Traveling Solo for the First Time

on top of sand dunes in Dubai

Traveling solo can be scary. And it will be, especially the first time. You’re alone. No one can help you. You’re in a foreign country. You don’t speak the language. You don’t know what you’re doing. These were all fears I had before going on my first trip alone. As it turned out, most of those fears aren’t true and the others are only half as bad.

My first solo trip wasn’t that long ago either and I was nervous too. Like really really nervous. I went to Dubai on my first solo trip and I don’t really know why Dubai. At that time I had never been outside of Europe and I wanted to see something different. devinsupertramp might have also played a part in my decision. Dubai might not be an ideal destination for traveling solo but I’ll come back to that a bit later.

So yeah. I booked my flight, got a place on AirBnB and that was it. There was no turning back now. But it was only after taking off in Zürich that I realized that I was going to a foreign country where I don’t know a single person and I’m all alone. That really freaked me out and I was anxious the entire flight to Dubai. But there was no point in being anxious. Traveling Solo is not scary at all.

It’s lonely (Spoiler: It’s not)

Traveling solo doesn’t mean you’re traveling alone. You’ll get approached more easily if you’re alone and maybe get invited to a hang out with a group. Hostels, BnB’s and public transportation are also a good place to meet fellow travelers. Do not stay isolated at fancy hotels and take a rental car to drive around.

on a diving boat in the gulf of thailand

It’s boring (Spoiler: It’s not)

Only when you travel alone you can decide what to do. No one is telling you what they want or not want to do. If you want you can join other travelers and do something with them or go adventuring on your own. When I went to Thailand I had no idea what to do there. I had a ticket to Bangkok but nothing else. It was only after arriving that someone I met told me about some great diving sites around Thailand and I then decided to get my Open Water Certification. The awesome lady in the hostel could even get a discount for me yay!

Skydiving in Dubai

It’s dangerous (Spoiler: It’s not)

But it can be. I don’t want to scare you but trusting your gut is often enough. If you don’t walk around with your golden rolex and diamond ring everywhere you go you will be fine. In Bangkok a few travelers advised me to leave my phone and my passport at the hostel before we went out because of pickpocketing. But if you’re a careful and don’t leave your valuables everywhere you won’t have any problems. People will still tell you that it is dangerous. People told me it’s dangerous in Dubai although it has a very low crime rate. Chances are your country has a higher crime rate but people will still tell you it’s dangerous.

Monkey on a beach on Koh Tao

Destinations for your first trip

You can go anywhere you want. You have places all over the world to choose from and you can do what YOU want. No one is telling you where to go or what to do. Despite that, I’m going to tell you where to go now. Obviously, you can only do a first time solo trip once, which I did in Dubai, but for anyone wanting to go travel alone a good place to start is South East Asia. I think countries in SEA like Thailand or Laos are an ideal place to start traveling alone. There are a lot of people backpacking, and traveling alone in these countries that you will meet a ton of new people. Plus, SEA is very cheap compared to Europe or the USA. So, you can have an amazing trip, meet great new people and it doesn’t even have to cost you a fortune.

beautiful view from a hill on Koh Tao

If you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to try out solo traveling. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it again but if you love it and never try it you’re missing out BIG TIME!




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