity can put a halt to your trip altogether, less than a minimum of six blank pages on your passport may leave you stranded abroad.
- Vaccinate and fill your prescriptions: Do a little recon before you start packing those bags. If you will be traveling to rural areas, it is wise to research any disease to look out for. If you’re on any medication, refill your prescription because your medication may not be as easily available elsewhere.
- Set a budget and fill up your wallet: To create a budget, you will need a rough idea of the time you should be away. Based on that, you should work around a daily expense based on room rate, transport, and Make sure to always keep a little more than the budget total.
Now with all of that set, the party of one ready to board. Where do you head off to?
The wet, the dry, the cold and the spry
We have here a little list of cities to visit categorized by climate and cultural activity which is a must.
- Tromso, Norway
- Barcelona, Spain
These are just a few of our suggestions. Now go out there start traveling solo and make your own adventures.
Written by Amana Iftekhar